I see a lot of kids whose good-intentioned parents buy them a whole pile of school supplies, only to find that by week two, their book bag is a mess, and they are using none of them. Seriously, these kids have 20 folders, binders, pens, highlighters, dividers, and composition notebooks but absolutely no organization! Does this sound like your kid? If so, here are some back to school organization tips to try:

For the very disorganized student, try one binder

Trust me; even if his teachers ask for something different, they will prefer one binder where he can find his papers to having to make ten copies of the same worksheet or never seeing assignments again. However, if you are unsure, you could run this idea by the teacher before you implement it. By the way, I know what you are thinking, and I am not talking about one of those binders that absolutely no elementary student can even lift up it is so heavy, with the velcro! Do not get that!

  • Buy: one sturdy three-ring binder that is no bigger than 2 inch, a two-pocket hole-punched folder for each class, loose-leaf paper,a pencil case with holes, a hole punch that fits in a binder, and a planner that is hole punched.
  • Pick a color for each subject. Separate the binder into sections for each subject, using the folders. Label each folder with the name of the subject. Designate a pocket on each folder for “homework” and “work to be turned in.” Place notebook paper in each section.
  • Put the pencil case, agenda, and hole punch in the front of the binder.

Color Code

Buy book covers for each textbook that are the same color as the folder for that class. Making everything for each class the same color will make it easier to grab the correct items quickly. Kids can also highlight homework in their agenda, for that class, in that color, making it easy to grab the correct textbooks before heading home.

Clean Out Regularly

Set a regular time each week to go through the binder and also check on grades/work completion online. This will allow your student time to put papers in their place, get rid of trash, and complete missing assignments before they pile up and become overwhelming. Papers that are from a previous unit or nine-weeks grading period, should be taken out of the binder and stored in a color-coded file folder at home incase they are needed later to study for a unit test, midterm or final exam.

Click here for more information about our study skills tutoring options: http://parrishlearningzone.com/study-skills-and-organization-tutoring/

Study skills and organization are one of the biggest reasons that students struggle in school.

Is your student having trouble studying efficiently, managing their time, reading textbooks, or taking notes? Parrish Learning Zone offers study skills tutoring for all grade levels. Study skills tutoring is provided through individual tutoring, small group tutoring, and in special one-week Study Skills Boot Camp sessions. In study skills tutoring students will learn how to:

  • set manageable goals
  • determine their learning style
  • take notes from a textbook, PowerPoint, or class lecture
  • study and memorize material for tests
  • manage time and schedule out short and long-range projects and study time
  • organize papers, personal space, and binders for maximum productivity
  • strategies for getting more out of fiction and non-fiction reading assignments

Contact us and get your child organized today!


-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Owner | Parrish Learning Zone, LLC


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