18 Back To School DIY Projects That Will Keep Your Work Organized

As September inches closer, dread about the new school year mixes with your lofty goals of getting straight As and staying super organized, put together, and on top of everything. You buy lots of new school supplies that you hope will help you keep it together, you invest in planners (or make your own), you imagine study schedules that you’ll follow carefully, and you promise yourself that this is your year to shine. But then you realize how tough it is to keep your work organized, and the same thing that happens every year happens: you start off great, slip off around week two, and fall right back into your old habits. It’s time for a chance! While these back to school DIY projects can’t cure your bad habits, they certainly can help put you on the right path.

Here’s the thing: being neat and organized comes easily to some people, while others have to work for it. I’m one of those people who have to work for it. I’m not super organized by nature; I’m actually quite messy. I’ve found, though, that the right tools can help me keep it together more, and so to me, they’re worth the extra time and money. And sometimes, they’re inexpensive – especially when they’re crafts you can do yourself. Want to actually get better grades and stay on the right track this school year? Try making these easy DIY projects to keep your work organized. The time spent crafting is going to be well worth it.


1. Start a bullet journal. 



Bullet journals are a big *thing* right now. They’re used to plan, organize, and record your day, and a lot of people swear by them. They’re a step up from your regular ole’ planner and are great if you have the time to keep up with them. Hey, it’s worth a shot!


2. Make your own bookmarks to always keep your place.



In an age of Kindles and reading everything online, bookmarks might feel old-fashioned… but schools still use textboooks, right? Right. Make yourself some pretty bookmarks to always keep your place in your school reading, whether it’s a literary novel or a textbook. These are also great for planners and bullet journals.


3. Organize your papers in your locker with a paper bin. 



A cereal box can easily be transformed into an organizational tool by using some decorative paper and magnets to make it into a paper box. Hang this in your locker so that your important papers/notebooks are in quick reach. And if you don’t have a locker, this is still great to have in your dorm room or bedroom.


4. Create a DIY chalkboard notebook to keep your important info front and center.



A chalkboard notebook allows you to scribble assignments on the front so you don’t forget about them. It’s a great way to remind yourself of what needs to get done.


5. Make some clipboards that are helpful and look good. 



Hang clipboards wherever you need them: in your locker, over your desk, near your bed. They’re great for keeping important papers and notes right where you need them, and they look pretty too.


6. Make your own adorable magnets. 



It might sound silly, but sometimes the smallest things can really make a difference when it comes to organizing. These emoji magnets are fun and they’ll help keep your locker or desk in order.


7. Make your own lap desk so you can work anywhere. 



Doing work on your computer? Make your own lap desk instead of buying one. It makes it so much easier to get stuff done on the couch or in bed. I got one about a year ago, and it’s honestly a game changer! It makes you feel more productive instead of just lazy.


8. Create a notebook with a secret compartment for the supplies you need. 



Never feel unprepared again with this notebook compartment. It makes it so much easier to carry around your small school supplies – or period essentials. Whatever you need!


9. Put together a flashcard holder. 



Flashcards are a great study tool, but keeping them together is another story. This easy notecard holder keeps everything in one convenient place and is easy to throw in your bag.


10. Use clothespins to organize and decorate.  



Label and decorate some clothespins, then hang important papers and assignments there. You can also grab notecards and write your schedule for the day, then hang from the corresponding pin. This is a cute way to decorate and stay organized.


11. Make a routine clock to manage your time better. 



Sure, a mom made this, but it can easily be changed to suit your needs. Time management is an essential part of staying organized, and blocking off your time can help keep you on the right track.


12. Recycle plastic bottles into pen and pencil holders. 



The worst thing is when you need something super simple, like a pen or pencil, and it’s nowhere to be found. Make your own pen holders with plastic bottles so that they’re always nearby. Put these on your desk, in your locker, or in your bag – or all three!


13. Make your own drawer separators to keep your desk organized. 



It’s easy for your school supply drawer to get cluttered and messy, which means you can’t find what you need. Keep it organized with these easy DIY separators.


14. Create a goals list to stay on top of what needs to get done. 



Just thinking about goals isn’t enough. Keep track of them by putting them right in front of you. Rotate out the smaller goals you hit with new ones.


15. Grab a bunch of highlighters and label them so a quick glance shows you what you’re looking at. 



Make a system that works for you and stick with it! Highlighting works better when there’s a plan there.


16. Put a magnet on a cup to hold the essentials. 



This is great for a locker or a desk area. You can use it for pens, pencils, scissors, or any small school supplies.


17. If you have lots of supplies, repurpose a shoe organizer for a school supplies organizer. 



This saves desk space and keeps everything in one organized spot.


18. Make a big To-Do list so you always know what needs to get done. 



Post-It notes make this to-do list bright, fun, and easy to put together. Plus, it keeps you neat and organized!

Which one of these back to school DIY projects are you going to try? What did we forget to include? How do you stay organized? Let me know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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