What words come to mind when you think of someone who is disorganized?
The words may include: scattered, confused, forgetful, puzzled, bewildered,
absentminded, frustrated, messy, jumbled, etc.
Do these words paint a picture of an effective and successful student?
What words come to mind when you think of an effective and successful
student? Neat, orderly, together, calm, accomplished, capable, prepared
Organization skills are developed and learned over time. Once these skills
are learned they save us time and energy. The key is to develop simple
routines. The more you simplify your life, the more efficient you will become.
Things we need to keep organized: Materials for school, Locker, book bag,
extracurricular supplies- sports bags, scripts, etc, home filing system, our
room, our homework space, our time
Questions to consider:
What do I need everyday?
How do I store the everyday items?
What is my organizational system for my papers and binders? Locker?
Book bag? My room? Homework space?
Helpful hints for papers, papers, everywhere!
Take time to put papers where they need to be. What do you need to
have to make this happen?
Avoid keeping papers in a textbook.
Have a folder or binder system that works for you.
Label, label, label!
Experiment with what works for you.
Papers and Binders
Using binders efficiently
Filing systems that work- color coded folder/binder system
o Right and left folder sides (assignments not graded, graded
Homework folder.
o This folder goes to class and home every day.
o Have a portable 3 hole puncher
Locker- helpful organizational hints
Keep trash out of your locker
Figure out the best way to store books and binders (color-coding,
arrangement, use of shelves). Use shelves to best divide available
Place things you will need for homework on the top shelf or in your
backpack as you stop at your locker at break or lunch.
Use post it notes or a dry erase board and marker to write reminders
on the locker door for the end of the day.
Remember cluttered space = cluttered minds. Identify places for your
possessions and try to keep them in place. Having control of your clutter is a
wonderful feeling, instead of the clutter having control of you.
Book Bags
Never put loose papers in your book bag. Use a homework folder or
homework binder.
Be sure to check your bag for what you need at the end of the school
CREATE A CHECKLIST. Be sure to check your bag before going to
bed to be sure you are ready for the next school day.
LIGHTEN THE LOAD - Clean out your backpack once a week. (On
Sunday nights when you are filling in your planner)
Bring in photos of your rooms and homework space.
Your room:
When your room is organized you are more likely to keep track of
assignments and be more efficient with homework, getting ready for school
and doing anything else. You will have a greater feeling of control in your life.
If you put what you need in one place, you only have to look in one place.
Once organized you can stay organized.
1. Remove the stuff you don’t need.
a. Categorize
i. The Trash box- garbage
ii. The Donations box- used clothes, t toys, things in good
condition that you no longer use that can be donated
iii. The Storage box- things you want to keep but do not
need to store in your room.
iv. The Somewhere else box- for items that belong
somewhere else in the house. Collect them and deliver
them to the correct place.
2. Group Similar Items Together
a. Gather similar items and find a logical home for them.
i. Thinks about CDs, DVDs, stuffed animals, trophies and
awards, notes and pictures of friends, sports equipment,
music equipment, school supplies and your home filing
system, books, computer and electronic devices, clothes,
supplies and materials for hobby, other
3. Find a place for everything
a. Think about under the bed
b. Think about using the top of tall bookshelves and dressers
c. Think about the top shelf of a closet
d. Get a bulletin board for photos, notes, special mementos,
i. Keep your desk and dresser top free of clutter
e. Consider a trunk at the end of your bed
f. Plastic crates for books, cds, school supplies, electronics, etc
Your study space (complete the survey)
1. Keep a box or basket with school supplies that can move easily with
you. The box should contain pens, pencils, stapler, tape, paper, ruler,
pencil sharpener, scissors, index cards calculator, dictionary and
2. Make your space comfortable. Be sure you have a good seat, proper
lighting and a clear desk. Working on your bed is not ideal. You will be
more efficient at a desk or table.
3. Consider playing soft classical music. Studies show that Baroque music
helps you concentrate. It is calming and minimizes distractions.
4. Create a home filing system for school notes and papers from each
trimester. Have folders for each subject clearly labeled. Consider
a. Keeps papers together
b. Provides easy access for review
c. Keep papers until report cards or exam
5. An ideal work area is quiet and structured.
6. Avoid having things at your work area that could distract you.
7. Place your computer to one side on your desk
Before the next class:
o Create a list of what you do in a day hour by hour.
o Then move to a weekly schedule listing all activities you do in a week.
(Checklist page 40-41 Learning to learn- Gloria Frender)