Doing academic homework: how to organize your workspace

The first thing to do is to find a place away from distractions. It does no good to set up a place where you are not going to be distracted. Second thing to do is set up a way to keep all materials you will need close by. The least you have to find things the more time to spend on homework.

  1. Storage
  2. Work area
  3. Supplies
  4. Computer access


Once a good place is found, set up some place to store supplies. Simple shelves with dividers would work best. It does not have to be fancy or expensive; an old set of shelves from the garage would work. After all it is not displaying the family china. It just needs to serve the purpose.

Work area

The work area should have a table or desk that you can sit at. It should have enough room that you can spread out homework as needed. You will need to lay out books and papers to do what is needed. It will also need to be well-lit. If it is not, then an inexpensive light can be provided to give the light that is needed.

Supply sample

Supplies to be provided on the shelves should cover what their classes require.

  • Paper
  • Extra pencils / pens
  • Erasers
  • Glue / tape
  • Protractor, compass, and ruler
  • A few paints
  • Markers
  • Crafting paper
  • Folders
  • Labels / tabs
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Style Guide(s)

This is a sample list of items many will need. Other items that might or are needed can be added or substituted.

It does not even hurt to have “quick snacks” on them. Something like pack of crackers & cheese, cookies, energy bars, just whatever you like. Keeping bottles of water to drink is not bad either. As you will get hungry and thirsty while working. Or to step out and take a break, you will not have to hunt them down.

Use dividers to keep everything separated and organized. By doing this, it is easy to go to one spot where you know the item is, and just grab it. Always remember the key is be organized and set up.

Computer Access

Many people need access to a computer. Having one close is very handy. Even a laptop that can replace or be worked with books is just as good.