10 Secrets to Organizing Your Student


One of the key ingredients for success in life and school for most students is to develop good organizational skills. Naturally some are more organized than others. Anyone can help a child put routines together to become more organized. Here are some ideas that you can apply to your child’s daily life so that it stays under control and is more productive. They are also important life skills that your child can use throughout their life.

Use a To-Do list.

By having your child keep a list of assignments, chores around the home, reminders about items to bring to school, homework to do, etc…they will have a    sense of accomplishment as they cross off completed tasks.

Designate a place for your student to study.

A quiet place with little distractions is where your child will most likely be productive. Be sure and have school materials and supplies close by. If your student is younger it would be good to have them close by so that you may monitor their progress.

Designate a study time.

Have a time every day that is reserved for homework and studying. Usually right after school is not the best time because your child will usually want a snack   and some time to unwind. Ask your child for their input when deciding on the time of study and then make it their routine.

Homework assignments need to be organized.

Encourage your child to do the assignments in the order in which they are due. It’s best if they can start with one that is not to difficult and save the harder and longer assignment for last.

Do a weekly clean-up.

Each week you can encourage your student to sort their notebooks and backpacks. Important papers like tests can be stored in a separate file at home.

Organize student notebooks.

Help your student keep better track of their papers by separating their notebooks with divider inserts that have pockets. Label each divider according to the subject. It is also a good idea to have a “to do” folder and a “done” folder to help organize and keep completed items or papers that need to be signed by parents as well as notices or worksheets.

Have a master calendar.

Having a large calendar for the whole household will help keep track of all the activities that need to be done and will help eliminate scheduling conflicts. Note the days that your children have tests or projects due. Also list extracurricular activities, school holiday’s, family commitments, and any other major family or school event.

Have a household schedule.

By establishing a regular homework time, dinnertime, and bedtime, your child will fall into a pattern at home. It’s important that they are well rested before going to school. Limit television and computer play to specific times as well.

Offer your student support.

While your child is learning how to develop organizational skills it would be helpful to photocopy schedules and checklists and hang them on the refrigerator. Be sure to gently remind your child to fill in the calendar dates and to keep their materials and papers organized. It’s also important to set a good example.

Prepare for the next day.

In order to keep each morning run smoothly it’s helpful for your student to pack their schoolwork and books into their backpack before they go to bed. You could take this a step further and ask them to lay out their clothes, socks, accessories and shoes too. I sometimes ask my children what they would like to eat for breakfast the next day and have found that helps things go smoother as well. Be sure and ask them if they will be buying or taking a lunch to school so that you can prepare for that as well.

One of the key ingredients for success in life and school for most students is to develop good organizational skills. Click To Tweet

Originally posted by Basic Organization team member Tracy Wells.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Julie Stobbe on September 23, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Number 7 – have a master schedule was very important in our household. The brilliant thing about it is as time goes on children can see when a parent will be available to help them with homework or a project or a task and the child starts to schedule the parent.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 23, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      I love it! We used a family calendar as well, but I don’t remember them scheduling me. It does help teach time management and scheduling to kids.

  2. Seana Turner on September 23, 2019 at 8:18 am

    We focus on teaching our children so many life skills, but as you point out, we tend to overlook the organizing skills. This is a shame, because a solid foundation in how to organize your time, space and belongings can really help you “get through” whatever life may throw your way. It isn’t only about helping them be successful in school, but really about being successful in life!

  3. Janet Schiesl on September 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    You are correct Seana. Organizing is a life skill. Learned early it can benefit you forever.

  4. Linda Samuels on September 24, 2019 at 10:40 am

    These are all such excellent ideas for helping our kids learn organizing skills that will help them throughout their lives. I remember when our daughters were growing up, they rarely liked working at their desks. Instead, they tended to want to be close to where I was and that often meant working on the dining room table or in the living room. Perhaps it was a form of body doubling, but it seemed to work. And I liked being nearby in case they needed help or encouragement.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 25, 2019 at 8:32 am

      Hi Linda. My kids tended to change from year to year where they did their homework. I just went with it. Whatever worked for them and my guess is that they were experimenting to see what they liked best.

  5. Janet Barclay on July 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Having a master calendar was a must when our kids still lived at home. That way we always knew when we had to plan meals around activities, be available for driving, etc.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 29, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      We did the same. Our master calendar was a white board that lived on the side of the frig. Everyone would write on the calendar. It worked well.

  6. Sabrina Quairoli on August 20, 2020 at 9:34 am

    I love that you included “Have a household schedule.” This is one area that I dropped the ball on when my kids were younger. But, now they do a lot more as young adults.

  7. Janet Schiesl on August 21, 2020 at 8:42 am

    It’s a good idea to start them early!

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