How to Stay Organized at College

We were all busy in high school. We let sports, clubs, activities, homework, and college applications practically take over our personal lives. Often the thing that suffers most from an overloaded schedule is staying organized, especially in your room or living space. Maybe your parents let you be disorganized in high school, but most likely your roommate or housemates will not. One of the biggest stresses I faced going into my freshman year was keeping a small space organized, while continuing to juggle the same amount activities and work as I did in high school. After a whole year of managing to stay more organized and neater than I ever have before, here are my best tips on finding and improving your organizational skills at college.  

1. Put everything back in its place right away. If a sweatshirt goes in a drawer, don’t just toss it on top of your dresser or hang it off your chair—take the two seconds to fold it up and put it back. Keeping clutter at bay is super important for keeping your room neat and cute. 

 2. Keep files. As boring as it sounds, keep a box with file folders to store papers that you might need eventually, but don’t want to keep lying around your room. This means financial and academic information, important flyers, and anything that probably shouldn’t go in the trash. Not only will this help you keep track of the important stuff, but it keeps papers from cluttering your desk or bulletin board (and makes you feel like an adult). 

 3. Don’t overdo it with decorations. Everyone is tempted, especially in their first year, to buy every cute dorm decoration they see at Target or Urban Outfitters. The decorations, especially ones that don’t hang on the wall, but rather have to be placed on a desk or shelf, can take up a lot of valuable storage or workspace. What looks cute on the first few days can begin to seem overwhelming and cluttered once your year and classes get into full swing. 

 4. Keep surfaces clear. Try your best not to fill your desk with books or the top of your dresser with knick-knacks. It’s nice to have a place to sit and do work in your room when you just don’t feel like leaving. Clutter can add stress and anxiety to your daily life, and the one place you don’t need that is in your space. Make your room a place where you can unwind.  

The beginning of college can be a time of a lot of transitions and stress—in social life, academics and thinking about the future. It’s impossible to avoid stress entirely, but there are strategies to keep it at bay. Yes, you should keep a planner, take time for self-care and not procrastinate, but it is also so important to make your living space a place for relaxation. Taking the few extra minutes every day to tidy up and put things away will make life easier in the long run and set you up for success all year.

By: Maddy Jupina