Tips to Get Organized From A Disorganized Person

Growing up, my mom and I fought all the time over my room. I don’t think we were unique in this constantly raging war. In fact, I would say 90% of my friends have told me at one time or another “my parents are making me clean my room.” Regardless, this disorganization of my room started to bleed into my everyday organization skills. I think some of you readers would be frankly taken aback by how illegible my handwriting is, how wrinkled my papers become and generally how I have no idea where any of my belongings are at any one time. I concede I am messy, lazy and generally disorganized, however, I get my crap done and on time. I don’t think you need to be organized to be organized. My system works for me somehow, and maybe some of my habits will help you, too.

Get a dry erase calendar

Every year in school they would hand out planners for students to use, and every year I would vow to myself to use it. I never did. Going into college, however, I realized there were a lot more events that I had to keep track of. Although my parents stayed mostly hands-off in high school, they were still a safety net to remind me of events I had to go to. I decided to try this whole planner thing one more time, but this time I got a large month calendar that was dry erase. I propped it up against my cabinet and have used it diligently since I’ve been in college. The fact that it is not a planner that I have to physically get out every time to use has greatly increased my useage of it. It creates an easy way to see what tasks you have and be able to modify them whenever you need. There’s also no hassle when you have to change over months; you just erase everything and start again. 

Have a separate notebook and folder for every class

One of the biggest scams for me is massive multi subject notebooks and binders. There is no way I can keep up and maintain the division between classes when they are in the SAME BINDER! Yes, I know there are such things as dividers, but if you’re like me then you stuff everything in wherever it will fit at the end of class and “deal with it later”.  Although having separate materials for every class may seem like more to keep up with, it greatly helps the separation of assignments and papers, so everything stays with its relevant class.

Print out and display your syllabi

The syllabi in college are your lifeblood of every class. The teacher no longer has a cutesy white erase board with “Today’s Homework” and “Tomorrow’s Homework” category stickers telling you exactly what to do every day before class. Now, it is up to you to figure out what is due everyday by looking at your syllabus for each class. Since I hate paper planners and writing down my assignments in general, I decided to print out all my syllabi and tack them up on my cork board above my desk. You can tack them up wherever is best in your own dorm room; it really does not matter. Now I am constantly reminded of assignments I have due and am always able to check what I need to do next.

Put your clean clothes away immediately

Ok, I know this one is random but it helps so much. Letting clean laundry sit around in my room makes everything look disorganized. Taking the initiative to complete the whole process of cleaning laundry, switching to the dryer and then folding and putting away in one fell swoop is far more satisfying then letting it lay. It also helps to motivate to clean other parts of the room. Once I start cleaning my laundry or putting it away, I get into clean mode. I’ll start cleaning the whole room to match the effort I just put into the laundry. If the room is clean, I am more motivated to start on work and finish my assignments. Putting away the laundry starts a train of organization. If you can just get past the first hurdle, the rest of the race is easy. Being organized can be difficult. There is a societal standard of what it means to be organized, and some of us don’t work that way. You have to find what the right system is for you and run with it. Hope these tips help you start on your way to “organization!”