Back-to-school season can mean a sea of backpacks and papers -- not to mention less time to get (and stay) organized. These simple tips and creative ideas will help you keep your kids' spaces, toys, artwork and more tidy all year long.
Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson transformed a bookcase into a storage bench by turning the piece on its side, sewing a cushion cover, and mounting casters. Above it, hooks were hung at staggered heights, some low enough for her son Luca.
This idea is a great way to teach your kids where everything goes. Designate a low drawer for your children's plastic dishes. To remind them of what goes where, paint and label a silhouette of each dish.
To create a graphic, tidy arrangement of your child's artwork, paint pieces of 1 3/8-inch lattice in high-gloss paint and adhere them to a wall with glue and nails. Screw Bulldog clips to the lattice to hold a rotating selection of art, as well as other meaningful pieces.
Get organized -- again and again -- with these chalkboard drawers. The labels can be erased as contents in each drawer change.
To make them, affix masking tape in square outlines to fronts of drawers or tins; cover each square with latex chalkboard paint. Let dry; remove tape. To add a border, place two strips of masking tape parallel to each other on opposite sides of square; paint, let dry, and remove tape. Repeat with two other sides.
This built-in bookcase -- which is backed with a striped wallpaper that echoes the walls' yellow lattice -- displays artwork, including a painting of a girl and a giclee print of red chairs by Leah Giberson.
Stocked with everything a student needs, this hideaway is an inviting place to pore over homework. Two store-bought bookcases are filled with handy, stay-organized tools, like a calendar for upcoming school events, an "in" box for unfinished assignments, and an "out" box for finished homework to be checked by Mom and Dad.
Here, a compact arts-and-crafts spot is set up next to the bed. A gooseneck curtain rod was installed on an Ikea table to hold a roll of paper, with a slat of lattice securing the paper to the other end. A lazy Susan and wall-mounted caddies keep supplies organized.
More from Martha Stewart Living:
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook
24 Bathroom Organizing Tips You Haven't Thought Of
No Excuses: 30 Everyday Things You Should Know How to Do
12 Secrets for a Cleaning the Bathroom in Less Time