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How to Organize your Desk

Being disorganized can be a real roadblock to success, says Donna Smallin Kuper, personal organizing coach and bestselling author. On the flip-side, being organized can really help you shine!

Get rid of stuff you don’t need

The toughest part of organizing is getting rid of the clutter, but it can also be the most satisfying! If you’re like most kids, teens and adults, you have a lot of clutter! Old papers and scraps, half-used notebooks, pencils without erasers, mechanical pencils without lead, and random things you kept for some reason or another all clutter up your space and are pretty easy to get rid of!

Some people like to go drawer by drawer and get rid of things. Others like to empty everything out, surround yourself with it and go through it that way. Either way, arm yourself with the following:

  • A big trash bag
  • A bag for recycling
  • An empty French memo board, pinboard or corkboard
  • A calendar
  • Desk organizers (more on that below!)
  • An empty box

Then, go through your things. Throw out or recycle anything broken, used up, or too dirty to use. Like old pencil cases that have already served their purpose, broken crayons or dried out markers. If you have announcements or reminders for things like try-outs, practice schedules, or special events, note the date and time on the calendar, then recycle or file the paper.

Got pictures, postcards or ticket stubs you want to keep? Arrange them on the French memo board or cork boards. Place things you want to keep for display like Japanese erasers, random 3-D items like origami cootie catchers and other stuff in the box. You’ll decide how to display that later, but it doesn’t belong on your desk! For all the school supplies, scrap paper, note cards and important items you need for your desk, place them in piles and read on…

What you should have at your desk

Your desk is your work station. Your command center for school. When organizing your desk, “think of how you would organize if you were in a real office,” Donna suggests. Folders, desk organizers, and hanging files keep major corporations organized so they should be more than enough to help organize your school life! Of course, most teen room décor doesn’t match the usual black and metallic office décor, so see this as an opportunity to add to your room theme. “You can get pretty folders from a place like officecandy.com – sweet and sassy online organizing products. Or M by Staples has colorful patterned file folders and you just need to label them,” Donna suggests. Pottery Barn Teen has loads of great organizing products for your desk, locker or room.

Martha Stewart, the organizing guru, posts the following must haves for your desk on her website: “a calendar for upcoming school events, an "in" box for unfinished assignments, and an "out" box for finished homework to be checked by Mom and Dad.”

Make your own desk organizers

If you don’t want to shop for supplies, it’s easy to create desk organizers from things you have at home. Cut cereal boxes in half diagonally using sharp scissors or a box cutter (carefully, people, do this carefully!) and you have two boxes that hold important papers, workbooks, notebooks or other 8 1/2 x 11” papers. Clean out cans and take off their wrappers – instead of recycling them, they can be used as pen and pencil holders. Jewelry boxes can be used to hold paper clips, rubber bands or erasers, too. Cover them with colorful duct tape, scrapbooking paper or decoupage them with magazine cutouts to fit your room décor and interests.

Have a system

Keep your life organized as much as possible with a calendar. It can be electronic and live on your computer, on your phone, online or it can be on a dry-erase board or a store-bought calendar. The easiest ones to use have a week or month per page and have enough room to write in everything from upcoming assignments and tests, practices, games and after school activities and appointments. Every day when you get home from school, note new important items in your calendar.

Recycle as much paper as possible. When you come home with notes or announcements, most are not meant to be kept forever. Note the information, then recycle or file the paper. For things you want to keep, post them on your pinboard or memo board and keep them off of your desk.

At the end of every marking period, empty your notebooks of things you don’t need and file them in folders for easy access when you need to reference them and study for finals.

Most importantly, whatever system you create, be sure you make it easy to stick to and then stick to it! Good luck!

 

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Comments

awesomeminchie
nice
commented: Tue Jul 08, 2014

nerdpower

nerdpower wrote:

Very neat
commented: Fri Aug 23, 2013

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

NEAT
commented: Fri Jul 12, 2013

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GlimmeringSky16
Break down her door, get all your stuff, smash a flower vase, trot out the door yelling "BYE FELICIA!" and don't forget the hair flip.  (: this is how I make friends and never lose any 
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Starflyamme
Starflyamme posted in Friends:
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staystrong123
staystrong123 posted in Friends:
This is really true and sad... Many teens, have a problem with this because of society. This post helps. I have had problem with suicide and bullying. Ive felt like I should just end it because I have no point to be here because I'm being told I'm worthless, to fat, to dumb, not pretty enough, all tons of lies and i got to the point that i believe them. I'm an outsider in my school. It fells like a lot of people leave me.  I fell pain a lot. and There is bullying going on in my school. Life fell mean less a lot. I have to remind myself that I do have a point and that people do love me.  I know know I do have a reason to live and so do you guys so  Don't ruin you're life. You're to young.  You're to worthy. The bully are just jealous of you. Don't self harm tonight. Don't comment suicide. You all are worth A lot I promise. People love you. Don't worry about hatters. The hatter are gonna hate but lovers are there to help you trough the pain and if you did comment suicide imagine how they'd fell. Thanks for posting this it really helped me and really could've saved a life:) :) Bullies are just having problems themselves remember that!!!! Stay strong everyone!!!
reply about 12 hours
jordand08
"supernaturalblackcat" wrote:I know i have depession and i have been to the doctor for it. It's starting to get to that point again for the 3rd time this year that i want to be alone. It feels like no one cares about me at school. I really can't trust anybody either. I started to quit eating at home and at school only eating snacks every now and then. I am also losing Weight. I used to get called fat and i wasn't even fat. I have been abused by people who say my butt is smexy and huge and it's not. I have even been slapped on by them. I tell my mom and dad that i've been called fat and my dad ignore's me and continues whatever he's doing. I'm getting to the point again where i'm losing my temper and emotions right on the spot. I can't be bipolar cause it has to run in the family and my mom says i don't have it. People get mad at me when i don't laugh at their jokes when they expect me too cause i really don't listen. But when i say something funny they roll their eyes and give me mean looks. I don't even want to be around people that much. I just want to be outside in the fresh air during school but it's high school so their's no outside time. I also fake smile's at people to make them happy. But i just hurt on the inside. I just want advice.  Hi there. I'm sure you have people who care about you at school, just sometimes it's hard to see it. Dear, you have to eat. I assure you, you're not fat. (smexy isn't necessarily a bad thing)  You have to understand, that people say things just because they can, or to make themselves feel better. Never give them that opportunity, just ignore them. When you're about to lose your temper, think of something that makes you really happy.  If you need someone to talk to, you have your guidance consular, trust me I have social anxiety, and reallly hate talking about my problems, I find it easier for me, to message them. It's their job to listen, but not only that, they really care for all of their students. Talking helps, believe me.
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jordand08
"lion2a3" wrote:its beacause well people at shcool act like your friends but know deep inside i just dont have friendsand then theres bullies some picks on me for no the only place i can be myself KW so should i do suidce also im 11 No Ma'am you shouldn't. Things happen for a reason, normally to make others stronger. Trust me, nothing is worth taking your own life. If you need to talk I'm here, however I would suggest you talking to an adult.  Friends come and go. you have family, and if not, you have me, Trust me, it's not worth it. please, don't. 
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