Simple advice but oh so effective! One of many school organizing steps I have used for decades to help even the most organizationally challenged students.
As soon as your child is able to write their name and understand dates, teach them to name and date all of their papers! Every handout, every worksheet, every notebook page, every list, every paper they receive should automatically have their name and the date!
This habit will serve them not only in school, but in life. Adding chronological history to documents is incredibly important to thinking organizationally. When order matters, dated documents are a great place to start.
Every student, at some point, has not lost points on a test or paper because they forgot to put their name on it! Irritating to the student, yes, but even more irritating to the teacher who cannot identify the work and hence the penalty.
Additionally when that hot mess of a backpack or binder comes home, it is much easier to help your student re-establish order if papers are dated.
For older students, dates will help them to determine what material will be covered on the next test. It will also help them identify work or notes needed if they are absent from class.
Last but not least, teaching this skill can be fun and simple. Model the behavior with your own papers, work materials and lists. Set up a simple goal to name and date every paper/page for a week – be sure to have a prize when accomplished (come on we all like prizes when we achieve our goals) .
Before you know it, this simple tip will be a habit!