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how to organize child's desk

Organizing A Child’s Desk

Are you looking for a way to organize your child’s desk?  Check out these ideas, which are simple to set up, and easy for children to maintain.

Make It Colorful

Consider using various colors to keep the desk organized and cheerful.

Take It Off The Desk

The key to having a neat and orderly desk for a child is to keep the top of the desk clear and free.  Plan to have 4-5 items that remain on the desk.  Everything else will need another home.

Desk Child - Top

In this example, we chose to leave the following items on top of the desk:

  • Bin for twistable crayons
  • UConn Huskies Piggy Bank
  • Three drawer bin for markers
  • Laminated desk blotter with map of the U.S.
  • Crayon caddy

Now it’s time to find a place to store all of the other desk items.

Get It On The Wall

Use your wall space to display:

  • Certificates and awards (swimming lessons, kindergarten graduation)
  • Calendar
  • Pictures from sports teams (little league, soccer)
  • Pictures of family members
  • Child’s art work

Store Items In Bins / Baskets

Pens, pencils, and other supplies can go in bins or baskets inside of the desk.  We have one bin for regular pencils.  There is a second bin for colored pencils and a pencil sharpener.

Desk Child - Bin for Pencils

You can find great bins and baskets at the dollar stores.  Or, when shopping for holiday gifts, select items that can be used again as storage containers.  For example, we have a great sports themed pail that we received at Easter.  We keep our painting supplies in it now.

Use Plastic Storage Unit For Markers

A small plastic storage unit with three drawers is helpful when you have a lot of supplies.  We use our unit for markers.

Desk Child - Label Drawers for Markers

There is a drawer for thin markers, thick markers and washable markers.

Desk Child - Markers

Use Hanging Folders For Paper

Paper can also go inside one of the desk drawers.  Consider using hanging files with labels.

Desk Child - File folders

For our file systems, we used the following colors:

Red – Paper Toys: This folder stores toys to play with.  It includes paper airplanes and “paper footballs.”

Yellow – Blank Paper: Construction Paper and White Paper for drawing

Green – Finished Work: We adopted this system from school.  All finished drawings that we want to keep go into the green folder.

Blue – Cards and Notes from relatives and friends

Purple – Stickers

By tucking paper items in a drawer, it helps to keep the desk free and clear.  The hanging folders make it easy to locate items, and simple to put things away.

Organize Crayons In A Crayon Caddy

For some reason, putting crayons back in the box doesn’t work at our house.  Instead, we found that having the crayons in a caddy actually works better.  The kids can see all of the colors, and it’s easy to clean up.  Our caddy has a handle on top, so it’s easy to carry the crayons to another room.

Crayon Caddy


Keys To Maintaining A Clean Desk

Keep it simple: You’ll want to keep things simple, so that your child can stick with it.  By keeping things simple, it will be easier for your child to maintain.

Label Everything: Be sure to label all of the bins, baskets, folders and drawers so that your child will know where to return items.  It’s much easier to put a colored pencil back in the correct basket when it is labeled “colored pencils.”

Be flexible: Organize the desk, and use the systems for a few weeks.  Remind your child to clean up when finished with a project.  Be willing to make changes if one of the systems isn’t working.

Happy Organizing! 🙂

Here are a few additional articles you may find helpful:

How to organize crayons

Getting Organized with a Label Maker

Organizing children’s books

Need even more ideas on organization?  Checkout out our toolbox for more tips on organization: Organization Toolbox