Here's What It Takes to Stay Organized in College

“Yes, it’s a mess, but it’s my mess, and I put things where I know I will find them.”  If you find yourself saying this every time your roommate drops a subtle hint that you should pick up the slack on cleaning your side of the room, then pay close attention.

There’s nothing wrong with a little mess and clutter; it is said that even the most artistic and creative people have lived in a catastrophic ambiance of disorganization.  Maybe you even use this idea as bragging rights to persuade people that you’re not messy, but artistic and currently working on a best-selling novel.  However, if you find yourself scrambling to even find your homework just two minutes before the class starts, a little organization may do you some good.  So, where do you start?

Make a schedule.

I buy a huge planner at the start of the semester that is organized by hour and is color coordinated by course and category (appointments, exams, homework, etc.)  However, if you’re not so type A and do not have the time to get this extensive, just printing out a free calendar online, filling in important events, and hanging it up on a special spot on the wall will be a lifesaver.  This will especially help to prevent those “OMG!  I didn’t know we had a test tomorrow!” moments.

Clean your space weekly.

Again, maybe it is not your thing to drive your roommates crazy by making a color-coded diagram of every single chore.  But taking a little time for yourself, say, every Saturday morning when you wake up by just organizing, vacuuming or dusting your room and personal areas will make all the difference.

If your desk is a constant jumble of scattered papers, books, food wrappers, and fashion accessories, it can be overwhelming and can discourage you to do your homework.  So make it a habit to clear your space once a week and feel your motivation soar!

Learn to love labels and lists.

Re-work those boring to-do lists on loose-leaf paper and find a cute template for planning out your week.  There are some helpful schedules available online that have hourly slots to fill in, with special areas for notes, personal items, future events and creative writing.  As far as labels go, those rainbow-colored markers can be your best friends when you use them for either color-coding categories or classes on paper.

Work under deadlines.

The one major stressor of organization, and the key to getting organized, is the ability to stick to deadlines.  Deadlines will be present in almost every profession you decide to enter, and you will feel pressured to get your work done on time.  Since college is essentially preparatory for your career, start pushing yourself to meet daily, weekly or monthly deadlines on not only your schoolwork, but also personal items to form the habit of little to no procrastination.

Have fun!

On the brighter side of getting organized, it doesn’t always have to be all hard work, planning, and stress.  Blast the new Taylor Swift album as loud as you want while writing out your jobs for the week, or dance around to the “Friends” theme song while vacuuming your common room.  Treat yourself to patterned calendars and planners or buy very decorative desk and closet organizers.  If all else fails, grab your girlfriends to help you out with the tasks you dread and help you focus to finish your work before the weekend!

Here you have just some ways you can make your stressful lives as collegiates just a little bit simpler and smoother.  Don’t forget to schedule in some time for relaxation and hanging out with friends to balance out all that hard work!

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