Similar to the start of a new year, the start of a new school year often brings resolutions of it’s own. Some may resolve to study harder, while others may resolve to be more organized during the school year. A way to accomplish both of these new school year resolutions, and much more, is to create what some call a “Drop off station,” and a “Study Zone.”

A drop off station is a spot in the house where all school related material can be placed upon the student getting home from school, practice, etc. However, a drop off station should be used to help limit stress about where school supplies are, and not turned into a war zone of binders, textbooks and pencils. It is used most effectively if it is near your student’s designated study zone.

Study zones are used correctly when they make studying less painful.  A study zone doesn’t necessarily have to be a bedroom, but it should be an area in the house with good lighting, a comfortable chair and where a plethora of supplies can be held.  I am a firm believer in two things when it comes to a study zone: 1) If a study zone is not comfortable or welcoming, it will not be effective. 2) It is OK to have duplicate items in your house. Just because you have a pair of scissors or a trash can in the kitchen, does not mean that you cannot have another set somewhere else in the house. Anything you may need to study or do a project with should be in this designated study zone before your student sits down to study. By eliminating the number of times they need to get up, you maximize study time. 

Often times the hardest part about staying organized and being able to get schoolwork done effectively is not having a designated space specifically for the student. Even if it is just a kitchen table, having a space where you can limit distractions and get work done can make all the difference.

Designating a “drop off station” and a “study zone” can help students overcome many of the stressors that come along with being in middle or high school. This is an exciting time for kids, but also a time that carries a lot of stress and anxiety. We aren’t always aware of all of the stressors in our children’s lives, but by having a space at home that is de-cluttered allows our children to optimize study time and  provides a way for us as parents to help minimize stress in at least one area.  

Remember, being organized doesn’t mean that you keep your room neat or clean. Organized chaos works just as well for some as labeling everything you own does for others. The key is finding what works best for you. Knowing where your stuff is, keeping your schedule, and making your space and time work for you is how you know you are organized.