Back to School Tips: How to Create a Homework Station

Today I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite Back to School Tips, How to create a homework station! If you like this post then you may also enjoy this FREE Printable Back To School Shopping List! 

Back to School Tips and Tricks- Create a homework work station on the kitchen table for the kids... easy to move out of the way when you don't need it


DIY Homework Station and Back to School Tips:

Let me first say that me and organized don’t usually belong in the same sentence, but for 3 school years now this system has totally worked for me, so that’s gotta say something. If it works for me I’m guessing it will work for you too. I’m not one of those “super organized” moms who always seems to know what’s going on. I’m more a “doing my best” mom who occasionally forgets things but tries really really hard!

I have 3 kids, one that is off to college and twin middle schoolers. Over the years we’ve evolved how we handle homework in our house. We have discovered that what works best for us is to have everyone working at the kitchen table together. Then mom and dad are close by if they need help and there are fewer distractions.

Back to School Tips and Tricks- Create a homework work station on the kitchen table for the kids... easy to move out of the way when you don't need it


This however created a problem in the kitchen.  It seemed I always had pens, pencils and paper all over the table even after they were done. When it was time for dinner it would drive me crazy since there was nowhere to eat!

A couple of years ago, I got the idea to create a Homework Station on my kitchen table.  Everything they need to be contained in one place and it’s easily moved out of the way when needed. This homework station takes the place of our kitchen table centerpiece, but I’m totally ok with it! I actually find myself using items from it quite a bit.

This year to help with the back to school organization,  Martha Stewart Home Office, with Avery sent me a box of supplies! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them as soon as I got them. Pretty up that homework station!

How to Create a Homework Station:

Items Needed:

(this post contains affiliate links)


ONE: Magazine File:


The first thing I did was add a file box to the station this year. I used a Magazine file and my VERY FAVORITE product the chalkboard labels to create a “Things for Mom to sign” box on the table.


Back to School Tips and Tricks- Create a homework work station on the kitchen table for the kids... easy to move out of the way when you don't need it

You see we frequently lose important papers like field trip permission slips, school directories etc.

This way all those items get put in the file, one folder of things to sign and one folder of things I’ve already signed.  I also plan on putting some of our math help sheets in there too so they are close at hand.

Back to School Tips and Tricks- Create a homework work station on the kitchen table for the kids... easy to move out of the way when you don't need it

TWO: Miscellaneous Items

  1. Pencils in Mason Jar
  2. Sticky Notes
  3. Paper Clips
  4. Mason Jar with Pens
  5. Scissors
  6. Erasers
  7. Post It  Flags
  8. Ruler

The rest of the station has a variety of items, including pencils, pens, highlighters, erasers, and sticky notes.  Also in the pile are the Color Coding tabs which are perfect to use to mark places in books, textbooks and binders. My kids love to use them as they study to mark where they left off or things they need to come back to.





Actually #3 is a tip. Leave this out on your table for it to be the most effective. I ended up putting all of our supplies into cute containers and got a nice tray from IKEA to hold them all. It will look nice on your table (who doesn’t love bouquets of sharpened pencils?) and it will be easy for your kids to get what they need.


Okay, now help me out a bit. What are some of your favorite Back to School Organization Tips? Just leave them for me in the comments section!


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Make homework time easier by creating this moveable "Homework Station" on your kitchen table. Includes all the things kids might need when they are doing their homework.



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  1. It makes me happy when I am organized and these supplies are great. I especially like the Removable Dry Erase Weekly calendar and I will incorporate this into my quilting studio! Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I have to have my son’s backpack packed and his lunch ready to go the night before. That way in the morning we just grab and go.

  3. We pack all lunches the night before, so in the morning we’re only worrying about breakfast. As long as we remember to grab the lunches, we’re in good shape!

  4. I don’t have back-to-schoolers, but I always need organizational help. One thing that works for me is keeping a year’s worth of monthly calendars in a binder, plus a planning calendar for the following year. Helps me keep my budget on track.

  5. I think I need to go buy that weekly calendar. I get overwhelmed with a huge month long calendar and tend to just walk right by it instead of actually looking at it. My phone calendar works okay, but I tend to forget to add things to it.

    I have no tips, but I sure would love to figure out how to deal with all the paperwork that comes home! 🙂 Thanks Melissa.

  6. I love this idea! I SO need help with organizing the school papers, etc. I have these old mailboxes that I’d like to spray paint and put up to hold IN papers and OUT papers, but I just haven’t fond it yet. Not sure if it will just make a big mess!

  7. I love the idea of a homework station. We are in the thick of a kitchen update. Our living space is packed with kitchen stuff. So this would be perfect for our third grader. Thank you for the chance to win a little back to school shopping spree.

  8. Pinned to my “kids” board…I think you got it all covered! These are the things I am constantly looking for and cleaning up. This is worth a try!

  9. Always make sure your kids have their backpacks ready to go and their clothes sitting out for morning so all the need to do is eat breakfast and off they go.

  10. We have that same MS weekly calendar on our kitchen magnetic/dry erase board. I LOVE it—every Sunday it makes me take the time to review our week and consolidate our different calendars/schedules. I also use it to plan meals, etc. I also love wiping it all away at the end of the week:)

    I’m going to try the homework station. I’d love to hear where you put it when they’re not doing homework. Thanks.

  11. We have a monthly calendar on our fridge, definitely a necessity! We also have clothes picked out and back packs ready the night before. LOVE the homework station idea!

  12. I love that your homework station can just as easily be out away. I homeschool but would love for papers that need checking to go in the magazine file. 🙂

  13. I need all the organizational help I can get! i like to start the night before for the next day. even if its just a plan, it helps me the next day. my first is in kindergarten this year so im kind of new to all this:)

  14. What a great idea, I am going to do this for my girls because they seem to constantly need me to find something for them before they can do their homework. I think a calculator would be nice on there too.
    My best tip is that as soon as homework is done they have to get their book-bags ready for the next day & by the door and then add shoes once they pick out their outfit at night. Makes mornings so much simpler.
    And I pinned your first picture to my great ideas board:)

  15. Hmmm, I’m not the most organized person, so I don’t have any tips. But I do have a kitchen counter in my new house that will be the perfect homework space, so I appreciate the tips on organizing it! Especially the “sign it” folder. Those papers are always lost in our house.

  16. We color-code the folders, pens, pencils, etc for each child. It helps keep things organized on the table during homework time.

  17. Love the ‘homework station’ concept…my favorite is the jar filled with pencils! You can never have too many pencils with two children in elementary school doing homework and this is the most simple & attractive way to provide several at their disposal!!!

  18. Love this idea!!! My 3rd grader needs a place for homework and this would be easy for him to switch tables with!!!

  19. Great idea! I have a basket on a bookshelf in the dining room for pencils, rulers, etc., but it doesn’t work as well as maybe having a “homework center” so accessible.

  20. I love that my kids use a planner. I just started using my husband’s old Franklin Covey and I love it!!!

  21. As a practically broke 25 year old heading back to school for the first time in five years I could so use this!

    My best tip is instead of having a binder or notebook for each CLASS, have one for each DAY of the week. That way, you can have a three subject notebook for each day, and at the end tear out all the notes that correspond to the same class and make a set of notes. You have less to carry and it doesn’t break your back OR the bank (five notebooks for seven classes versus seven notebooks is a savings of like 10.00!)

  22. I am so doing this right after I get off the computer. So far I have a drawer close by with school supplies in it, but I love the way the pencils look in the mason jar.. now I will have a purpose for the ones I have saved!
    My tip: While I stop in the kitchen and get a snack ready, I have the kids go immediately to the bathroom, then wash hands. They are able to settle faster that way.

  23. I bought a big bin that holds my son’s bookbag and anything else that needs to go to school. It is so easy to drop an item in the bin when I think of it and know that it will make it into school. Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Lunches made the night before is so helpful! I love your “to be signed” box. Those papers always get shuffled around at our house, so I am doing that! Thanks.

  25. Love the sign here idea, that one is huge for me, the idea of a station gives everyone a place to go to. We have six in school hopefuly I can make this work for us.

  26. Great idea! I have three elementary age kids and finding pencil, papers, staplers, and all the rest makes for a good 10-15 minutes of our homework time. We will definitely be creating a homework station this school year. I’m glad I still have this week before school starts to get it together!

  27. I have a clipboard for each of my girls that hangs on the wall. It contains any important papers. Above it I have a frame turned into a dry erase board for any important deadlines or due dates. Last we have two fabric bins in which they keep their backpacks. Everything is in close proximity to one another. Helps us keep all our ducks in a row.

  28. Best tip – buy extra school supplies when they are on sale before the school year starts. Put them in a tote and throughout the year the kids will have plenty of stock to replenish their supplies from without spending a fortune!

  29. Love this idea-I have a planner calendar on the fridge too so everyone can see everything that’s going on.

  30. I approach school organization from a different perspective because I am a middle school teacher. My favorite strategy this year is to use remind101.com to send my parent text messages about class assignments and announcements. It’s great for keeping parents in the loop!

  31. I have a dry erase calendar and file holders on the wall under the calendar to keep my to-be-signed folder, homework, etc. ❤ the idea of having all the homework tools in one place! Pinned it on my “Genius” board!

  32. Just pinned this! love the idea. I have a drawer in my living room with stuff
    like this would love to have in one spot more accessible

  33. I think my favorite back to school organization tip is to have a set before bed routine that incorporates making the morning easy and calm. We lay out our outfits (including socks and accessories) make our lunches, and place backpacks water bottles and keys by the door so we can grab and go… The kids help set everything, choosing the clothes, making their lunches etc so they learn how to prepare themselves without the early morning rush to stress them out.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. My favorite tip is to have a central location for all supplies so one does not have to hunt the house for a pencil or a piece of paper. This location needs to be well organized, neat and well stocked. When something is used up, i replace it on my next shopping trip.

  35. I always used a chalkboardand calendar in my fridge the rest of the mess I tried to store neatly in a bookcase in my kitchen by the homework table. Now that I have a stainless fridge I am planning on using a 2ft x almost 2ft square column in my kitchen. One side I am painting with magnetic paint, one side with chalkboard paint, one side will have a dry erase board and on the final side I am going to use cork squares. The bottom half of the column will have wainscotting topping with a piece of trim that is wide enough to hold chalk and dry erase markers. I love your idea of the table tray – that would free up the cluttered bookcase shelf!

  36. I have grown-up kids, so no back to school tip to give, but nevertheless, I am a super-organized person and this giveaway would definitely help. Thanks.

  37. My best back to school organizing tip is to create a special place for all those papers that come home from school. Some need to be kept and others need to go right in the recycling bin.

  38. Make sure clothing, homework and supplies are laid out the night before and this becomes the routine. Saves on last minute scrambling and frustration!

  39. We are just hitting the back to school phase with a Kindergartener, so I’m not a pro at this yet. So far, lunches are the challenging thing: Definitely plan those out when I plan our weekly meals.

  40. We recently moved, so organization is key for me. Love the idea of a homework center and would love the removable dry erase calendar

  41. We have a large calender that takes up most of the area of the freezer door of my refrigerator. There is room for everyone to write anything important from their daily schedules. I like being able to see what is going on for the whole month with one glance.

  42. Make all pb&j sandwiches for kids on Sunday night and put in freezer. Each morning just pop in lunch bag and they are thawed by noon.

  43. I use a cork board to keep important papers in view! It holds anything that we need to keep track of.

  44. I love how everything is in one place, I am definetly going to share this post with the parents in my classroom. Thank you.


  45. My best back to school tip is to get the kids used to earlier bedtimes a week before school starts. It always helped to have them up, dressed, and fed and out the door early even if we were just going to the grocery store or to the park for a bit of early morning exercise.

  46. It’s always good to have an area dedicated to homework/organization. Mostly in the kitchen – the heart of the home.

  47. A friend of mine keeps organized by writing Dr. appointments and other activities on a calendar. She has kept these over the years and they are like mini journals of their lives.

  48. Pinned it! My back to school tip is more for me as I have a high schooler and he’s pretty independent. I dedicated a night to collating all the school papers and entering in all the important dates on my calendar.

  49. Everything in one place works for us. We have a small table in the great room/kitchen area that holds supplies, important papers, etc.

  50. My favorite back to school tip is to give the teacher a Walmart gift card as a welcome …. she can always use the additional funds to supplement the classroom.

  51. I want some goodies! I guess my tip would be to get the kids sitting down and doing as much of their homework on Mondays as they can (we get weekly homework right now) and then they can relax a little as the week goes on.

  52. My first is just starting K next week. Terrific ideas to help her get off to a great start. We plan to make lunches the night before since 6 of us need to leave the house together by 7:15. Hope we can make it work.

  53. I have been working on a similar kit that can come out on the table when it’s time for homework. I’d love that weekly planner!

  54. I loved the whole post! I will be going to the dollar tree for bins! Thank u so much and I pinned the picture of all of the supplies together 🙂

  55. Such a cool giveaway! My tip (not very revolutionary) is to create a folder for each class and organize stray papers by subject.

  56. So many cute ideas! The most helpful thing for me is to have a place for everything to go – otherwise things just get dropped on the kitchen counter and lost or forgotten. I will be making one of these homework stations tonight!

  57. Having a breakfast bar area where he can fix his own cereal or pop tarts beside the toaster and frig area.
    Pinning the desk idea and some others Love your Blog 🙂

  58. Love these ideas. Just started a homework caddie and it could use some prettying up. Love Martha Stewart products!

  59. Just put up a desk area along with a monthly calender and a weekly chore chart, we also purchased a multi drawer shelving system to keep extra paper, school supplies, coloring books and such. I like the Idea of a weekly chart on the fridge to help break it down. I also love the idea of having a box for papers waiting to be signed. This is my first year with all 4 in school so I am very excited and looking for ways to keep organized! 🙂

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  61. I just love these ideas! I, too, am tired of school supplies and chaos all over. This is a perfect idea. And I really love the calendar on the fridge – PERFECT!

  62. My plan is to help my grandkids by helping their mom and dad get organized for the school year. I love your ideas and can’t wait to start!

  63. I can’t wait to try this out. I also have a middle schooler and organization is not a strong suit for either of us. I am pinning this to use myself!

  64. Thank you for sharing these tips! I am creating a household manuel to keep a monthly calendar of all the kids activities and important dates ( for the first time in my life). I am planning to incorporate these tips, I really need them! I can relate to not being organized and I have an upcoming senior, sophomore and 4th grader. Help!!!!

  65. I love having a calendar on on fridge. I buy one of those big desk calendars (you know, the kind that are a little smaller than a poster board and lay flat on your desk and have a page per month) and I buy 3m Command adhesive strips to hang it on my fridge. I have a little magnetic pencil cup that has different colored pens for each member of the family that I hang right next to the calendar. Everyone has a color so we know whose activity is whose at a quick glance. We have a standard fridge (freezer on top, fridge on bottom) so the calendar fits on it. If you have a side by side, you could hang it on the wall. The adhesive strips don’t take paint off or leave any residue. I like the big calendar because it’s easier to write more than one or two activities on.

  66. Great post! I make a list of subjects and plan family field trips & we watch Netflix movies for extra learning.

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  70. I did something similar last year but can see I need to update it with some of the Martha Stewart Chalkboard labels. Love them!

  71. I love this, especially the idea to have a spot for papers to be signed! We created a similar homework station for our kiddos, and it has greatly reduced the amount of time they waste looking for the materials to complete their work. I used a decorative caddy from Homegoods that has a handle and is easily carted around or put out of sight to keep everything in. I like that everything is easily portable 🙂

  72. I love this entire post! It gave me a great idea about how to get a work station organized for my kids for school! Thank you for your awesome pictures and ideas! This is going to be such a big hit at my house!

  73. My tip is a command center for all the electronics! My son is vision impaired and has extra equipment along with the iPad and iPod for school. Both kids charge equipment at night (ensures they aren’t awake playing too!) and then it’s ready for the back pack in the morning! This has saved us many a days from me charging them in the morning and running them to school!

  74. I love the entire work station. I currently have my sons school supplies shoved in a cabinet since I couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them. My son is my first one going to school and he’s just starting Kindergarten so all of this is new to me. The work station is a great idea so everything is neat, tidy, and in one place.

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  78. I love the box for things to be signed. I am guilty of misplacing those papers but this is a sure fire way to keep them at hand.

  79. I have learned to pack her lunch the night before, make sure her backpack is packed, and clothes are picked Out.

  80. Faborite back to school organization tip: I have a three trying binder. Each child has a pocket divider with thier name on it. Documents like class list, forms to be kept with school passwords etc., ribbons and certificates earned and more go into their individual pocket divider. Monthly class calendars get hole-punched to go in front of this pocket divider. Important class dates and deadlines are added to the master family calendar in the clear front cover of the binder (updated monthly). The binder is kept on the counter in the family “drop zone”.

  81. As a teacher I LOVE getting organized for back to school. My oldest will be in second grade this year, so I need to step it up at home. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. Everything in one place and neat and tidy!

    The best organizing thing I ever did for the school year in our home was to put a shoe bin with the kids socks in it at the door. It goes under the height appropriate hooks on the wall for the girls to put their coats and backpacks. This makes it so much easier to get out of the door! Everything is right there and at their level so I can get all of my stuff at the same time.

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  85. Love your tips for homework! We have three boys and the oldest starts 1st grade this year. I like everything on this post but especially the box for holding papers to sign or other important papers or even homework.
    I’m a wannabe organizer…I try hard:) but I don’t stress over it.

  86. Love the family week planner and everyone adding to it. Families should be able to all do homework together.
    I enjoyed all ideas.

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  89. Love your idea. Wish I had a tip for you. The best one I have is to take a picture of all your kids work you “kinda” want to keep then post it on Artkive and toss the paper copy.

  90. Thank you! My back to school tip is to get advice like this from experienced moms! Thanks. I’ve pinned this to my organization board!

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  92. I keep a tote with the same items under my sons bed. He simply slides it out gets what he needs and slides it back under. We organize it before school starts each year and when my kids outgrew some of the items (crayons, book covers, pencils) we donated them to the closest elementary school for less fortunate kids to use.

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  97. Savvy article ! BTW , if your company has been searching for a IRS W-9 , my colleagues came across a fillable form here https://goo.gl/F8NhLc.

  98. *** Is there any possibility you could answer the four asked questions (to which I could not find an answer from you in the comments section): 1) where did the magazine holder come from, 2) where did you get the tray? 3) someone also asked where did you get your containers (idk if she meant the ones I’m including or others? 4) & the question I wanted to know along with others, what do you use the wooden pepper shaker for? Or is it just for looks?
    I’m personally guessing the magazine holder/file holder is from Martha Stewart. 😉

  99. Lol … PS: I’m capable of clicking on the highlighted links in the article, you so graciously provided to us for the file folder, etc but it seems others were struggling, so that’s why I just included all of their questions, along with mine about the pepper shaker so you could maybe do a one & done answer. Thought it might help you out. ??
    Thanks again. ?

  100. What a great ideas, I really enjoy it. Where do you take these wonderful ideas? What you have just shown is really convenient for parents who have a lot of children, because success in school depends largely on organization. If everything stand in its place, then the child can do his homework faster and be able to do something useful for self-development. I heard that there is statistics, which indicates that when the right organization of the workplace, children do their homework faster for 20%.
    Thank you very much for sharing such useful articles!

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