Organising skills

Different approaches can help your child improve their organisation abilities.

Encourage your child to try some of these things, depending on their age, needs and home situation:

  • Use visual reminders cards with words, symbols, pictures or photographs on, for routines to follow or equipment needed. An example could be a checklist on the front door with days of the week and equipment needed for each day.
  • Develop routines. Have set times for doing tasks, for example, always place the school bag in the same place or empty it as soon as your child gets home.
  • Use organiser boxes, one for each day of the week, where workbooks and homework are put once finished, ready for the next time they are needed.
  • Use feet shapes on the floor to show where shoes/boots are kept.
  • Ask classmates for help, for example, in checking that homework assignments have been noted, to remind your child about books or equipment needed.
  • Divide longer projects into shorter steps, which can be listed, a timescale set and ticked off when done.
  • Learn time management methods, for example, set a time to finish a job, learn to prioritise and not get distracted or jump from one job to another.
  • Set reminders on the computer or phone, using post-its, messages on pin boards or dry wipe boards, notes in diaries or personal organisers or alarms on watches.
  • Use a plastic wallet where anything can be stored that needs to be dealt with, so it's all in one place.
  • Keep all current class work in one ring-binder to cut the need to remember several different books. Check first with your child's teachers, to see whether this fits with their systems.
  • Use highlighter pens to make important things stand out and use paper clips and staples to keep things together.
  • Colour-code equipment, books and other items with coloured stickers, and have a timetable showing the colour needed for a particular time, day or event.
  • Develop a homework timetable showing what time the homework will be done, how long it will take and when it needs to be submitted.
  • Talk through homework before starting it, to check your child understands what needs to be done. Find a quite place to do the homework, free from distractions.


Explain the benefits of being organised to your child, including:

  • more free time to do what they want to do
  • being able to relax and not worry about where things are and what still needs doing
  • achieving more, having better standards of work and future job options when they are grown-up
  • others not moaning or nagging at them.

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