20 tips for college students to stay organized in the new year

Amanda Bialek , LA&E Editor

1. Rise and shine on time.

Do you often find yourself hitting snooze repeatedly? Put your alarm clock somewhere in your room that causes you to get out of your bed. More movement will help you wake up faster and stay awake.

2. Buy a planner.

Having a planner in college is essential for keeping track of all of your assignments and upcoming events. Find one that works well with your style. Whether you like simplicity or aim to be bold with bright colors, there is a planner for everyone. You can check out the selections at Michaels craft store or visit Barnes and Noble. Remember to download a coupon on your phone by visiting their websites. Be sure to keep your planner with you wherever you go so you can write things down before you forget.

3. Save those syllabi.

A syllabus is your guide for the rest of the semester and important to keep in a safe place. Use a folder to keep all of your syllabi in a designated area. Another option is to put each syllabus in an individual binder that corresponds with every class.

4. Take five and clean.

A great way to keep your room and/or apartment tidy is to set aside five minutes a day and clean an area. Whether it is sorting your whites from darks, organizing your desk, cleaning up the kitchen or freshening up the bathroom, you will be glad you did as the semester goes by.

5. Make to-do lists.

A great goal is to make a list of everything you need to do the next day before going to bed. Keep a notebook by your bed or use an application on your cell phone to list all of the work you need to accomplish. When you wake up the next day feeling refreshed, you will have an outline of what you need to do.

6. Create a schedule.

Consistency is key. It is a smart idea to develop a daily or weekly schedule that you stick to. Besides your academic classes, be sure to designate times for homework, eating, cleaning, socializing and sleeping. Plan your day out ahead of time. An unscheduled day may lead to less productivity. A clear-cut schedule will help you be more efficient and arrive to your classes or other events on time.

7. Use a timer.

Take advantage of the timer on your cell phone. Setting a timer helps to accomplish tasks quicker. It keeps you engaged in the work you need to do and can prevent you from distractions like watching television.

8. Download a self-control application.

There are a variety of applications that may aid in boosting productivity. SelfControl is available for Mac users and Cold Turkey is an option for PC users. Both of these applications allow you to temporarily block yourself from social media sites and other websites or games that may be addicting. You decide on the time period that you want the websites to be blocked. After setting the time, you will be unable to access the designated websites even if you restart your computer.

9. Use a binder clip for your cords.

Keep your wires in order at your desk by using binder clips. From headphones, to the computer cord, cell phone charger and more, your desk can end up becoming a mixture of wires. You can use different sizes and colors depending on the cord.


10.  Keep your backpack stocked.

Have pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, your planner and a water bottle in your backpack at all times. A first aid kit is also a must-have so you are prepared when you get a headache or need to bandage a paper cut.

11.  Color code your calendar.

Adding color to your responsibilities serves as a great reminder at what lies ahead. You can use red to mark finals or assignment due dates, green for laundry and blue for appointments.

12. Get sticky-note happy.

Head on over to the Dollar Tree and grab a pack of sticky-notes. Write down important due dates for assignments and upcoming meetings or events. Stick them on the wall and remember to take them down once you have completed the task!

13. Charge your phone and laptop at night.

Make a habit of plugging in your devices to charge before you go to bed. Waking up to a dead phone or laptop is not a good way to start off the day. While you are recharging with sleep your devices should be charging with power too.

14. Learn when to say no.

There are so many opportunities in college to participate in activities. From clubs to social events like game night, there is a lot to be a part of. Learn how to politely decline from invites. You will overwhelm yourself if you participate in everything. Prioritize what activities are most important to you. Your schedule will thank you later.

15. Use a door shoe rack.

To keep all of your shoes organized, you can purchase a shoe rack. This will eliminate clutter and give you more floor space.

16. Confirm all appointments in advance.

If you have a meeting with a professor, dentist or doctor appointment, take the time to send an email or phone call to confirm the appointment. It is wise to do this a day or two prior incase there has been a change in schedule. This is will save you from spending an hour waiting due to lack of communication.

17. Avoid multitasking.

Emailing, texting, writing a paper and watching television all at the same time is not going to end well. Too often we get caught up in the world of multitasking. Focus on one assignment at a time and put all of the distractions away.

18. Figure out your most productive hour.

Are you an early riser or a night owl? Knowing the time frame you are most productive and take advantage of it. Dedicate those hours to working on your academic assignments.

19. Use soda tabs to save space in your closet.

Save the tabs from soda cans and hook them on your hangers. This a nifty way to hang up multiple articles of clothing giving you additional room in your closet.

20. Stay motivated and be awesome.

Be determined. Set goals everyday. Spread the joy. Have a grateful heart. Smile and say hello. Work hard, and most importantly, be yourself.