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Wellness > Mental Health

My Tips to Stay Organized Mentally & Physically

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Not to toot my own horn but, I pride myself on being organized. Knowing where everything is and having my life planned out brings me peace of mind, something that is necessary when I start to feel overwhelmed by assignments, social plans, and basically life in general. Let’s dive into my best tips to stay organized physically which will also help you feel more organized mentally and prevent your mind from unraveling at the smallest inconvenience. 

Get a planner

I live and breathe by my planner. If I lost it, I no doubt would lose my mind. A planner is key to staying organized because it is a place to store all your to-do lists whether it be career, academic work, or even personal housekeeping duties. A calendar is another key feature to look for in a planner because you can easily track what events you have scheduled for that day and the month as a whole. No more double booking or forgetting friend’s birthday dinners! I prefer a paper planner simply because it works for me. There is no better feeling than crossing out completed homework with a smooth ballpoint pen (I just got shivers). Target and TJ Maxx have a wide selection of academic planners (tracks the months of August to June for my college girlies) or entire year calendars (January to December). You can find one for as cheap as $7. One of my favorite things is that you can customize and decorate a paper planner; time to break out the stickers and glitter! You can also use a digital planner if that works best. Google Calendar and Cozi are my favorite recommendations for digital calendars. They give reminders and you can color coordinate! Digital Planner has a wide selection of planners to choose from to find one that works best for you; they are available for download on Notability, Goodnotes, Noteshelf, and Samsung Notes. Linked below are some of my personal favorites.

Papier – Nose in a Book

Plum Paper – Customizable Planner

Amazon – 2024-2025 Planner

Schedule your time

Scheduling your time and actually writing tasks down can calm those scrambled nerves when you are running late for dinner or forget to go to class. Frequently looking at a calendar and double checking what you need to do for the day is primary in staying mentally organized. Using a calendar will help you not only remember important dates or tasks but also give you structure for when you want to make plans with friends. I feel best when I map out what I am going to do for the day. When I am busy and toppling over with assignments, this means scheduling every minute so that I get everything done. When I have wiggle room, sometimes scheduling my time just means setting aside two specific hours to complete whatever I need to. 

Get into a routine

We all remember that terrible day when the Pandemic officially began and we were shut within our houses. I particularly despised this time not only because I could not go anywhere beyond my backyard, but because I was thrown from my daily life; my routine was completely abandoned and I needed to build a new one. My best tips to feel more mentally organized in times like these is to get into a routine. Don’t get me wrong, spontaneity is amazing and keeps the zest of life alive, but a routine can ensure that you are not overwhelmed and can actually enjoy that zest. If you are in school, you can build a routine around your class schedule while thinking about what you want to add to your life. Do you want to workout more? Pick up a new hobby? Stop being so lazy? Be more lazy? Actively work that into your routine by scheduling your time. Set aside two hours for your new hobby or for your nap (be sure to set that alarm to wake up on time) and continue to do that daily or weekly. A routine will help you remember where you need to be, what you need to do, and force you to actually do those things you’ve been wishing to incorporate into your daily life. 

Organize your Space

Giving everything a space can make your life 10x more organized with minimal effort. A specific drawer for tops and a designated bin for skincare keeps your space clean ensuring that you can find things. No longer losing swimsuits or documents because you put it in the same place each time. Target has an array of bins in various sizes, colors, and material to find the perfect match for you. You can also pop over to The Container Store! It’s literally a store dedicated to organization (what could be better)! Using specific bins can be crucial when you are in a rush since you know exactly where everything is; decluttering your space can help you feel more put together. A clean room makes for a clean mindset! 

Being organized might seem trivial or even impossible to some people. Using labels or storage bins may appear unnecessary, but if you feel like your life has become cluttered and your mind overwhelmed by a myriad of things, then take a crack at becoming organized. Find a system that works for you and hopefully you will see that your days become a little easier with each item checked off your curated to-do list!

Sam is a first-year Economics Major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is currently involved in Her Campus as an editorial writer and a part of other Cal Poly clubs such as Investing and Waterski. Sam loves traveling, The Princess Diaries, strawberries, reading, and winning at card games. If she's not making a new Spotify playlist, you'll catch her working out or hanging out with friends!