Essential Kids Desk Organization Ideas for Busy Students (and Parents!)

kids desk organization ideas

As our kiddos approach the final months of the academic year, it’s important to reassess their organizational skills and study habits. One final push before summer, friends!

After a long year fraught with pandemic shutdowns and quarantines, some students are finally back in the classroom; yet some remain in virtual learning for the remainder of the academic year. Staying organized helps all kids regardless of their learning situation, but it’s especially important for remote learners.

As a mom of four, I’ve come up with a system that works, and I want to share some of my favorite kids desk organization ideas and tips with you!

Why is it important for your kid to organize their study space?

Perhaps your child wants to lounge in bed or chill on the couch when they study. Is that the best way to focus and maximize learning? When it comes to research on study space and productivity, findings are mixed.

If your child learns best while lounging in bed, do what works for you! No need to fix what isn’t broken. I worried my teen daughter wouldn’t be able to remote learn in her messy room, but I was mistaken. There is no one-size-fit-all when it comes to kids.

Wherever your child chooses to study, it’s important they claim their space.

There are benefits to studying in an organized space:

  • It makes learning easier and faster for kids.
  • There are fewer distractions.
  • They (and you!) can keep track of incoming and outgoing assignments.
  • It helps students stay on track.
  • It’s easier to identify what supplies need to be replenished throughout the school year.

See How to Create an Amazing Home Study Space for Your Tweens.

kids desk organization ideas

Kids Desk Organization Ideas

A Designated Study Space & Comfortable Chair

A desk makes studying easier and keeps kids focused because it simulates a school environment. Again, they don’t have to sit at a desk if that doesn’t work for them!

If your child sits at the same desk, table, etc., it helps to keep their homework and study area consistent in order to establish a routine and specific place to go to study every day.

In recent years, standing desks have grown in popularity. The good news is they’re no longer as expensive as they were when they first came out. There are lots of considerations to make when considering which desk might be best for your child.

If you find your child gets antsy and distracted while sitting at a desk, consider a standing desk or a balance ball chair to help them get the wiggles out.

Organizational Tip #1: Purge paper to keep desks tidy and clear! Place a small trashcan near your child’s study space so rubbish doesn’t collect. Set a recycling bin in a common area and instruct your child to place old papers in it at the end of each study session.

Book Carts or Crates

Simple book crates can be stacked to hold books, folders, and school supplies. These are inexpensive, lightweight, and portable. Your kid can slide one under their desk or study space so it’s out of the way when they don’t need it.

kids desk organization ideas

Another option is a book cart. These carts are sturdy, multi-functional, and have a large storage capacity. Hands down, book carts are my top pick for kids desk organization ideas! They’re so versatile that you can use them for just about anything! (I purchased one for my own books as well.)

Tabletop Organizers & Drawer Organizers

Now that you’ve set up a study space for your child, you’ll need a few basic supply organizers.

If your child’s study space doesn’t have drawers, consider a simple tabletop organizer or utility tote. Store all of your at-home supplies in these. That way your child doesn’t panic when they can’t find markers or colored pencils the night before an assignment is due.

If your child’s study space has drawers, simple drawer organizers do the trick.

The point here is to have everything ready to go for study and homework sessions.

Organizational Tip #2: Carve out organizational time on the weekend. For instance, on Sunday, take 20 minutes to straighten desks and clean out backpacks. Start every academic week with a clean slate. There are ways to get your child organized at all ages!

Pencil Cases

If your child’s school is hybrid this year, or if they are bouncing back and forth between in-school and remote, a collapsible pencil case is a lifesaver.

My middle schoolers don’t have lockers this year due to covid, so the school requires them to carry all of their supplies in their backpacks. I invested in collapsible pencil cases that make finding supplies easier for my kids. Simple hard pencil boxes do the trick, too!

Electric Pencil Sharpener

Invest in a high-quality electric pencil sharpener. Over the years, we have invested in dozens of sharpeners. Save yourself the hassle and purchase a good one!

Or go old school and install a wall-mount sharpener in a common area of your home. It’s messy, but it won’t die on you.

Organizational Tip #3: Designate a space in your home for overflow supplies. Keep extras of everything on hand. Posterboard. Tri-folds. Report covers. That way you aren’t running out to OfficeMax the night before a big project is due!

Dry Erase Boards

If your child is in elementary or middle school, they’ll be using dry erase boards often. You can mount them on the side of your child’s desk or study space, or stash them in a book crate or cart.

You’ll also need dry erase markers and an eraser. An old sock does the trick just as well! Remind your child to clean these daily because they get super grimy!

kids desk organization ideas

Wall or Desk Calendar & Academic Planners

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love crossing off the days on their wall calendars! Honestly, there are 100s of styles to choose from here. Let your child pick the one they love the most and hang it near their study space. These are the heart of kids desk organization ideas!

If your child is old enough to have homework, an academic planner is a must-have, especially for middle school aged kids. Once the homework starts increasing, they need to have a system in place for them to stay on track.

Organizational Tip #4: Think outside the “office.” Repurpose what you already have to organize your child’s study space. For instance, old mason jars make excellent pencil, pen, marker, and colored pencil holders. Reusable silicone baking cups can hold paper clips, erasers, rubber bands, and binder clips.

For Parents: Expanding File Organizers

Expanding file organizers are an inexpensive way to keep track of your child’s day-to-day paperwork. If you’re anything like me, stuff can go “missing” fast. I keep my file organizer in the kitchen, so that when the kids give me important paperwork, I can store it in a place that’s easy for me to locate again. Not only do you need kids desk organization ideas, but you need ideas for your own space as well!

Also, I invested in a dozen simple artist’s portfolios to store my kids’ artwork and creative writing (the stuff I want to keep for good). Label the outside of a portfolio with your child’s name, and toss in the academic work you don’t want to toss.

Organizational Tip #5: If your child comes home with a permission slip or test for you to sign, do it immediately and ask your child to put it back in their take-home folder. This is the only way to stay on top of multiple documents coming in and going out of your home!


How much time do your kids lose trying to find what they need for studying and homework? How much time do you lose by helping them sort through the chaos of their study space every day?

Get organized, establish a workflow, and keep important accessories handy. It will make your parenting life easier!

By teaching your child to organize their desks, you are teaching them to organize their lives. I hope these kids desk organization ideas help you. Your kids will carry the organizational tips you teach them to college and their first job!

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