Do your children constantly leave their homework on the dining room table or spread all over the family room floor? Maybe it’s time to create a more functional homework space where the kids can study without so many distractions. Here's some tips to get your started:

  • Search your home for nooks suitable for a homework corner. When space is tight in a child’s bedroom, a stairway landing or the end of a hallway can be ideal as long as there is room for a desk and chair.
  • Attach a fold-down table to a wall. Another great solution for a small home is an inexpensive fold-down table. Organize supplies in baskets or a wheeled cart and buy a folding chair or stool from a flea market or garage sale. When the study center isn’t being used, everything can be stored out of sight in a nearby closet.
  • Transform a closet. Do you have a closet with contents that could be shifted elsewhere? Removing the door, clothes rod and shelf to make room for a countertop, a few wall shelves, task lighting and a chair will turn it into a convenient study space.
  • Look for space-saving computer furniture. Some computer cabinets feature sliding doors and shelves that allow you to fold everything behind closed doors when not in use. They work well in the corner of a guest room, kitchen or family room.
  • Consider a bedroom makeover. Rearrange the furniture in your child’s room to make space for a study area. Loft beds are ideal since they have storage drawers built in, plus they offer open space beneath the bed perfect for a desk, chair and bookcase.
  • Use shelves and storage containers to contain clutter. After you’ve created the homework area make sure it is well equipped with supplies. Have your children make a list of the items they use most often. Organize pencils, pens, crayons, rulers, etc., in handy bins that are easily accessible. Be sure to include a bookshelf for dictionaries and other reference books.
  • Devise a simple way to stay organized. A calendar and dry-erase board will help your child keep track of homework assignments and due dates. If more than one child will be using the space use color-coded folders, bins and binders to keep projects separated.
  • Involve your children in decorating. If you let the kids pick out wall art and choose accessories for their homework area it will make the space seem more personal and inviting.
  • Reduce noise and distractions. Locating the homework center away from the TV and family traffic will allow your child to concentrate better.

With some basic handyman skills, you can create a homework space for your child that will help him get down to it. Added benefit? You'll also be able to find the table at dinnertime!