This week, I got the most amazing tip for small space organization when it comes to kids, desk space (or lack thereof) and organization, thanks to professional organizer Laurie Palau of Simply B Organized, host of This Organized Life podcast, and author of the upcoming Hot Mess: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized.

Just in time for post-Labor Day organization, she joined us on Spawned with Kristen and Liz to talk about so many amazing organizational tricks for families. But this, by far, was my favorite.

(As you’ll hear from my reaction on the show.)

Live in a small apartment like me, or got multiple kids splitting up desk space? Laurie’s tip: Everyone needs a homework hub or “command center,” as she calls it. So in lieu of a desk, try creating a portable homework hub.


Here’s how to do it:

How to create a portable homework hub for kids: Small space organization tips |

1.  Get yourself a tray. I used a wooden one I already own, but also check out the cute, colorful trays from Poppin which also happen to stack nicely.

2. Grab the supplies you know your kids will need most frequently.

-Pencils, pens and markers
-Clear tape, washi tape
-Mini notebook
-Screen cleaning cloth (I am obsessed with Whoosh! spray and the orange cloth it comes with)
-Stickie notes

How to make a portable homework tray: Brilliant small space desk olution for kids

3. If your kids use a homework planner, or file folders for nightly homework it can stay in the tray, too. Just keep things more flat than high so nothing’s too tippy.

4. Load up the small supplies in the smallest manageable container — I used a basket, but any pencil holder or even a small box will do. Does it have to be Pinterest-perfect? Heck no.

Basket of school supplies for creating a portable homework hub for kids

5. Any extra materials or supplies your kids need less frequently (sharp scissors, hole punch, binder rings and so on) should remain in one single residual homework command center, like a specific drawer in the kitchen.

(This way, kids always know where to find what they need — and just as importantly, where to put it back when they’re done.)

Related: Decluttering tips from 5 top organization experts: Which is best for you?

How to make a portable homework hub for kids: brilliant small space organizing solution instead of a lot of desks | cool mom picks

6. When you’ve got a mobile homework hub together, be sure to stash it in the same place each night. Now it’s easy for them to carry it to the kitchen counter or the couch in the living room, saving space, time, and (hooray!) sanity.

Mostly for you.

Tip for multiple kids: Make one hub for each child, differentiating the trays by their favorite colors. Both Poppin and Yoobi (available from Target) are great brands with tons of color options. It makes it easier to know who’s stealing whose yellow pencil or orange stapler without a lot of finger pointing.

Thank you Laurie for the brilliance!

For more smart, common sense tips from Laurie Palau on staying organized, making mornings easier, managing kid clutter, and getting kids to take more responsibility around the house, take a listen right here right now, or open Spawned Shown on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite Podcast app.

And don’t forget to subscribe to Spawned so you never miss a new episode. Thank for listening!

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Cool Picks of the Week

Jimmy Case for iPhone and Android: Great organizing tip, and tons of cool colors and styles |

LAURIE: Amazing tech pick: The Jimmy Case iPhone and Android Wallet Case

KRISTEN: Check out the Cool Mom Eats essential lunchbox pantry list everything you need to pack 180 lunches quickly and easily.

LIZ: Support the work of good journalists who are not only bringing us essential reporting lately, they are saving lives as we’ve seen recently in Texas. Pay to subscribe to a paper you love; check out the independent non-profit newsroom Pro Publica; or donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization promoting press freedom worldwide, and defending the right of journalists to report important news without fear of reprisal.

All homework hub photos © Cool Mom Picks