9 "Back to School" Items for Adults Who Love School Supplies

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adult school supplies

The Spruce / Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Amazon

Let's face it: Going shopping for school supplies was always one of the best parts of late summer. As a kid, I looked forward to those yearly trips to stock up on folders, composition books, colored pencils, and other goodies. After selecting the supplies I would use, I'd be sure to go home and immediately arrange everything neatly in my backpack so that I would be 100 percent prepped for all that the school year would hold.

As an adult, my days of shopping for school supplies (at least for myself) are over, but that doesn't mean that I can't get a bit creative and use this time of year to pick out a few new-to-me office essentials to make the everyday a little more fun. If you just can't rid yourself of the back to school shopping bug, I've got you covered with nine standout pieces that are adorable, budget friendly, and honestly super useful!

U Brands 3ct Poly Document Holders with Snap Cover Pastels



Gone are the days of flimsy paper folders that barely last a semester...these plastic cuties are here for the long haul! Use them to stash away important receipts, medical documents, or home-related info—they couldn't be more adorable or affordable!

Papier Joy Daily Planner



Remember how you absolutely swore by your paper planner in high school? These days, you may do most of your planning digitally, but you have to admit, there's nothing as satisfying as physically jotting down important dates or flipping back to see all you've accomplished. This planner can be customized with your name or initials on top.

Anthropologie Elin Layered Notepad



Make that to do list in style with a notepad that you most definitely won't mind displaying on your desk at all times (how cute is that scalloped design?!). Grabbing a pen and crossing off everything from pesky errands to major work projects is always rewarding, no matter how old you get.

Pen+Gear Retractable Gel Pens, Assorted Colors, 24 Count

gel pens


And speaking of pens, it's time to toss those conference freebies and pick up some writing utensils that will actually bring you joy, even on the dreariest of work days. These may even bring back fond memories of trading gel pens in homeroom.

Simple Modern Lunch Bag for Women, Men, Work



Bringing your lunch to the office will help you save that hard earned money and may result in healthier meal choices, too. While picking out a lunchbox isn't quite as exciting as it was when you were five, there are some pretty great adult appropriate options on the market, we have to say. We're partial to this classic polka dot pick.

BAGGU UO Exclusive Astrology Puffy 16” Laptop Sleeve

laptop case

Urban Outfitters

There's nothing worse than placing your laptop in a tote bag only to find out that your water bottle spilled all over it during your commute. Minimize the risk of damage to your precious computer by placing it inside a stylish laptop case like this one.

Yeti Rambler 20-Ounce Tumbler

Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler


When you were a kid, you may have purchased a new water bottle at the start of the school year, but now that you're an adult, you may need to invest in a new to go tumbler. Yeti tumblers like this one remain fan favorites and are known for being BPA-free and for keeping liquid nice and hot for hours on end. Pick a color that speaks to you, there are plenty of bold options.

H&M Makeup Bag

makeup bag


You may wish to keep some backup makeup products and first-aid essentials in your desk at work so that if you're ever in a pinch, there's no need to spend time running out to the drugstore. Keep everything tucked away in style by ordering a cute makeup bag that will fit hair ties, lip balm, bandaids, ibuprofen, and other go to products. This one will be easy to spot in your desk drawer.

ZEYAR Highlighter Pen, Cream Colors Chisel Tip



Highlighters were always fun to use back in school, and these days, we still love 'em (and they've gotten even more aesthetically pleasing, TBH). These minis come in less severe, muted hues—see ya later, neon yellow.

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