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Itís your home away from home, your little slice of the pie. On the outside itís nothing much, but on the inside itís all yours. Itís your locker, and no matter what size it is, having it can make you feel like you have finally arrived.

But before you move in your 40 pounds of textbooks and favorite hoodie, show that boring metal box some love. After all, you're going to be seeing a lot of each other this year. Might as well get cozy.

Ready? Letís rock your locker!

When you start with a theme Ė or at least a color scheme Ė your locker will always look pulled together. Choose something that reflects you. Your personal style is all around you. It's in the sports you play, the music you love, the friends you make, the posters you hang, the books you read, the clothes you buy, and the places you dream about. What would make you smile on a rainy Monday morning? Thatís your ideal locker theme! But do be aware that lockers are semi-public spaces. Whatever hangs in there could be seen by everyone from your math teacher to your locker neighbor, Hottie McHot-hot.

When it comes to locker design, forget the glue, double-sided tape, permanent markers, and stickers. Go for easy on, easy off, such as magnetic accessories. To hang posters or pictures, use sticky tack Ė the easily removable adhesive found at craft or office supply stores.

Sure, it can be pretty, but donít that your locker has a job to do. Itís the box that holds your books, coat, backpack, lunch and other gear. You need to find what you need fast so youíre not late for class! Organize well, and your locker will repay you by not swallowing your homework 30 seconds before class.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of organizers and accessories to help your locker do its At back-to-school time, youíll find locker-friendly shelves and other doo-dads. But any storage device that attaches with suction cups or magnets can work in your locker. To keep yourself on track, consider a magnetic clock, a laminated copy of your schedule, and a dry-erase board for reminder notes.

Now comes the fun part: Designing! Here are 10 themes to consider, but donít forget to add a bit of your own personal style.

1. Team Pride: School colors, team photos, medals

2. Viva la Vacation: Postcards, maps, plane ticket, foreign currency

3. Cool Collage: Favorite photos, scrapbooking supplies, thought bubbles

4. Fan Club: Page-size posters, magazine cut-outs, movie or concert ticket stubs

5. Preppy Power: Plaid wallpaper, monogrammed fabric, bows and ribbons

6. Poetís Corner: Favorite quotes, magnetic word kit, book jackets

7. Art House: Artwork, magnetic frames, a magnetic caddy for some art supplies

8. Glam It Up: Glittery or leopard print wrapping paper, magnetic mirror, press-on lights

9. Gotta Dance: Old ballet shoes, recital mementos, pressed flowers

10. Statement Maker: Newspaper headlines, bumper stickers (use sticky tack, donít peel!), cartoons

Whew! Thereís no end to the decorating possibilities. One caution though, if your school has any rules about how you can decorate your locker, be sure to follow them. No sense creating the locker of your dreams only to find that you have to un-decorate it.

So weíve come to our final tip: Keep it clean. Your locker will look (and smell) its best if you give it a quick clean every now and again. Through away trash, remove clutter, and wipe it down with a soapy, wet paper towel or a baby wipe. If you smell something funky, donít shut the door and ignore it. Investigate until you find that smelly sock or half-eaten PB&J.

So open your locker and unlock some fun. At least for this year, the world behind that combination lock is all yours.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 2010 Debra Moffitt. All rights reserved.