Being disorganized can be a real roadblock to success, says Donna Smallin Kuper, personal organizing coach and bestselling author. On the flip-side, being organized can really help you shine!
Get rid of stuff you don’t need
The toughest part of organizing is getting rid of the clutter, but it can also be the most satisfying! If you’re like most kids, teens and adults, you have a lot of clutter! Old papers and scraps, half-used notebooks, pencils without erasers, mechanical pencils without lead, and random things you kept for some reason or another all clutter up your space and are pretty easy to get rid of!
Some people like to go drawer by drawer and get rid of things. Others like to empty everything out, surround yourself with it and go through it that way. Either way, arm yourself with the following:
- A big trash bag
- A bag for recycling
- An empty French memo board, pinboard or corkboard
- A calendar
- Desk organizers (more on that below!)
- An empty box
Then, go through your things. Throw out or recycle anything broken, used up, or too dirty to use. Like old pencil cases that have already served their purpose, broken crayons or dried out markers. If you have announcements or reminders for things like try-outs, practice schedules, or special events, note the date and time on the calendar, then recycle or file the paper.
Got pictures, postcards or ticket stubs you want to keep? Arrange them on the French memo board or cork boards. Place things you want to keep for display like Japanese erasers, random 3-D items like origami cootie catchers and other stuff in the box. You’ll decide how to display that later, but it doesn’t belong on your desk! For all the school supplies, scrap paper, note cards and important items you need for your desk, place them in piles and read on…
What you should have at your desk
Your desk is your work station. Your command center for school. When organizing your desk, “think of how you would organize if you were in a real office,” Donna suggests. Folders, desk organizers, and hanging files keep major corporations organized so they should be more than enough to help organize your school life! Of course, most teen room décor doesn’t match the usual black and metallic office décor, so see this as an opportunity to add to your room theme. “You can get pretty folders from a place like officecandy.com – sweet and sassy online organizing products. Or M by Staples has colorful patterned file folders and you just need to label them,” Donna suggests. Pottery Barn Teen has loads of great organizing products for your desk, locker or room.
Martha Stewart, the organizing guru, posts the following must haves for your desk on her website: “a calendar for upcoming school events, an "in" box for unfinished assignments, and an "out" box for finished homework to be checked by Mom and Dad.”
Make your own desk organizers
If you don’t want to shop for supplies, it’s easy to create desk organizers from things you have at home. Cut cereal boxes in half diagonally using sharp scissors or a box cutter (carefully, people, do this carefully!) and you have two boxes that hold important papers, workbooks, notebooks or other 8 1/2 x 11” papers. Clean out cans and take off their wrappers – instead of recycling them, they can be used as pen and pencil holders. Jewelry boxes can be used to hold paper clips, rubber bands or erasers, too. Cover them with colorful duct tape, scrapbooking paper or decoupage them with magazine cutouts to fit your room décor and interests.
Have a system
Keep your life organized as much as possible with a calendar. It can be electronic and live on your computer, on your phone, online or it can be on a dry-erase board or a store-bought calendar. The easiest ones to use have a week or month per page and have enough room to write in everything from upcoming assignments and tests, practices, games and after school activities and appointments. Every day when you get home from school, note new important items in your calendar.
Recycle as much paper as possible. When you come home with notes or announcements, most are not meant to be kept forever. Note the information, then recycle or file the paper. For things you want to keep, post them on your pinboard or memo board and keep them off of your desk.
At the end of every marking period, empty your notebooks of things you don’t need and file them in folders for easy access when you need to reference them and study for finals.
Most importantly, whatever system you create, be sure you make it easy to stick to and then stick to it! Good luck!
One of the toughest things about being in school is getting all of your homework done on time. After a long day of classes and any after-school activities you might have, you just want to go home and relax or hang out with your friends… you don’t want to go back to doing schoolwork! It’s easy to procrastinate, put it off, and eventually just forgo doing it altogether.
It’s even easier to do this when you aren’t organized. If you don’t know when your homework is due, or what homework is due when, or where your books or pens are, it’s going to make getting things done that much harder. On the other hand, if you keep things neat and tidy, it will be much more simple to finish your homework efficiently. Maybe then you’ll have time to relax… while getting good grades. Here are 15 homework organization tips to make your life easier:
1. Create a homework station. Having one set space to do your homework will make it easier to do it. Use this checklist when setting it up.
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2. Use these tips for ideas on what to include in a homework station at your desk.
3. Make this DIY caddy to hold all of your stuff in one place.
4. If you don’t have a spare desk to use, just create a homework station on a magnetic board on the wall.
5. You can create a mini homework station on a pretty tray. It’s easy because it can be portable too.
6. Make a homework station turntable that’s easy to navigate.
7. Get a little plastic file cabinet and give each class it’s own drawer. Put all of your stuff for each class in it’s specific drawer. It will make it so much easier to find everything.
8. Create a goal list for when you want to get your homework and studying done. Use post-it notes so you can change it up every week.
9. If you’re easily distracted, create a homework station on a trifold board.
10.Make a dry erase board for each class to write down all of your assignments.
11. Dedicate an entire dresser to your school books, supplies, and notebooks so that nothing gets lost.
12. Make a binder notebook super organized and carry it everywhere.
13. Put up a corkboard in your room so you can stick up important things you need to remember.
14. Buy and print out these calendars to stay organized all year long.
15. Or learn how to properly use a planner or agenda.
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful? How do you keep your homework organized? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments.
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Posted in: School
Tags: get good grades, homework, how to organize, school tips