I help my students stay organized by using a color-coded folder system. Green is for "go" so anything in there goes home at the end of the day. Red is for "stop" so anything in there stays at school so we can finish it or use it again. There's a purple folder with their math pages because I can't stand to give them the whole math book, so I tear out a chapter at a time and they keep the pages in their folders. There's a blue data folder where they graph their progress on various things.
They know that there are no papers allowed in their desks, all papers must be in a folder. I have a job which is the desk checker. That person on random days goes around and gives out clean desk coupons, and messy desk tickets. Coupons are good for a reward of the student's choice. I have a list of things such as: take pictures with the digital cameras, trade jobs for a day, use the iPad for fun (meaning they can play angry birds and other games that aren't really overly educational), etc.
For areas where students tend to be messy, I take a picture of what it should look like and post it nearby. That helps a lot!
My goal here will be to figure out a better system of getting papers back to the students. I think I might make it a classroom job at the end of the day.
I'm generally pretty well organized mentally. I know what I'm going to do and how to do it, etc. But I'm horrible at keeping track of paperwork and knowing where to put things. This is worse since I'm in a new room this year. I put things down and don't have a place for them yet, so they wind up lost or buried in piles. This was a goal of mine for this school year, and it's just not going well. There's so much going on in the classroom, it's easy to get distracted from something as minor as where to put a piece of paper. (Yes, I know that's an excuse!)
My goal here will be to get my files that are sitting on my filing cabinet sorted through and put away, then to keep doing this as I go along. I don't dare make a goal about my desk right now. I'd be setting myself up for failure before I even start. Hehehe.