How to organize your desk for kids

Children can be messy. Between homework, school projects, and your child’s personal creative endeavors, his or her desk can quickly become a cluster of paper, dried glue, and rogue writing utensils. With school season starting to come into full swing, here are 5 easy desk organization ideas you can use to organize and prepare your child’s space for academic success.

1. Get Rid of Clutter

Kids desks can easily pile up with scrap paper, crumbs, dried glue, markers with missing caps, lone crayons, pencils, and pretty much everything that a child can come into contact with. However, this clutter serves your child no good when he or she is working on math homework. Clutter can seriously impact productivity and distract your child from getting his or her work done. Speaking of distractions, electronics are something that nearly every child has these days. However, make sure that tablets and televisions are something that you keep away from your child’s desk, as these can be extremely distracting, and prevent your child from getting work done.

2. Find A Place for Everything

One great way to avoid a messy desk is to have a place for everything. Cubbies, drawers, shelves, and even coffee mugs are great ways to give all of your child’s belongings a home. Furthermore, when your child is done with homework, he or she will know exactly where to put pencils, markers, staplers, and paper. Labels also make a great tool to help organize your kid’s desk. Knowing exactly where everything is supposed to go not only helps initially organize things, but helps keep everything in the right place in the future.

3. Get A Large Calendar

Calendars, especially large calendars, give your child a visual representation of what his or her schedule looks like. In addition to productivity, a large calendar provides a constant visual reminder of what your child’s deadlines are. Sometimes, busy schedules can cause your child to forget about that school project that is due, or the math homework that the teacher assigned a few days go. A large calendar helps him or her increase productivity, by staying on top of assigned work, and prevent procrastination!

4. Get A Comfy Chair

Children seem to be able to adapt to anything. However, an uncomfortable chair can really impact your child’s productivity without you, or them realizing it. When organizing your child’s desk, be sure to include a comfortable chair in their ergonomic desk setup.

5. Get Good Lighting

Ok, great! Your child’s desk setup is coming along, now what’s missing? Light! Having the proper desk lamp is just as important as any other aspect of a productive, ergonomic desk setup. According to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, research shows that the proper lighting improves human performance, as well as mood. No matter which desk lamp you choose for your child’s desk, be sure it produces a cool light to increase productivity and boost his or her mood.

And there you have it! With these easy tips your child will have an organized, functional desk in no time! Still feeling creative? Here are some creative desk decor ideas that we love:

Desk Decor Ideas

Add A Blackboard

Instead of having a wooden surface as your kid’s desktop, try using a blackboard or whiteboard instead. This creative tip gives your child a surface that he or she can take notes on, draw creative sketches, and make personal reminders without the clutter of paper. Not only is this a green option, but its cuts down on clutter and can aid in better desk organization. If making your desk a blackboard isn’t an option, consider adding one by your child’s desk for easy use.

Take to the Walls

If desk and shelf space is limited, take to the walls to place markers, papers, and other supplies. Not only can this be an ergonomic storage option, but wall organizers can be quite stylish.

Add Stylish Small Storage

We have already talked about the importance of minimizing clutter on your child’s desk. You may not want spare pencils hanging around, but you don’t have to settle for just using a mug to hold loose writing utensils. If you are fortunate enough to have a built in desk option or homework station , you will likely have enough drawer and desk space to be able to invest in some fashionable storage items like a rose gold desk caddy or fabric baskets. Make sure your (or your child’s) style is represented in your desk space.

How to Keep A Desk Clean- An FAQ

Completed everything, but still have questions? We’ve got you covered! Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on how to keep a desk clean:

How do I keep my desk tidy?

Organization is the key to tidiness. Creating a home for all of your items is the easiest way to keep everything organized. Labels, cubbies, wall organizers, and shelves ensure that your items all have a home, therefore keeping your desk space free!

Why is it important to keep your desk clean?

A clean desk helps you concentrate. Studies have shown that messy desks impact productivity, so staying organized and maintaining a clean work space is important to staying productive.

What is the best way to clean a desk surface?

From blackboard surfaces to veneer desk tops, each desk surface requires different attention. Here is a guide to cleaning your desk surface.

How do I clear my desk?

When you have a bunch of different items on your desk and you don’t know where to start, try taking everything off your desk and separate items into two piles: “Need”, and “Don’t Need”. Your “Need” pile may include a stapler, pencils, pens, markers, etc., while your “Don’t Need” pile may consist of old notes, scratch paper, etc. From the pile of items you need, create a home for those items in like groups. From the pile of items you don’t need, decide which items can be thrown away, and which should stay. From the items that stay, find a discreet home for them.

How do I clean dust from my desk?

Dusters work great to clear dust from desks. Microfiber cloths work great to clear dust, while products like Swiffer also offers a convenient and fast dusting option to clear dust from your entire workspace.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these easy tips on how to organize your child’s desk. If organizing his or her desk has you in the spring cleaning type mood, or if your kids rooms need more cleaning and organizing than just their workspace, check out our guide to make cleaning fun . These easy tips not only incorporate the whole family, but they also help to clean the whole house!

Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.

Posted on Last updated: January 9, 2016 By: Author Janel

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Is your desk a mess? Most people’s desks are covered with papers, reminders, and office odds and ends. Sometimes there’s hardly any empty space to work! If you think your desk could use some help, check out these five simple ways to help you Organize Your Desk!

I received compensation and samples in exchange for this post.All opinions are my own.

How to organize your desk for kids

5 Tips to Organize Your Desk

1. Use Trays for Papers

Loose paper is the #1 source of clutter for most desks. Most loose papers need to either be looked at or filed, but if you don’t have an organization system in place there’s nowhere for it to go until you decide to deal with it. So it just sits on your desk, taking up space. You can easily fix this by getting trays to hold your papers and having a filing cabinet or box ready. This way, your desk papers can be nicely organized, and take up less space! I use Staples Acrylic Purple Edge Letter Tray which gives a modern feel and doesn’t look tacky or out of place on the desk.

How to organize your desk for kids

2. Give Loose Items a Place

Most people keep an assortment of paper clips, push pins, tape, whiteout, and other small office odds nd ends on their desk. This can quickly turn into a messy pile of office supplies. To organize your desk, take these items out of their original packaging and store them in small divided bins or cubbies. My favorite way to stash office supplies is to re-purpose an egg carton (with a quick coat of spray paint) to make everything easy to find!

How to organize your desk for kids

3. Get a Day Planner

If you rely on Post-its and scraps of paper to hold your reminders, your desk may be messy because it’s covered with tiny papers! Rather than plastering your desk’s surface with sticky notes, consider getting a day planner to organize your appointments and to-do reminders in one place. You can even take your planner with you if you need it when you’re away from home! I have customized an M by Staples Arc System planner to become a DIY blog planner that perfectly suits my unique needs.

How to organize your desk for kids

4. Organize Your Writing Utensils

Is your desk messy because it’s covered with various loose writing instruments? If you want to organize your desk, you have to find a place for your pencils, pens, highlighters, and markers! Make your own writing utensil holders by grabbing some mason jars or making a holder out of a recycled cereal box and some cute scrapbook paper.

How to organize your desk for kids

5. Use a White Board

Sometimes you just need to get things off your desk and onto a wall. Maybe you have an important letter you want to be able to see as a reminder to yourself, or important coupons or paper gift cards. The best place for these things is not on the corner of your desk, but on a white board! Easily organize your desk by taking paper odds and ends and using magnets to put them on a white board near your desk where you can see them.

How to organize your desk for kids

DIY Blog Planner with Staples ARC

To keep organized and on task this year, I’ve built a completely customized DIY blog planner using M by Staples Arc System planner. If you’ve never heard of ARC, you have got to check them out!

It’s a truly genius product!

You take a traditional spiral bound notebook, and instead make it customizable with spiral rings and refill pages that can easily pop on and off of the disks as needed. Plus, the ARC system has a huge variety of different refills to make your planner fit your unique needs perfectly.

How to organize your desk for kids

Here’s how I’m using mine as a DIY Blog planner:

  1. Daily Blog Checklist – Start with a sheet protector with your daily blog checklist. You can then check your progress off as you go through the day with a dry erase marker.
  2. Monthly Blog Checklist – Next, add a monthly blog tasks checklist in a second sheet protector that you can work your way through once a month.
  3. Sponsors Paperwork Folder – Use a pocket divider to easily slip in and out paperwork you receive from brands to help you draft your posts and meet requirements.
  4. Add Dividers to organize your thoughts!
  5. Daily Tasks – Here you can use graph paper and write your post titles/ideas on the far left side – one per line. Then, use the squares that follow to make a checklist of typical tasks such as one column for draft, scheduled, pictures, seo keyword, twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest shares, invoicing, paid, and any other tasks you routinely work through for your posts.
  6. Calendar – Week and month view will help you stay on task and meet your deadlines.
  7. Week and Month Tab – To set goals, jot down reminders, and prioritize my upcoming tasks.
  8. Goals & Review – I use this as a spot to track the big goals I have set for my blog. It is also used to review how those goals are affecting my site in terms of traffic, growth, or monetization.
  9. Brainstorming – Finally, I leave a tab with blank pages where I can jot down my ideas as they come to me and as a go-to spot for when I’m wondering what to post about next.

You could also add spots for tracking your income and expenses, contacts, past projects, and other similar ideas. I’m tracking these items in an excel sheet.

How to organize your desk for kids

My favorite section is my goals tab. It is help by truly making my goals easy to find, review, work on and mark progress!

The M by Staples Arc System is going to help keep me organized this year, especially my desk to avoid that paper pile-up and sticky notes collection!

You can find M by Staples Arc System at or at your local Staples store. They have two sized planners to fit 8.5″ x 11″ papers or half sheet 5.5″ x 8.5″ planner.

What do you do to keep your desk organized?

This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a commission if you shop through my links. Disclosure Policy

Learn how to organize your desk quickly and easily with these 5 simple steps.

How to organize your desk for kids

Does An Organized Desk Seem Out of Reach?

You are surrounded by piles of paper.

When you sit down to work, you need to clear some space.

When you need something you need to dig through stacks of paperwork. And you can barely keep up with paying your bills.

The floor around your desk is piled high with files.

Does this sound like you?

It’s a wonder that you get any work done at all.

A disorganized, sloppy workspace detracts from your ability to focus and get tasks completed efficiently.

Any time spent searching for something is wasted time.

You should always be able to find what you want when you need it.

An organized desk doesn’t have to be a dream.

As a professional organizer, I am not immune to the perils of disorganization – and I’ve certainly been there.

So I know and truly appreciate the feeling of relief and control that I get when everything is safely in it’s place.

Because today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day (no I’m not making this up) here are some strategies that you can use to clear the clutter.

Easy Desk Organization Tips

Get started on your goal of cleaning off that desk with these ideas:

1. Set Aside Time To Organize Your Desk

Having good intentions is great – but it will never happen if you don’t allow yourself time to do it.

If you can’t do it yourself, book a few sessions with a professional organizer to help you.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all in one sitting.

Pace yourself. An hour a day for a week will still get the job done.

2. Prioritize Your Workflow

When it comes to organizing your desk, priority is very important.

Many things on your desk may be time sensitive – bills are due, appointments that you can’t miss, etc.

So, while it may be tempting to tackle the tallest pile of paperwork first, you need to be strategic about how you go at it.

In fact, dealing with the biggest file can actually be a form of procrastination. You may be intentionally or subconsciously putting off things that you know need to get done.

So, if you don’t prioritize, the process of organizing your desk can have the opposite effect and make you feel disorganized instead.

3. Sort Your Desk Clutter Into Piles

Keeping priority in mind, divide your desk clutter into piles.

The first pile should be your high priority items – things you need to deal with right away.

The remaining piles can be grouped by task:

  • to read
  • to file
  • to scan
  • to shred, etc.

4. Tackle One Pile At A Time

Once all your clutter is properly divided, the next step towards your goal of an organized desk is dealing with each pile.

Deal with your high priority items first, doing whatever needs to be done to clear that pile.

Next, deal with each of your other piles – one at a time.

For example, you can do all your filing at once, and then in your next desk organizing session you can do all your scanning.

An important tip: If something on your desk requires several steps to make it go away – it is actually a project.

Do NOT tackle your projects in your designated organizing time.

Instead, you can create a file folder for you project and set aside a time in the future to do that project. Don’t get sidetracked right now.

5. Get Some Desk Organizers If Needed

A place for everything and everything in its place.

That old saying still holds true.

You should have a place for all of the types of paper, information, and office supplies that you deal with daily.

Sometimes, time is short, life happens, and the clutter creeps in.

If you have a designated place for everything, you will be able to deal with those piles in a matter of minutes.

There are many cute desk organizers, trays, inboxes, etc. to choose from. (Like this linen set at The Container Store)

But make sure the one you pick is functional.

Before you go shopping, take stock of the items you need to store, and buy one that fits your need.

A Bonus Desk Organizing Tip

Set Up Multiple Inboxes

The “catch-all” inbox seems like a great way to clear clutter in a hurry.

Sure, your desk will look clean and tidy.

But seriously, you’ve just transferred your mess from your desk into a box.

You’re still not organized.

Creating a few (as in 2 or 3) inboxes is a better idea. (This stackable set of inboxes on Amazon is an example of what I am talking about.)

The strategy is to put different types of information in each box.

These are the three that I like to use:

  1. Bills and time-sensitive information – this is the inbox for urgent matters, things that you must deal with right away.
  2. Reading – this is the inbox for articles, magazines, newsletters, and other papers that you want to read.
  3. Everything Else – this is the inbox for documents you need to file, scan, shred, pass onto others, etc.

As information crosses your desk, you can quickly place it one of these 3 boxes.

Then allow yourself time each day/week to deal with each inbox.

Your bills will be separated so you can pay them on time.

Your filing will happen because you have a pile that is ready to process.

And you have reading materials at the ready that you can grab for the train ride home, or to read on your lunch hour.

More Home Office Organization Tips

  • Clean off your computer desktop with this helpful article.
  • Find tips for organizing your digital clutter here.
  • 10 Fancy File Cabinets to Dress Up Your Home Office
  • The Best Standing Desk – Autonomous Review

What is Your Biggest Challenge?

What is the biggest desk organization challenge? What are some of your strategies for dealing with the clutter?

How to organize your desk for kids

Whether you’re new to homeschooling or a seasoned veteran, getting organized is essential. Use these helpful homeschool organization tips and hacks to keep you on track and stress-free!

How to organize your desk for kids

A year ago – even just a few months ago – almost no one would have imagined where we are today.

With schools getting ready to start back up, families around the world are finding a different scenario than they faced just one short year ago.

Many schools are choosing to take advantage of remote learning (online homeschool) or implementing some sort of hybrid schedule where kids go to school some of the time and learn from home some of the time.

Juggling homeschooling duties (often for multiple children!) as well as work and household responsibilities can feel daunting, especially for moms who have been thrust into homeschooling their kids for the first time!

Whether you are normally a full-time homeschooling mom, or you have to dive in headfirst (while also working from home) due to current life circumstances, use these helpful homeschool organization tips to help you stay on top of everything.

13 Insanely Useful Homeschool Organization Ideas

I don’t know about you, but when our workspace is disorganized, I cannot function at optimum levels.

With school for most children containing at least some element of remote (homeschool) learning, I knew it was time to get our learning space in order!

Check out these helpful organization tips designed to get you ready for the start of the new school year and keep you in tip-top order all year long.

Vertical Storage With Cubbies | Confessions of a Homeschooler

Homeschooling involves using a plethora of supplies. Give every item a home within your home without taking up a ton of space by using vertical cubbies.

This Expedit unit from Ikea is perfect and allows you to organize all the supplies by each child!

How to organize your desk for kids

Workspace With Storage | Saving Talents

Storage is the key to homeschooling.

Honestly, many homes don’t have enough room in them to dedicate an entire room to learning. That’s why I love utilizing multi-purpose furniture like these desks that double as cubby storage.

How to organize your desk for kids

Designate a Space | Midwest Modern Momma

No matter how big your homeschool space is, make the effort to create a dedicated space for homeschooling.

The kids may have to work at the kitchen table, and that’s ok. You can still find a space (even a corner!) to keep and store homeschooling supplies.

Set a Consistent Schedule | Any Reason Life

My first mistake as a homeschool mom was to not set a schedule. I thought “we’ll be flexible and adjust as the day goes on”.

Huge mistake.

By not setting a schedule, I practically set myself (and my kids) up for failure. Without a schedule, we didn’t accomplish anything! This basic schedule helped me get back on track.

Glass Jars For Holding Manipulatives | Your Morning Basket

What’s a homeschool mom to do with all the dice, math blocks, and mountains of other small manipulatives?

Glass jars work wonders for keeping them organized, off the floor, and still visible so they are easy to find when you need them.

How to organize your desk for kids

Schedule Regular Breaks | Pint-Sized Treasures

Fact: Kids can only focus for so long before their brains “turn off” and they start becoming very distracted. Help reduce those periods of distraction by scheduling in regular, short breaks!

10-15 minutes of moving around in between subjects can make the difference between organized learning and chaos.

Supply Caddy | Confessions of a Homeschooler

There’s a reason that teachers have supply caddies all over their classrooms. Those caddies make it easy to organize those items that kids use all the time in their classrooms:

  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Erasers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Buy one. Use it. You’ll be so glad you did.

If you like a desktop carousel more than a caddy/tote, that works well too!

How to organize your desk for kids

Organize Papers With Binders | A Quiet Simple Life

Homeschooling comes with a lot of papers: schoolwork, grading, planning, and other creations. Keep it organized using 3-ring binders!

This system is simple but very effective.

Color Coordinate By Child | Life As Mom

Are your kids dependable when it comes to writing their names on their papers? Nope? Mine neither!

Buy coordinating binders, folders, Post-It notes, copy paper, in different colors – one color for every child.

That way, you know with a simple glance whose work you are looking at without guessing whose handwriting on each paper.

How to organize your desk for kids

Attach Photos of Cubby Contents to the Front | Raising Lifelong Learners

This tip works well both for playrooms and homeschooling young children who can’t read yet!

Take a photo of the contents of a cubby or box and attach that photo to the outside so that small kiddos know where to put things when cleaning up.

How to organize your desk for kids

Keep Books Easily Accessible | An Off Grid Life

Your kids will be using their homeschooling books every day, so they need to live in a place that the kids can easily access. That can be on a shelf, in a cubby, or in a drawer.

Whatever you decide, I recommend having it be in a place that naturally reduces clutter (ex: NOT on top of a desk).

Homeschool Closet | Kosher on a Budget

If you really want to stay organized, you have to have some sort of supply closet or cabinet. This is for those items that you don’t use often and homeschool books that you don’t use every year (even if you have back-to-back kiddos).

How to organize your desk for kids

Use a Planner | Organized Homeschool Mom

Hands down, if you want to stay organized throughout your homeschool year, you need to use a planner. This free planner is a lifesaver.

Teach your kids to use a planner to help also teach them responsibly.

There you go! With these 13 tips from experience homeschool moms, you can quickly get organized and stay that way all year long.

Desk organization is so important when school and college starts. The new school year begins and kids have already been back to school. They are probably a bit anxious and displeased for going back to that boring homework-class-assignments routine from the summer fun and exciting outdoor activities. So, it’s your turn to ease the transition by helping them with all the organization tasks and school routine. If you’re looking for dorm room organization tips, look to our dorm checklist here.

Back to School: Kids Desk Organization Ideas

How to organize your desk for kids

A clutter-free and organized back to school workstation will encourage your kids to spend more time on their desk. Check out these back to school desk organization ideas for your kids. Desk organization begins with the right tools and school supplies.

Browse through our school supplies selection on Burlap and Succulents to get your child’s room ready for the school season.

Desk Organization: Separate Boxes for Separate Items

Boxes are good for any organization project. Use separate organizing boxes for different types of items to avoid mix up. For example, one box for unfinished assignments, another one for books, a third one for finished homework, and a fourth one for project files will keep the desk clean and functional. You can also use labels to mark which box contains what. Your kid does not need to turn over everything in the room anymore to find out a particular assignment or a project paper.

Desk Organizers are Essential

Kids always mess up with their pencils, pens, chalk, markers, and crayons. As a parent, I guess it is very regular for you to pick them up from the desk, chair, floor, and sometimes from the bed! Well, use pen holders or pencil cups to keep the desk from overflowing with pencils and crayons. You can also affix the pencil cups to the wall. It will keep the desk surface clutter-free and prevent the tip-over.

Try our Desk Organizer from Burlap and Succulents Shop to keep pencils and pens neatly organized.

Desk Organization and Wall Organization for Kids’ Supplies

A pegboard attached to the side of the desk or to the wall above the desk will help your little one to stay organized. You can use it to hold all the geometry tools, a chart for upcoming school events, a study routine, or study materials. Also consider hanging hooks or pegs to hang clipboards.

Look through our school supplies like these clipboards for hanging kids’ homework, chore lists, and more.

Wall pockets can be used for holding study materials too. Simply, affix them to the wall with one or two nails and store stuff like rulers, scissors, sharpeners, erasers, pencils, etc. Bigger pockets can even be used for holding rolled papers.

Keep the Collectibles on Display

Kids love to collect and it will be a great inspiration for them if you can find a displaying place instead of stashing everything in drawers. Use retails shop-bought wall rails to keep the photos and keepsakes pinned up. The small items like coins, marbles, shells, stamps, etc. can go into glass-fronted boxes. The collectibles on the display over the study desk will make your kid interested in spending more time on the desk.

These fresh ideas for back to school desk organization will create a clutter-free desk for your kids. They will find a lot more fun in doing homework and studying. Setting them up a workspace with all of their favorite things on display will also help nurturing their creative sides.

If you’re thinking YOU could use desk organization tips too, take a look at Lifehack’s 20 DIY Desk Organization Ideas to help you.

Do you have any back to school organization tips to share with us?

Whether it be at work or at home, things can easily pile up on your desk, causing tons of clutter to take over your working space. From papers to kids’ artwork to bills, things can always pile up on your desk because that is the landing place before things get filed or paid. But what easy ways can you keep your space tidy? I have some tricks on how to keep your desk clutter free!

How to organize your desk for kids

How To Keep Your Desk Clutter Free

This post is in promotional partnership with Quartet. All thoughts and ideas are my own. Some links may contain affiliates. For more, see my disclaimer.

Go Paperless

Are you one of those people who collect Post-It notes with your thoughts or ideas or to-do lists?? Why not try using a Quartet Desktop Glass Pad. The glass pad acts as a dry erase board but it is at your finger tips. Jot down notes that you would typically do on a Post-It. Then wipe off once you finish.

This will help eliminate lots of extra papers surrounding your desk! Plus the Quartet Desktop Glass Pad has a side compartment to hold extra whiteboard markers and paper clips.

How to organize your desk for kids

Desk Organizers

In order to create a clutter free desk, everything needs a home. To create ample storage, use a desk organizer like the InterDesign Cosmetics Organizer for notebooks and notepads. In the drawer, you can store my stamps and return address labels!

You can also add more drawer storage to your desk by using something like a 3 drawer Organizer from InterDesign. Keep pens, paper, and tape inside the drawers for easy access but keep them contained and clutter free from your workspace.

Open Filing

Another easy way to keep your desk clutter free is to create an open filing system. This is a system where you don’t have to open a drawer or take off a lid to file your papers. Something like filing boxes and magazine holders to hold file papers, that can sit on or near your desk. Then just drop the paper into the magazine holder or open filing box before it makes its way to your desk. This is an easy tool on how to keep your desk clutter free.

How to organize your desk for kids

Landing Zone

Finally, create a landing zone for papers you need to file or deal with. A landing zone can be anything from a tray to a basket. By keeping your papers contained, you are limiting the amount of paper clutter that is piling up on your desk. Plus, it makes storing paper more manageable since it is all in one place.

How to organize your desk for kids

Learning how to keep your desk clutter free just takes some thought. Grab yourself a Quartet Desktop Glass Pad to write notes and lists instead of Post-Its. Use desk organizers to keep things tidy on your desk by giving everything a home. Create open filing so you can file papers before they land on your desk. And create a landing zone for those papers that need to be dealt with before filing. For more on desk organizing, you can read this post.

Inside: You’ll find 50 ideas on how to organize art supplies in your homeschool so they don’t take over your space.

We have a small house and when you add homeschooling in, it seems to shrink even more.

It doesn’t help that I’m a sucker for school materials. The biggest issue is… art supplies!

I know this is a problem for other homeschoolers too. So how do you tame the beast?

I’ve put together 50 ideas on how to organize art supplies to help win the battle.

How to organize your desk for kids

*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, The Unexpected Homeschooler may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read full disclosure policy in the menu.

Table of Contents

Tips for Organizing Art Supplies

1.Before you purchase fresh supplies for the year, pull out everything you own and take inventory. This keeps you from buying repeats, over purchasing, and helps figure out what you’ve run out of.

2. Keep similar items together- This just makes sense, unlike the grocery store that puts things in the most unlikely places so you have to wander around looking for them.

3. Use clear containers or put labels on ones you can’t see through so you know what’s inside.

4. Put small items into small containers and then store those inside a larger container.

5. Throw out old, broken, or dried up supplies. Why do we hang on to these? It’s like your husband and that favorite t-shirt that’s tattered and worn with holes in it. Get rid of them!

6. Have a paper scraps box. You won’t keep wasting a whole sheet of paper every time you need some, and it will save you the frustration of jagged pieces of paper sticking out from the front of the construction paper pad (where you tried to store them) every time you pull it off the shelf.

7. Choose rectangular or square containers instead of round one because they are easier to store and take up less space.

Looking for a way to help your child keep track of her schoolwork? These tips for building systems and routines really make the grade.

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How to organize your desk for kids

We sometimes forget that our children juggle time and projects as much as we do. As early as second grade, children are expected to hand in homework without reminders and to keep track of their belongings. Planning and organization are hard for any child, but especially so for kids with ADHD. By working with your child to build systems and routines, you can help him go from clutter to control.

Tools for Teachers

Hand out a detailed syllabus. During the first week of school, outline the sequence of topics and textbook chapters that will be studied during the semester, along with due dates for projects and tests. Even if the dates change, students are able to plan for them.

Work with students to make a binder that mirrors the syllabus. Ask students to label dividers by chapter or units to be covered, and to create a divider for reference material for each unit. Use the binder’s front pocket for assigned homework, and the back pocket for completed homework.

Be flexible about organizing. Many children with ADHD are visual processors, so key to that strength. Organize school materials on open shelves that are labeled. Kids with ADHD find things by seeing a picture in their mind, rather than by remembering the name of a folder in a file.

Use color coding to help students get organized. Teachers of different subjects should meet and choose a color for each subject — green for history, red for math. All handouts and assignments should be printed out in the subject color, so the student can easily organize his papers by class. Or, within the same class, use one color for reference sheets that need to be kept (periodic table, formula sheets, paragraph guidelines, syllabus), another color for daily assignments, and a third for tests or quizzes.

Post assignments in a prominent and permanent place in the classroom, as well as on the school website. This allows students to access information if they missed it when presented. Provide assignments for the week, when possible, so that students can be aware of expectations and manage their time accordingly.

When a student is absent or sick, put her name on handouts and other materials and post them in a designated spot, so she can easily find them when she returns.

Accentuate the positive. Give bonus points or some reward for improved organization skills, and reward your disorganized students when, upon request, they are able to quickly locate a certain book or paper in their desks.

Schedule regular cleanup times. Set up times for students to clean out their lockers — at least once a month or, preferably, weekly. Help students get rid of non-essential papers, and indicate the papers that need to be saved for the midterm and final.

Pointers for Parents

Set up an “everywhere binder.” This is a loose leaf binder containing a hole-punched planner and a zippered pouch for pencils, markers, highlighters, and extra paper. The binder goes to every class with your child, so he has what he needs.

Designate a place for completed homework. It could be put into a clear plastic protector clipped on the outside of the class binder or into a separate homework folder. Use Post-it notes to indicate the exact location for completed homework. Your child has not finished his homework until he has put it in its special place.

Keep the homework table uncluttered. Students with ADHD should work on an uncluttered desk or clean tabletop. Keep a basket or box on the floor next to the desk/table, so that papers and books are accessible and visible. Place a computer on a separate desk or table.

Complete a large monthly white board calendar of your child’s activities. Use a different color for school, extracurricular activities, family, friends, community, and fill in the calendar with commitments for each. For school, list tests and project due dates. This will help the child organize her time as she sees her commitments and tries to meet the deadlines.

Divide your child’s room into activity areas — sleeping, studying, dressing, doing homework. Decide which items go in each area. Sort items within an area and label containers or shelves. Helping your child get organized at home helps him practice his organization skills and prevents him from losing materials.

Organize items where they are used. If your child likes to draw in a particular place in the house, have him store his drawing equipment in a container in that room.

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