How to Stay Organized This Semester

“I have a system.” I don’t know how many times I have said that when someone looks at my desk, backpack, or planner. It’s true though. I have system for those things because it helps me stay organized. Staying organized is so important no matter what but especially important for college students. Here some of the things I do to stay organized and on top of everything in college.

Categorize

I categorize everything. My clothes are by type and color, school supplies are broken up by what they are (pens are with pens, markers with markers, etc.) and extra stuff is broken up by its general purpose. This helps me find things fast and know how much I have of something with a quick glance. I use drawers, buckets, and shelves to divide stuff up and store it. Milk crates stacked on there side is a great way to add storage to otherwise empty space.

Milk crate picture

To Do Lists

Time management is organization of time which is a weird way to think about it but that’s essentially what it is.

I like to dedicate one day, normally Sunday, to figuring out everything I have to do and when I am going to do it. First, I start off with a pad with a column for each day and make rows for each class and then one for personal stuff. I then pencil in assignments, appointments, and anything else I have on the day its due or occurring.

Then I get my planner out  which has a page and an hour by hour section for each day. I then go through and put all of my classes and appointments down in that hour by hour section. This helps me know if I have days that I can’t do a lot of homework. Next, I go through and write down what I am going to do each day. To do lists are a super motivating for me because I can physcially see everything I have gotten done. Plus crossing stuff off feels really good.

If you don’t have time or paper to write all of this down, don’t worry. You can do this on a whiteboard or in excel. The process is one that gets faster and easier the more you do it so don’t worry if it takes a while at first.

Picture of planners, excel sheet, and white board

Accountability

Having other people to hold you accountable is super important. My friends and I do laundry, plan our weeks, and check in on each other to make sure we aren’t falling behind. We will also do homework together when we aren’t particularly motivated to do it. Of course, if you are going to work on homework with friends, you need to make sure you can actually get something done.

Most people think being organized is just having all of your stuff in the right places. While that is definitely a big piece, it is not the whole puzzle. To be truly organized, you have to have both your stuff and time in order.

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