Organization. A simple concept, but can be difficult to stay on top of. Getting and staying organized is often a challenge, but is a necessity, especially as a college student. It is important to get yourself into a habit where you are organized, otherwise you will have trouble getting things done and keeping track of everything. Luckily, summer is a great time to experiment with different techniques and find out the best way for you to stay organized.
Personally, when I am unorganized, (which happens frequently), I often feel stressed and overwhelmed, which hinders my ability to get things done to the best of my ability, or at all. There are a number of benefits that result from keeping yourself organized. For example, I have noticed I am less stressed, more motivated, have more free time, am more productive, and feel like I am better able to manage everything. Although some would consider themselves to be organized, there's always room for improvement, whether it be changing the way you organize something, or doing something completely different.
There are numerous methods, tips, and tricks to getting and keeping yourself organized, so it is easy to find what is best for you. Below are some that I have found most useful.
Use a Planner, Use a Calendar
Everyone has their preferred way of filling in planners and calendars. What I do is divide the days in my planner in half, having due dates, activities, work etc., written on the left side, and what I need to, or want to get done that day written on the right hand side. My calendar keeps track of everything going on that month, including due dates of important assignments.
Make a To-Do List
As simple as it sounds, a lot of people don't keep track of what they need to get done, which makes it easy to forget something, especially when you have a lot on your plate. Along with that, having a to-do list can help you figure out a schedule for getting everything finished. Plus, you have to admit it is such a rewarding feeling to cross something off of a to-do list, and to see all that you have accomplished
Color Coding and Labeling
I color code everything, including my to-do lists, planner and calendar, and notes. I have found that this is one of the most helpful ways to keep myself feeling organized.
Put Things Away, Right Away
Making sure everything has a place, and try to put things away right when you are done using them. Not only does it lessen clutter, but it will be easier to find everything. Unfortunately, it does not always happen every time. When you start to notice clutter, try to take a few minutes to put stuff away. Even if it's only a few things, you will notice it will make a big difference.
Cork Boards, White Boards, and Post-It’s
Use cork boards and white boards to write yourself reminders, make lists, or anything you want. Post-it note reminders are also very effective when you need to keep track of things, or need to remember something in the future.
Sort and Store
Take time to go through your drawers, closets, cabinets or car to sort through and get rid of anything that is unnecessary, or trash. I try to do this every few weeks or so, depending on what it is and how cluttered it is. I am a huge advocate for using storing containers and bins for just about everything. Not only does it appear neater, but it helps keep everything in place, and motivates me to put everything in its place. You don't have to spend a bunch of money on storage either, get creative with it! For example, I use mugs and cups as cup holders, to hold makeup and brushes, and more!
It can be difficult to stay organized all the time, it is so easy to get off track, especially when you have a lot going on. No one can be all the time, and that is just fine! Along with that, keep in mind that no one organizes everything in the same way. Find what works best for you, and accept that you will have days when you won't be as organized. All that matters is if you see benefit in how you organize.
Good luck, and happy organizing!