Good organization and study skills go hand and hand, leading to academic success. And these skills start at home. Kids take their cues from their environment early on. The ability to be organized is something children learn while growing up. All it takes is an organized household to lead the way. That’s why organizing your home for back-to-school is so important. You can provide the setting to help your child flourish in school. All you need to do is get schedules, routines, and organization systems in place. Your child’s success might be just a closet away.

Time to Get Organized!

Child greets family at door with back-to-school message in mudroom
Organizing your home for back-to-school benefits the whole family.

There are lots of studies demonstrating the relationship between organization and success at school. Most problems (late work, unprepared students, lax attitudes) relate to students who are not organized for learning. Just take a quick look at the desk or locker of a student with bad grades. You’re guaranteed to find books and papers in a disorganized jumble with no semblance of order. That’s why it’s so important to get our kids organized. Teach them how to bring order to their lives. Once learned, these skills will spill over into everything they do. And the results can be astounding.

Just like most everything else, the ability to organize starts at home. That’s because kids are most malleable when young. Impress the right habits from the start. Put things away when you’re done using them. Give kids a designated place near the door to store their backpacks and gear so they always know where they are. Set up routines they can count on. Make schedules and stick to them. Designate a quiet place for homework and study. It may seem like a lot at first, but once you get going it becomes second nature.

Put things away when you’re done with them.

Girl's bedroom with organized closet
This child’s bedroom closet uses double-hang closet organizers to create twice as much hanging space. Having adequate storage makes it easier to stay organized.

Don’t let your home become one big junk drawer. Put things away when you’re done with them. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many households lack this basic skill. That’s because it’s easier said than done. The key to getting it right is having a designated place for all possessions. And the storage needs to be convenient. That’s where good closet and organization systems can help. It’s especially important if you live in a smaller home or with a lot of people. Stuff gets messy fast in crowded conditions. Then chaos ensues. But you can fix it. A well-designed closet organizer system can double your storage space. That will make it easier for all family members to put things back where they belong when they’re finished using them.

Create a nook for your child’s backpack, jacket, and other supplies near the door.

Back door mudroom organization system with cubby for each child.
This family of five replaced their closet with a mudroom cubby system. Each family member gets their own nook for jackets and a purse or backpack. A drawer below the cubby holds small essentials like extra pens of school supplies.

If you want your children to be organized at school, you must first keep them organized at home. Create a private nook for their jackets, shoes, and school gear near the door. A small cubby just for them is more effective in keeping kids organized than a large, shared closet. Many families are replacing the traditional closet with mudroom organizers that feature hooks for jackets and backpacks rather than hangers. This works because hooks are much more likely to be used by children than hangers. The cozy “open lockers” of the mudroom also provide a place to sit down and put on shoes. Many include a drawer or basket for gloves and small school supplies. Children can be taught to put completed homework assignments directly into their backpacks. This system makes it easy for everyone to grab what they need during the morning rush with no fears of forgetting anything.

Designate a quiet place for homework and study.

Cloffice desk created from a closet for quiet study.
This small desk area was created from a closet. The “cloffice” creates a dedicated nook for studying and doing homework that is out-of-the-way, yet close enough to the family activity if the student needs help.

What happens after school is often just as important as what goes on in the classroom. Make sure your kids have a designated place for homework. With an older child, this often means a desk in the bedroom. For younger children, space in or near the kitchen usually works better. That way, they are close to the rest of the family and can receive supervision when necessary.

But your child’s work area should not be the kitchen table unless you never use it for eating and can truly designate it as your child’s desk. Find a separate spot where projects taking several days can be left out. Convert a closet near the kitchen into a desk area or set up a study space in an adjoining room. My own daughter used our formal dining room for school projects throughout grammar school. It was close to the kitchen and family room but just far enough away to keep distractions at a minimum.

Create a routine and stick to it.

Organizing for back-to-school success includes setting a daily routine
Organizing for back-to-school success includes setting a daily routine.

Children thrive by routine. That’s why organizing your home for back-to-school success includes creating a schedule for your family. Then stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can never make exceptions to the agenda. But your kids should know what is expected of them and when it is required. They’ll learn to keep and respect deadlines. They won’t be confused and will understand the consequences of not completing schoolwork in time. This ability to take responsibility for their performance and act in a way that ensures the best result is a lifelong skill they will use long after their school days are gone.

The importance of organizing your home for back-to-school.

Poor scholastic performance often leads to placements in classes with lower expectations and less academic education. Furthermore, students who never shape or settle schoolwork may not develop the skills to organize tasks and activities later in life. This not only affects classroom performance but often spills into employment problems when they become adults. Employers expect their employees to have basic organizational skills.

Don’t let your kids be short-changed on their schooling. Organize your home for back-to-school success. You can do it when you lead by example. From your kitchen cabinets to your drawers and the insides of your closets to the routines you set for yourself and your family — it all affects your family’s overall organization. Clean up, clear out, and start a schedule. Then watch your children flourish.

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