Originally published Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 09:39a.m.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — School-related stress is common among multi-tasking students. But smart organization can make it easier to dash from class to study hall to after-school activities. It all starts with the right supplies. Gear up for a successful, low-stress school year with these handy tips.

Consult the List

Give your students the tools they’ll need to hit the ground running, and alleviate their stress of being unprepared, by referencing the supply list the school sends home. Then spend some time before the first day of school doing something fun together that’s also educational, like visiting a museum or reading books. This will get brains active and alert before the first bell rings, ensuring a smooth transition to classroom learning.

Work smarter

A lot of information is thrown at students during a lesson, but even the quickest note-taker can run into trouble sorting it all out when it comes time to study. The right school supplies will allow students to learn in a meaningful way.

New alternatives to traditional note-taking can make finding relevant information a cinch during study sessions. For example, a notebook that includes a table of contents with a spot for the date, topic descriptions and page numbers to help students quickly find specific information. Students can stress less with organizational tools such as these.

Reduce your haul

It’s practical to maintain two sets of certain school supplies — one for a student’s home workstation and the other in his or her locker. Pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, extra paper, sticky notes and rulers are great examples of supplies to store in both places. Doing so will save students the stress of remembering everything before leaving for school or home and can also reduce some weight in heavy backpacks.

Seek Durability

Stuffed into backpacks, stored at the bottom of lockers, and shuttled between school and home, school supplies take a beating. This can mean ripping and even losing important papers. Seek out items durable enough to store materials for multiple classrooms and functional enough to withstand multiple locker visits More tips to reduce school-related stress can be found at strengthenotstress.com or join the conversation using #StrengthNotStress.

“Stress is a common challenge for students,” says Jessica Hodges, vice president of marketing at ACCO Brands, which builds school supplies based on evolving student needs. “Knowing you can channel stress into something more positive is empowering.”

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