• Mara Clements

Back to School Prep: Get Organized for Success

Mara Clements

August 19, 2019

There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in going back to school.

I attended a private school, then switched to homeschool, and finally got thrown into public school in 6th grade. (I’m still a little bitter about that.) Transitions are hard for a lot of people, but there can be even more anxiety surrounding a new school, grade, or teacher, and just thinking about walking into the lunchroom to find my friends that first day is already putting me in a cold sweat.

Whether your kids are excited or nervous about their first day back, I want to give you the tools, resources, and tips they can use to ease their tension, inspire their creativity, and keep them on track as the year progresses. 

1. Create a space. If you have the space, create an office, work station, or reading nook for them. It can be in a common area or in their bedroom, whichever would work best for their personality. One of my boys is very driven and can get his work done well in his bedroom. My other son needs a space by our kitchen so we can help him stay on task.

2. Personalize their space. Bring them in on this one! Set up the essentials for them (computer/printer, paper, pens, pencils, etc.) and then take them out to find just a couple things they can add to the space to bring it to life for them. Whether it’s a Pokemon alarm clock or a fluorescent blue lava lamp, it will give them some ownership of the space and get them excited to use it.

3. Set up a Filing System. It doesn’t have to be fancy, even one as simple as this small, desktop system from Magnolia: Magnolia Desktop File that can hold past work, study guides, research, etc. Another desktop piece that can help them stay organized is a hanging, wipe-off calendar and desktop organizer. They can put assignments due that week in the front slot so they’re visible and stay top of mind. Different colored markers for the wipe-off board can help them differentiate between assignments due sooner or later. 

4. Label shelves and drawers. A small bookshelf, desk, and filing system should be sufficient for an organized workspace. Labeling the drawers, bins, and shelves will help your son or daughter put things back in an orderly fashion so they can always find what they need or see when they’re running out of something. A cup with pens or pencils on the desk is handy, but hide things used less often in drawers or bins on a shelf. Designate an area for colored pencils and markers, another for tape, glue, stapler, etc. Have one drawer for paper and notebooks, another for chargers and electronics. 

Organizing and styling the spaces your child will use for homework, studying, and projects will add value to their process. It will help them stay focused because they will fee less overwhelmed by clutter and inconsistency. They will have the opportunity to take on more ownership and responsibility of their space if it is tailored for them and their needs. And finally, assignments will have a much better chance of getting turned in on time. 

Every child and every space is unique. I’d love to know what’s worked for your family in the past and what you’re going to try this coming school year! Put a picture of your child’s workspace on Instagram and tag me @morespace_organizing! I want to see what you’re up to!


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