Many homes or rooms don’t have dedicated space for a homework station. Fortunately, a small nook or corner in a space such as a family room can be transformed into a design-smart homework station with plenty of storage. The key is to streamline: Look for a desk that has built-in storage for supplies that can quickly get out of control, such as pencils, notebooks, and other necessities.
File folders and binders are the lifeline of smart storage in a homework station. Invest in some pretty patterns and plain versions, as well as labels and file dividers. If your kids aren't in the smartphone stage yet, use a written calendar that they can refer to for a reminder about activities and schedules. Tap into wall space by hanging a corkboard big enough for notes, to-dos, and mementos.
If your kids have enough space in their room for a dedicated homework station, you can add spots of decorating personality for individual pop. In lieu of a desk, try a table with a fold-down leaf. Make up for lack of drawer storage with open shelves and pretty containers to keep office necessities close at hand. Scale storage to the size of the table, too: A three-tiered stand stashes paper clips and pushpins, handy for the corkboards over the desk.
Storing and organizing are learned skills, and helpful office supplies can make it easier for your kids to develop good habits that help them with homework. Clear binders and alligator clips are great tools to store different projects, and a tray helps to corral loose items, too.
Paring down essentials to what you really need and use makes it easier to keep on top of homework station supplies. Open shelves stash a few necessary books, and jars keep markers and pencils separated. Four small hooks have just enough space for scissors, tape, and a ruler, hung with pretty ribbon ties.
Many people think “homework station” equals “desk and chair.” While it can, a homework station also works with a much more casually assembled collection of furnishings and supplies. This bookcase, soft seat, and table would be equally at home in a family room as it is in a child’s bedroom. The key is to offer spots to store items that are needed -- pens and pencils or folders, for example -- as well as a work surface and amenities to help take the “work” out of “homework.”
A written calendar can complement an electronic device for storing necessary dates, meetings, and reminders. Binders, too, are a good way for kids to store necessary notes; invest in some attractive and useful file dividers to separate and store work by classes.
Handouts, papers, and permission letters are a storage conundrum for many families. A useful solution is hanging pockets, labeled by person, to store reminders and signed pieces. Choose a different color or pattern for each family member.
Kids who keep stashes of paper and notes may require more closed door storage in their homework stations. A desk with a few drawers of different sizes is a good solution. This option has a pullout work surface in addition to four drawers that accommodate supplies, notebooks, and file folders. In place of a ho-hum corkboard, cut letters (traced with stencils) of your child’s name to hang above the desk. Hooks for items such as headphones keep pesky cords off the desk’s surface.
Simple tricks such as color-coding files may help you and your kids stay on top of homework station storage. Dedicate different colors to different subjects or different years, and help your kids purge what they don’t need to keep at the end of the term.
Visible reminders can help kids stay on top of storage-focused tasks. Here, a perpetual calendar and timer in bright green offer fun punches of color that coordinate with the rest of the space.