The Greer Meister Group

Get Organized!


Getting kids ready to go back to school means more than stocking up on school supplies.
Help them get organized and be independent.


Step 1: Start with a Planner

Find a planner that offers month-at-a glance followed by the corresponding weeks-at-a-glance. On the week-at-a-glance pages, each day should have spaces to write down assignments for multiple subjects.

Weekly planner

Use the month-at-a-glance pages to write down dates of tests and quizzes and due dates for long-term projects. Use the week-at-a-glance pages to write down nightly assignments and check them off as they are completed.

Make sure that the planner is sturdy – no risk of pages tearing or the cover getting mangled. Choose one with a reinforced binding and strong cover.

Step 2: Binders and Spirals

Get a sturdy binder with color-coded dividers or spiral notebooks in a variety of colors. Assign one color to each school subject. A binder usually works better because pages can be added easily when teachers give handouts, but some schools do insist on notebooks.

Color-coded notebooks
  • Avoid similar colors; notebooks or dividers should be easy to distinguish at a glance.
  • The dividers or notebook covers should be sturdy so that they're not at risk of tearing off or getting crumpled easily.
  • Notebook covers should be waterproof to protect them from spills.
  • Spiral notebook pages should be perforated – sometimes called “clean-tear pages” or “neat sheets” – so that you avoid a ton of spiral fuzzies in the bottom of your backpack.

If you opt for a binder, attach a three-hole punch so that you can file papers right away.

Step 3: Finish with Folders

Get sturdy folders that are color-coded to match the binder or notebooks. Laminated or plastic folders offer the best durability. If math is the red binder divider, then math is the red folder; if history is the green notebook, then history is the green folder; and so on.

  • Label the pocket on the left side of each folder: TO BE COMPLETED.
  • Label the pocket on the right side of each folder: TO HAND IN.
  • New assignments get put on the left; completed work that is ready to hand in gets put on the right.
  • Every evening, check the left-side pocket of each folder to make sure that there are no forgotten assignments.
  • During each class, check the right-side pocket of that class’s folder to make sure to hand in all of that hard work!
  • Papers that don’t require action, but may need to be reviewed in the future, should be hole-punched and put in the binder or scanned and tossed.

After a couple of weeks of being consistent, checking the folders will become a habit – a healthy habit that keeps everyone organized and independent!

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At the start of a new school year, kids often need help navigating new expectations and recalling and applying what they’ve previously learned so that they can settle confidently into the year. By making sure that they’re organized from day one, you remove a significant hurdle and support their success. By making the system as easy to follow as possible, they don’t have to stop to figure out what to do if they feel overwhelmed in a particular moment. The system has them covered!