September 13, 2012

The Homework Drawers

Nothing makes me feel that terrible combination of frustration, anger and bad-mom guilt more than when my kids can't find a  pencil at homework time.  Or when they claim that they can't find a single sheet of paper to write upon.

I mean, are you kidding me? At the start of each new school year, I buy packs of quality #2 pencils and two packs of of wide-ruled paper.  Last year, we bought a good quality electrical pencil-sharpener for the play room.  There is no good reason why my children should be so stymied by the lack of basic supplies at 4:30 each afternoon, when they sit down to do their homework. (They get out of school at 3:20, and I let them chill out for an hour before homework time.)

With a 5th grader and a 2nd grader, I'm not exactly a newbie at this school-organization thing.  And yet.  And yet by the end of each school year, their drawers are horrible, disorganized messes.  No paper, pencils, working erasers or rulers in sight. 

A few years ago, I dedicated four drawers on the front of our kitchen island to kid supplies: 2 narrow drawers are intended solely for homework, and the 2 deeper drawers just beneath are for arts & crafts supplies and a bazillion broken crayons.  The drawers were created with noble, good intentions on my part: we will be an organized and efficient family!  Too often, that isn't the case, but darn I can try. 
Anyway.  Last week I sat down and thoroughly emptied out their homework drawers.  I didn't stop to take "Before" shots.  Like a lot of kid-junk cleaning, it took longer than I intended, and I also had to work fast, before my little devils got home from school and my little hoarder devil started voicing his opinions on what to throw out. (In his view: NOTHING. EVERRRR.) 
Just look at the drawers above, and picture a jumble of random papers, notes, school forms and broken erasers, and no sharpened pencils. One of my best recent purchases have been those narrow trays (from Target) at the front of each drawer.  Before, I had large plastic pencil boxes that they always sell alongside the school supplies (seen below in the craft drawer), but they're too big for the job.

I'm hoping that this year, the drawers stay neater & more organized. At the ages of nearly 8 and 10 1/2, my kids are definitely old enough to take some ownership over their homework drawers. 

I didn't intend to organize by gender-stereotype colors, but there you have it.
The craft/coloring/art drawer. I threw away stacks of finished coloring books, abandoned art projects, and many, many broken crayons and dried-up markers.

It's a really small slice of my world in the grand scheme of things, but when my kids sit down with their homework and the pencils, erasers and rulers are all right there, it makes me feel like I have my act together in the mom department. And when they sit down in those chairs and I actually have dinner plans for what will go on the same table a while later...I feel like a rock star!
Each Thursday I'm linking up with Jules as part of her 2012 William Morris project.


  1. I think we did the same project! :) I wish I had all those handy drawers, though. Rock on!

  2. Fabulous! I have desk drawers I need to organize like this! Well done.

  3. My kid is a senior in high school and we still are battling out the homework zone organization plan. His "organization" to me looks like insanity, mine is too rigid for him. Hope you found a working plan for your family.

  4. Thanks Melissa, Alana & May! May, even thought the drawers get messy, we have a pretty solid routine and it works for my kids. Despite our disorganization, they are great students. (Knock wood!)


Thanks for commenting! :)

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