Simple Ways To Stay Organized

Simple Ways To Stay Organized While Still Living A Fulfilling Life

"For me, a calm house equals a calm heart equals a calm life." - Erica Layne

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College students are continuously busy with their different tasks, responsibilities, and roles that they need to fulfill. They are students who are involved with campus life. They may have a job or an internship on top of their studies. They could be doing any number of things at a given time.

These days I find myself bouncing from one place to the other and it can be so hard to make sure I have everything I need for the place I am at. I switch things out so often that sometimes I forget something. These are 5 things that have helped me stay as organized as I possibly can be during my time at college.

1. Bags. Bags For Everything 

I keep everything in smaller bags. I have a bag for my chargers and my headphones, a bag for all of my pencils, pens, highlighters, and my mini stapler, and then a bag for more personal items that I might need throughout the day.

I am constantly moving stuff from my backpack to my purse or vice versa. I have been in way too many situations where there was something I needed, but I was off campus and had completely forgotten it somewhere in my room.

Once I started putting the things I want to always have with me in smaller bags, I stopped forgetting them. Going along with this I have a spare phone charger that just stays in my little bag, that way I know I will always have it if I need it.

2. Google Calendar/Tasks

Google Calendar & Google Tasks have been an absolute lifesaver this year. It's not that I didn't know that these things existed, because I did; I had just never utilized them until closer to the end of 2018. I always carried around my handy dandy planner, which worked great for most of my time at college.

The older you get in school, the fuller schedules become, and as a girl who has very large handwriting, a planner was no longer cutting it for me. I began to switch over to Google Calendar and I was putting homework assignments on due dates and I absolutely hated it.

I hated that half of my stuff was on the calendar and I was still handwriting my to-do lists. I then switched over to Google Tasks and boy oh boy did that make things so much easier. I was able to write out my to-do list, assign a date in it, and it would then automatically import into my Google Calendar and once I would cross it off my to-do list, it was crossed off on my calendar as well; and that was a visual that I very much appreciated.

3. Picking Out An Outfit Out The Night Before

Okay, I admit, I'm not the best at this one. Very rarely do I actually set an outfit out the night before, but I do go over to my closet and look through my outfits and try to decide on one. It definitely makes things easier on me in the mornings. Let's be honest, I don't always wake up on time; snooze might just be my favorite button to hit in the mornings. So, it really helps me to have an idea of what I want to wear the next day. At least this way if I wake up late, I don't have to worry about what I am going to wear.

4. Packing My Bag The Night Before 

Same thing as setting an outfit out the night before, when I run late it makes it 100% easier for me if my bag is mostly packed. I am able to get out the door faster than I would if I had to go and pack it in the morning. Obviously I can't pack everything the night before, but doing this tends to work out well. If I don't pack my bag the night before, I am almost guaranteed to forget something that I am going to need for the next day, especially if I woke up late. Being scatterbrained is no joke, people!

5. Tidying Up The Night Before

Tidying up the night before is relaxing for me. It just puts me in an overall better mood when I go to bed. If I go to bed in a good mood, there is a better chance that I am going to wake up in a good mood. Tidying up also clears my mind by clearing my space. A clear mind is a more focused and productive mind. I can't even focus on homework in my room without it being somewhat clean and organized. If it isn't, my mind roams until I get up and decide to clean. I also like being able to wake up and my room be clean. When my things are tidied up, I am just simply at peace with my environment.

Most of these things are things that I almost never did while I was in high school, but while I have been in college they have been some of the most helpful things that I have done.

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From The Girl Who Skipped The Party Stage

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.
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What's so wrong with skipping the party stage?

I can't count how many times I've been told I am missing out on the "best years of my life" because I'm not participating in stereotypical college party-girl behavior. I have even been told that I'll have a mid-life crisis because I am skipping this apparently crucial stage of life. Really? A freaking mid-life crisis? Because I'm skipping out on hooking up with strangers and being belligerently drunk every weekend?

Naturally, as a 19-year-old college student, my favorite pastime should be getting intoxicated. For some odd reason, though, I find it hard to believe that the best years of my life are supposed to be filled with moments that I won't remember.

Because my priorities lay in a different place than the stereotypical college kid doesn't by any means indicate that I am uptight, boring or a prude. Believe it or not, I get high on life just as much as you do on booze and weed.

Spending my time reading a good book with my morning coffee definitely tops a nasty hangover. Cuddling with my boyfriend of two years undoubtedly makes me happier than any one-night-stand ever could.

A successful girls' night for me is filled with hours of "Grey's Anatomy," ridiculous singing to Taylor Swift, and one-too-many slices of pizza — not dancing with girls that I barely know at a frat party.

Sorry, but if you're looking for someone to black out with and compliment your dress that is just too tight, I am not your girl. Want to have an actual discussion? Want to go to dinner, maybe even take a road trip? I am totes down for that.

When I look back on the best years of my life, I want my mind to be filled with memories that will bring a smile to my face — not a cringe.

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.


Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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