By the time kids head back to school, the return to routine after either having them underfoot or racing to and from camp all summer may be more than welcome. Not so much the nightly homework squabbles and related piles of worksheets and permission forms.
Clare Kumar, an organizing expert and mom of two, says it’s a good idea to create an efficient homework area to control that clutter and help things go smoothly when it’s time for your kids to get down to business.
“Setting up a well-organized, uncluttered homework area for kids is important because it minimizes distractions, enabling them to get to work more quickly,” says Kumar, founder of organizing company Streamlife. “All the tools they need to complete their work will be at their fingertips, saving time and avoiding interruptions to go and search for things.”
A small shallow box with essentials like pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, glue and staple removers makes things easy to find without a frustrating dig through a jumbled basket or junk drawer, she says.
“Determine how your children will work. If they are using textbooks, notebooks, paper and pens, you’ll need ample work surface so things can be spread out comfortably. If they are using a computer, pay attention to ergonomics when choosing a desk, chair and accessories. If your child is comfortable, they will not only be more productive, they will be able to avoid repetitive strain injuries,” says Kumar.
You may not have room for a dedicated homework desk, but there are other ways to ensure your kid’s math homework doesn’t add up to a whole lot of clutter on your dining room table. We’ve rounded up some great ideas from the crafty and organized moms of the Internet. Here are some of our faves.
We love this great Ikea hack from the clever mama behind Smashed Peas and Carrots. She took a $50 kitchen cart named Rasog and kitted it out with everything her kids could possibly need to have on hand to complete their homework. What’s great about this is its portability. If your kids do their homework at the kitchen table, just wheel it all away when it’s time for dinner. If you are lucky enough to have a proper homework desk, this homework station keeps everything off their work surface.
Here it is in all its handy and organized glory.