Simplify Homework : Put Supplies in a Caddy

Simplify + Organize Homework - Put Supplies in a Caddy - Clean Mama

One of my favorite kids’ organizing projects ever has been our homework caddy.  It’s a take on the caddies I had at each of my student tables when I was an art teacher.  I loved having everything accessible for my students – it kept them at their spots and engaged in the activities at hand.  Using this same idea, I put together this little caddy with my oldest kiddos a few years ago and every year right around school supply time we assess it, refill it, and get it ready for the next school year.  I posted about it 2 years ago – you can see that post here.

The great thing about a homework or crafting caddy is that it can work for kids of all ages – toddler-high school and beyond that if you are an adult that likes to craft, it can work for you too.  Think of what your kids use daily for crafting and homework and gather those things into one place.  I use a divided cutlery caddy – you can use a bin, a box, a basket, or any other type of container you can think of.  I added mason jars so the kids can grab just one thing from the caddy at a time.  We put the caddy on the middle of the kitchen table for homework time and one kid will grab the markers and the other will grab colored pencils and another will grab a pencil.  For some reason that one step of extra containment works better for keeping it neat and tidy, easy to clean up and put away.  If you don’t want to use glass, use plastic cups for the same idea.

Gather your supplies:

  • caddy/box/basket/bin
  • jars to hold the supplies
  • markers, pens, pencils, crayons
  • rulers, scissors, glue, sticky notes

Homework Caddy - Supplies - Clean Mama

Put your caddy together:

While you’re picking up all the school supplies your kiddos need for the school year, pick up a couple extra boxes of pencils and markers and make a little homework caddy.  I’ve found that keeping homework supplies in a caddy makes  homework time a little easier to start and finish.  My kids come home from school, have a snack, and start in on the homework.  We try to get everything done right away while we’re already at the kitchen table and having a tote-able homework caddy helps us stay organized and efficient.  This year I tweaked the caddy and system and thought you might want to see what I put together.

Caddy - Clean Mama

Then I just loaded it up with the supplies that my kids seem to use on a nightly or weekly basis for homework and crafting – markers, pencils, erasers, glue, Post-Its, and scissors.  I don’t think we’re ready for back to school quite yet, but at least we have our homework caddy ready!

Homework Caddy - Clean Mama

How to Organize a Homework Station

How to Organize a Homework Station via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is a HOMEWORK STATION.  (August’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar is here and September’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  If you have little ones heading back to school or already back, taking a little time this week to think through how and where they’ll do homework will save time through the year and make that potentially stressful time of the day a little easier.  Today I’m sharing a few helpful tips that can streamline this time for you and your kids.

First things first, decide what you need to make a homework station work.  My kids are in the lower elementary grades, so at this time all we need is a simple homework caddy, a place to put backpacks and lunchboxes (a huge basket in the mudroom does the trick), and clipboards to keep pending permission slips and notes on.  If your kids are doing homework on the computer, consider creating a little spot with a computer nearby for completing homework too.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a permanent spot for completing homework – my favorite place for homework is the kitchen table.  I can be making dinner while they’re working on homework, dinner might take a little longer to get to the table, but this is a great place to monitor the homework for us.

A couple things to keep in mind that I find helpful for organizing a homework station:

  • Anticipate the mess and have a plan to make it work.

    When organizing stuff for my kids I tend to think practical.  Yes, it’s fun when a project is super creative and beautiful, but if it will only stay that way for .2 seconds, it’s not worth it.  Keep kids’ organization simple, straightforward, and workable for your kids.  Who cares what it looks like at first if it isn’t workable for your family.  Simple storage is always the best in my opinion.

  • Have project supplies on hand.

    Last minute projects are inevitable.  Now that school supplies are on sale, grab a few necessities and stash them in a closet just in case.  Poster board,  glue, construction paper are the three project necessities we always keep stocked and on-hand.

  • Make it easy to access.

    If the supplies for homework are stored somewhere, make them easy to take out and put away.  Giving kids the independence to get started on homework and put away any supplies will (hopefully) keep the kids in control of homework time.

  • Create a station.
    If you have the space to give, create a desk or devoted area that can stay set up as a homework station.  This will allow for the supplies to stay out and at the ready for nightly homework.  This is especially helpful for older children that need a quiet workspace every afternoon/evening.

What would you add?  What’s your BEST homework station idea?

A Simple Homework Caddy

A Simple Homework Caddy via Clean MamaIf you’re looking to add a little organization in your school and homework days, put together a little homework caddy.  It’s a great way to get your kids ready for school and keep them organized all school year long.

While you’re picking up all the school supplies your kiddos need for the school year, pick up a couple extra boxes of pencils and markers and make a little homework caddy.  I’ve found that keeping homework supplies in a caddy makes  homework time a little easier to start and finish.  My kids come home from school, have a snack, and start in on the homework.  We try to get everything done right away while we’re already at the kitchen table and having a tote-able homework caddy helps us stay organized and efficient.  This year I tweaked the caddy and system and thought you might want to see what I put together.

Gather School Supplies to Make a Homework Caddy

Add Canning Jars to the Compartments to Keep Supplies Separated via Clean Mama

I started with two of my favorite organizing products – a cutlery caddy (from Target, in the seasonal outside entertaining section) and Ball canning jars.  I love having the jars in the caddy because a jar can be removed and brought somewhere else for a project and it just plain looks cute.

Load the Caddy Up with Supplies via Clean Mama

Then I just loaded it up with the supplies that my kids seem to use on a nightly basis for homework and crafting – markers, pencils, erasers, glue, Post-Its, and scissors.

How to Make a Simple Homework Caddy Step by Step via Clean Mama

Schedule Reset + Planner Bundle 2 via Clean Mama

Overwhelmed? Find success in your homekeeping with my latest book, Simply Clean! Dismiss