How to Teach Organizational Skills to a Teenager

Updated November 21, 2016

It is important that a teenager learn organizational skills. Keeping track of homework, tests, papers and exams can be difficult to accomplish. Depending on the teen, he may have a part-time job after school or on the weekends. Teaching a teenager organizational skills may help her manage her time as she tries to keep up with a busy schedule, and it may also help improve grades.

Show the teenager how to organise space. Arrange a desk or table in the teen's bedroom or other room in the house, where homework is to be completed. Encourage the teenager to keep notebook paper, pencils, pens, note cards and other school supplies neatly arranged in the desk or at a nearby location.

Make a place for specific files. Write down notes on a project or paper that is due soon. Keep this file on the table or desk where the teenager completes school assignments. Information in this file should include the name of the project or paper, the date it is due and any notes taken. Provide a file cabinet or storage bin for school files.

Instruct the teenager how to organise outfits worn to school. Whether the snooze button was hit one too many times or the alarm failed to go off, a teenager may be faced with the challenge of finding an appropriate outfit in a short amount of time. Encourage a teenager to set out an outfit or school uniform the night before. Planning ahead saves time and may prevent frustration as well.

Teach time management skills to teenagers. Staying organised involves learning to manage time appropriately. Teens who attend school, play sports and work a part-time job may find that their free time is limited. For instance, coming home from school and relaxing on certain days may not be an option. If the teenager has a homework assignment due the next day and has football practice that afternoon, relaxing before bedtime may be the only option.

Talk to teenagers about the importance of staying on task and completing important assignments, even if this means turning down an invite from a friend. School should come first. Save the skate park for the weekend. Cut down on the time spent surfing the Internet or texting friends and family. If a teenager really wants to talk to a friend or send a text, set a timer allowing 15 to 20 minutes before cracking open the books.


Encourage teenagers to make a list of daily priorities. Show the teen how to neatly make a bed, hang up clothes and place items neatly on shelves and in closets. Purchase a calendar to help the teenager keep track of important due dates.


Do not allow teenagers to stay up all night working on assignments that should have been completed earlier in the day. Do not sign teenagers up for several extra-curricular activities that may interfere with school obligations.

Things You'll Need

  • Desk
  • Table
  • Files
  • Folders
  • Calendar
  • Timer
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