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We all start the spring semester with big ideas for New Year’s resolutions and plans to stay more organized than we had any previous year. But how will this year be different? How can you actually stick to your goals? Well, I cannot help you with all of your resolutions, but I am here to help you with tips to keep your desk organized this semester and beyond…


1. Get a mini bookshelf:

If you don’t have room for a bookcase in your room, get a mini bookshelf for your desk that can hold just the essential textbooks that you will want within reach. Rather than stacking up a heavy pile of books on the corner of your desk or the floor, keep them close by and nicely organized in a mini bookshelf. This is a fairly inexpensive way to add some order to your desk. (I found mine for less than $20). If a mini bookshelf won’t fit, try to find a small desk organizer that will add a shelf or two for papers and notebooks.


2. When decorating your desk, consider the amount of space that you have:

Every time a collegiette’s desk is shown in a movie, its covered in cute things like framed photos, perfume bottles, lip glosses and the occasional plant. While this sounds great in theory, I have to wonder… where do they even put their laptops? We are busy collegiettes, and we have work to do. If your desk is small, don’t try to cram all your belongings onto it. Stick to the basics: necessary books, notebooks and your computer. If you have extra space for decorating that’s awesome, but you do not want to start off with an already cluttered desk.



3. Get a corkboard:

Remember that overcrowded desk, covered in framed photos? Welcome to the solution. Hanging a corkboard on your wall gives you a place to put all your photos, without covering up your workspace. A corkboard is also an excellent place to store a mini calendar with important dates or little notes to yourself about important deadlines or with inspirational quotes.


4. Make your decorations functional:

If you absolutely must decorate your desk, use things that can act as organizers. Instead of putting a mini Eiffel Tower on your desk, find an Eiffel Tower mug and use it to store pens and pencils. This will keep your desk looking personalized and it will keep things close by and tidy.



5. Avoid putting random things on your desk when you come into your room:

A clean desk is a perfect place to drop down random belongings when you are in a hurry, but you must avoid doing this at all costs. Throwing that one graded test on your desk for later may not seem like a big deal, but after a while, those random papers and knick knacks can add up to a big cluttered mess. Take the time to put your papers away, and you will save yourself loads of time in the future.


These tips and tricks should help you keep your desk organized and neat all semester long. If you notice your desk is starting to lose some of its order, stop it before it gets out of hand. Take a minute to tidy up, and then continue on your path to a more organized and productive semester.


Photos by author, Garnette Ransone.

Garnette Ransone is a Masters of Teaching student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She enjoys all bad jokes, brunch and finding any excuse she can to wear glitter. You can usually find her at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or travelling the East Coast to see her favorite bands.
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