Tips for Staying Organized Throughout College

by Jessy Stanavage

We have all been there; standing among piles of clothes that clutter the floor and a disorganized desk piled high with books, papers and the sunglasses you lost last week. It’s a cringe-worthy sight for people who thrive on organization but for many of us, it doesn’t come naturally.

While disorganization is sometimes inevitable for all, with persistence and simple organizational techniques avoiding it possible. If the new semester has sparked your desire to get organized, here are a few easy organizational tips to conquer any state of disarray.

Write it down: Often the smallest details can slip our minds, whether it is the date of an upcoming exam or a reminder to write a paper. Writing down assignments, exam dates and minor tasks can help organize your life by providing structure and direction. For Leah Carpenter, a junior at Central Connecticut State University, writing everything from homework to her work schedule in a planner is the best advice she can give.

“I feel like when I write things down I am unpeeling it from my mind,” said Carpenter. Using a planner, desk calendar and sticky notes are excellent ways to begin recording your daily to-do lists and stay up to date with assignments. Having trouble keeping track of all your papers and where your pens are? Downloading apps such as iStudeiez Pro or PlannerPlus will eliminate the hassle of paper and will develop your schedule virtually.

Develop a habit: CCSU sophomore Eleonora Ciarcia follows a simple routine to stay organized.

“I write everything down in class and during my breaks or when I get home I organize it,” said Ciarcia. Developing a routine is important in organization, especially when adapting to a more organized lifestyle. If your life is incredibly disorganized, do not attempt to conquer it all at once. Begin by implementing small changes into your daily routine to establish a habit, then slowly expand your efforts. For example, to maintain a more orderly room, try cleaning as you go. A daily de-clutter before you go to bed or leave your room is simple and prevents the infamous and dreaded time-consuming cleaning binges. Better yet, after using an item, instead of piling it on your desk put it away immediately.

Strategize storage: It’s incredibly frustrating to search through all your drawers and explore the depths of your closet and still not find what you need. Strategizing and labeling storage eliminates desperate searches for lost items. When storing items in bins, group them according to their function – for example, a drawer with writing tools and stationary. Consider keeping the items you use most often close and in easily accessible places rather than sticking them on an out-of-reach shelf. Most importantly when packing away your things; be sure to label. While the task may seem tedious at first, it makes finding things much easier in the long run.

Utilize your phone: As students, we spend a great deal of our time on our phones and many of us are more inclined to use our phone than physically writing things down. In fact, there are countless apps available at our fingertips to make organization more manageable and convenient. For example, Mint is an all-in-one money management app to help with all aspects of your finances. You can develop a personalized budget and manage your bank accounts all in one app. Have you ever found an interesting article you want to save for later? The app Pocket enables you to archive articles and read them when you find the time. If you find yourself procrastinating by surfing the Internet, there is also an app for that. RescueTime, available for your computer and mobile devices, monitors and records time spent on specific websites and provides you with detailed data based on your activity. One of RescueTime’s most notable features is that you can block distracting websites during times you need to focus. Mint, Pocket and RescueTime are just a few helpful tricks to successfully organize various areas in your life.