Organisation Skills

Learning to plan and organise yourself is an important life skill. Organisation skills are needed not only at secondary school but throughout your adult life too.

Organisation Skills

Being able to manage your time, energy and resources to do the things you want and need to do every day is important at secondary school and throughout your adult life. 

So what are organisation skills?

The ability to:

  • plan for the day ahead
  • prepare for specific tasks
  • identify the right tools for the job/ task
  • effectively carry out the task
  • be successful in completing the task in time

The first step for any planning or organisation is to work out all the tasks that need to be complete.  For each of the tasks asking the 'W' questions can help you work this out:

  • What is the task?
  • Who has to do it? (do you need someone else?)
  • What do you need? (what tools, information or resources do you need?)
  • Where is it to be complete? (can it be done at home or at school, in the library at a friends house?)
  • When is it to be complete by and how long will it take to complete?

Sometimes simple, straightforward ideas can help to make life easier, both at home and in school. It may need a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you. Remember that putting in a bit of time and effort now to develop strategies will make your life a whole lot easier.

Time Management & Routines

Time management and good routines help you find the time for all the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Learning how to manage your time, activities, and commitments can be hard. In the long run it can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.

Click on the presentation for some strategies and advice.


More Advice & Strategies

Organisation At Home

Organisation starts at home and there are lots of ways you can practice these skills.  We have put together some suggestions that you may find useful.  Sorry, this does mean you will need to tidy your room!


Your Bedroom

  • Tidy your room.  Identify a place or container for each belonging, so it is easy to find.
  • Arrange drawers so items are separate – use dividers or baskets.
  • Place photos or labels on the outside of drawers/cupboards to show their contents.
  • Mark clothing so it is identifiable (e.g. initials on a label or a piece of coloured thread sewn into the back).
  • Make yourself a checklist (you can do this with photos, pictures or words) of the routines you need to do everyday.  Try laminating or putting inside a plastic sleeve. Use wipe-off markers so you can check off items on the list when you complete each task (e.g. dressing, bedtime routine or morning routine).  You could also make up photo albums on your phone or have a checklist in your phone
  • If you have difficulty remembering certain routines try a visual timetable to help (e.g. putting shoes away, hanging up coat, emptying school bag).  Put this where you will see it to help remind you to do it.  Again you can write a list or use photos or pictures.

What Helps You Work?

Everyone has different ways of working. Some people like to have the TV on, or have music playing while they work. Others prefer it to be quiet. Some people can work when there’s a lot going on around them. Others are very easily distracted and need a quiet, clutter free area to be able to concentrate.

It is important to work out the things that you need to help you to study.


Sit down and think about the conditions that you need when you are doing your homework:

  • Do you like to have background music playing, or the TV on?
  • Do you prefer it to be quiet?
  • Can you work when there is a lot going on around you?
  • Do you need a snack or a drink?

Now think about how you might be able to organise things at home to help you work:

  • Where can you work?
  • When’s the best time to do homework?
  • If the house is very busy, are there times when it is quieter?
  • Talk to your family about where and when you need to work.



If you have difficulty concentrating you might want to try setting up a workstation. This would give you a quiet, clutter free space to work and could be either in school, at home, or both.


What is a workstation?

A workstation is a small area where you can work with as little distraction as possible.
A table facing a blank wall and screened off from the rest of the room. There should be nothing on the table or the walls (but you may like to have a visual planner or ‘to do’ list, so that you know which tasks have to be completed?).
It is better to place the workstation away from windows and doors to avoid distractions. Any necessary equipment should be accessible. A distraction free space is often calming and can make it easier to concentrate.

Organising Your School Day

Which skills do you need to help you to plan your ‘school’ day?

  • Packing/unpacking bag
  • Preparing for timetabled subjects
  • Making sure that you have the required books for each subject
  • Check that you have the required tools for practical subjects
  • Following a timetable
  • Managing homework
  • Making sure you have what you need for lunch and travelling

Click on the presentation for some strategies and advice.



To Do List Apps

Google Keep


More Advice and Strategies

Finding Your Way Around

You may be very familiar with the layout of your primary school and can now find your way around. You feel comfortable in your surroundings. However, you will almost find that your new school is larger.

Most people worry about how they are going to find their way around their new school and getting lost.  Don’t worry, everyone will find it difficult to find their new classes at first. You can all help each other to find your way around.

Click on the presentation for some strategies and advice.



Map Activity

If you know that you can sometimes find it difficult to find your way around new places. You can practice your orientation skills by trying out some of the map activities below:

Complete this activity with a friend or family member. Using the school map, can you find your way from P.E to Maths?  Try out different journeys and talk through which way you will need to go.

Draw a map of the layout of your home, discuss how you get to certain areas of your home from the front door, how to get around your home, etc.