Tidy Tips

As a self-diagnosed overly organized and slightly (most definitely) OCD human being, I have come to realize that my clean nature, planning, and management talent are a unique strength of mine.  And although I have been crazy organized my whole life, I do certainly have my downfalls in many other areas of life. But, I do believe I have some organization wisdom to impart on those looking for new tips on how to stay organized during the hectic and busy life that is college. Here are some ways that you can keep all your classes, college events, activities, and schedules organized so that you can live your best (busy) life!  

1. Take time to get organized in the first place.

Inevitably, the first thing on my list of organization tips is how to get started with your organization endeavor. The first step is to take time out of your day and week, and consciously devote yourself to getting a fresh start on your organization tactics. I would suggest starting in your dorm room and cleaning your space, which would include tidying up, making your bed, putting miscellaneous things away, and any other things you can do to streamline your living space. Try focusing on having a place for everything that is easily accessible and easy to maintain.  Having a simple system that takes minimal effort to put things away ensures that things stay organized for longer periods of time. Then, I would work your way and organize through your day: keep a planner for your schedule, write on a calendar, use online tools like Google Calendar, and organize and streamline your school binders and notebooks (clean them out while you are at it!).  Overall, try to keep the motto I live by in mind: organize things and then organize their contents!

2. Devote weekly time to organize things.

Taking a few minutes out of your week or day to prepare yourself for the future is something you will not regret.  I always try to set aside the same time each day and each week in order to do my organization. Planning out time and devoting yourself to getting prepared for the day or week ahead makes things run smoother and makes you feel better about yourself.  Sometimes, I find it is much less stressful to manage classwork and activities when I write things that I need to do out and try to allocate time and compartmentalize tasks, and it may even end up being less than you think!

3. Find what works for you- have a system (and stick with it).

Once you figure out which organization methods, time management, and scheduling skills work best for you and make you feel best, stick with them and don’t give up.  Implementation for a few weeks will ensure that you stick with your newfound organization skills in the long run; have a friend or family member hold you accountable to staying organized for a few weeks so that you won’t give up or get lazy (we’ve all been there).  

4. Play around with new organization tips if what you are doing is not working.

If you still find that you’re not as organized as you want to be, if you can’t commit to organizing, or if you can’t find a routine, then it is most definitely time to re-evaluate. Talk to your friends or try some Google and Pinterest searches to see if you can find any fresh tactics you want to try to organize your life and space.  College is a time to try new things, and you may find something you can implement in your daily life management that works for you if you take the time to explore new options. Implement new tactics for a certain period of time to test their true value. When in doubt, try it out!

5. Make it fun!

And, of course, have fun with your organization.  I try to make my organization fun by making it pretty.  I focus on color-coordinating my planner and choosing notebooks and folders in my favorite colors so that I like looking at them and using them.  Try color association when it comes to choosing your binders and notebooks. Find fun tools like cool and colorful paperclips or pretty desk organizers that make your space more attractive while making your life easier and neater.  Try as hard as you can to implement a little fun and a lot of personality in your organizational life!

Overall, organization is easy when you plan it out, take the time for it, and stick with it.  Staying tidy in college is essential to lessening stress and managing your schedule!