Now is the time to take charge and take two minutes each day to get your life back!

Keeping papers organized is a serious challenge for most students.  This is also the #1 complaint I hear from parents and teachers. 

Take twoDisorganization causes all types of problems:

  • wasted time searching for lost assignments
  • lost points due to lost assignments
  • total frustration

Many students who “struggle” in school are not struggling to learn or take tests.  They are simply struggling to keep their head above an ever-changing sea of papers!

To be fair, the task would be a serious challenge for adults!  Students must manage dozens of papers, folders, notebooks, and textbooks across several different locations (home, locker, and several different classrooms).  To make matters worse, any time they are handling their supplies, they are in a rush! 

At the beginning of the day, they are rushing to get to school.   When they arrive at school, they have to rush to their locker, then off to their first class. 

Meanwhile, teachers are using every precious moment of class time to cover their impossible list of benchmarks, so students are not able to put their papers and supplies away until the bell rings.  But now, they have to rush out of one class to get to another.  Or to get to lunch.  Or to the locker at the end of the day before they miss the bus. 

Through no fault of their own, their day moves at a rapid pace!  Juggling all of those books and papers through the chaos of the halls and bells can make them feel like they are in a circus.  This circus, however, is far from entertaining. 

  • It’s defeating
  • Demoralizing
  • Completely frustrating

But, there is good news.  There are solutions to these problems!  One of the best is also one of the easiest.  It is a simple routine that I call “Take Two!” 


When a student is able to recognize that he is, in fact, always in a hurry when handling papers at school, he begins to feel slightly vindicated.  When he realizes that he is not crazy for being the ring leader in his own circus, he can relax. 

  • Now, he’s ready to Take Two!

Take Two is about setting aside the first two minutes of homework time every evening to get organized.  This is a conscious decision to STOP feeling rushed and invest two (only TWO) quiet and relaxed minutes to clean trash out of the bookbag, pull loose papers out of the bookbag and textbooks, and put everything in the proper folders.  (I recommend condensing all folders and notebooks down to one, 1.5-inch binder, but that’s another strategy for another article.) 

As you sort, set aside papers that need to be done that night and place them in one neat pile.  Everything else should either be: placed in the proper folder to go back to school, filed in a safe place at home (to use as a study guide for unit tests, midterms, and final exams), or dropped in the circular file. 

Be aware of trash!  I could write a whole article on how trash is eroding students’ education.  I’ll spare you my rant right now.  But, in the meantime, be sure to clean trash out of your bookbag at least ONCE a day.  Of course, that’s why you are Taking Two!

When you are done with Take Two, you will feel calm.  You will feel as if a huge burden has been lifted from your shoulders.  You will have clarity about where all of your homework is and what you have to do.  You will be done with your homework faster because you no longer have to go hunting for each assignment as you are ready to do it.  Instead, you have it neatly set aside and ready to go right from the beginning.

Take Two Is About MUCH More Than Getting Organized…

When you make the specific and conscious decision to STOP, take a deep breath, and take a couple of moments to tame the clutter, you are doing much more than getting organized. 

  • You are taking control!  
  • You are clearing your mind.
  • You are slowly guiding yourself into a healthy mental state for doing your homework most efficiently

You are also setting the stage to have a good day the next day.  You develop a long-term sense of control.  You know where everything is.  You have it all together.  Finally!—

Susan Kruger

Susan Kruger, M.Ed. is a former struggling student and founder of  She is the author of the best-selling book, SOAR Study Skills

“Take Two” is one of 25 simple and effective tips for making homework easier right away! To get these valuable tips for FREE, visit and download a FREE Homework Rx Toolkit.  The kit includes a Study Skills Scorecard and 25 Ways to Make Homework Easier…Take Two tonight!