I don’t have a ton of storage room in my classroom, but I went around before we started cleaning and chose 6 of the messiest desks because that’s how many baskets I had room for. Those students need to keep any extra supply (coloring utensil, flash cards, books, scissors, glue, etc.) in that basket. We even dumped many of their supplies into a large Ziploc baggie so they can just grab that when it is needed. Basically, whenever they need something, they have to walk over to their basket to get what they need. It has actually been working quite well and the clutter in those desks have definitely been reduced, although I do find a few loose papers now and then. I debated putting names on the baskets but decided against it because I didn’t want them to stand out to visitors or students from other classes as being disorganized. They don’t have any problems figuring out which basket is which.
This has been working for me for the past couple of months. Do you do anything with your students that helps keep their desks organized? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!