Back to College Organization

The title of this post is a bit misleading because I can honestly say I’m not a particularly organized person.  I was the kid in class who often forgot my homework at home or in my locker (honest!). Growing up with  a sister and THREE brothers, I still managed to have one of the messiest rooms in the house!  It was scary, I would have dirty laundry all over the ground and papers everywhere (don’t even get me started on makeup).  Still, I didn’t change my ways because even with all my missing assignments, my grades were decent enough to get me to a “top 50” university.
However, once I actually started college, I realized how important it is to be and stay organized.  Although I’m 18 now, I’m actually a junior in college since I graduated high school when I was 16 (but really, I’m not a smart person, in fact I feel pretty stupid compared to many, many people). Anyway, after I started college, I noticed very quickly how easy it was to get behind in class.  At first, I loved how classes met only a couple times a week, then I soon realized that just because my class wasn’t meeting for the other days of the week, doesn’t give me the excuse to NOT be responsible for retaining the material and plan for the next meeting.  Organizing all my papers and notes and assignment due dates became crucial to my “success” (or rather, survival) in college.  Also it is a huge stress reliever to know where all my papers are!
Now, I’m still definitely not a super organized person or OCD in any manner, but I can say I’m now an avid planner user, my laundry has found it’s place in a hamper, and my bed is more often made than not.
Here are a few items that I use to keep me on top of my life:
1. Cascading file/ Any file system in general
I use Manila folders to store important documents and label them accordingly (work, medical documents, bank statements, taxes) then I put them away in a file organizer that is portable.  I also use another one to keep important papers/tests from past semesters.
2. A planner!
This has seriously saved my tush! I don’t like to use a pocket sized one nor the huge 8 1/2 x 11 inch one.  I write too big for the small ones and the large planner is too bulky to use in most lecture halls.  Instead I use a 7 x 9 Payne Publisher Student Assignment Planner and it’s the perfect size for me.  This planner has been my favorite format so far.  It is an assignment planner that has a daily section where you can write the subject, the assignment, the due date, and check it off when you’re done! I love it because I can see exactly which assignments I should work on for that day.
3. A subject divided notebook.
I dislike carrying binders because they’re a bit too bulky, especially when I have classes back to back.  Also, it’s a hassle to use to put papers in during class and I hate having to carry a hole puncher just to use it.  So for notes, I use one notebook for all my classes that has built in dividers that makes it easy for me to organize all my notes and keep them in one place.
4. Mead trapper keeper folders
These folders are made out of plastic which doesn’t break easily and can last me semester after semester.  They come with a clear plastic cover on the front which allows me to put the class syllabus on the front which serves as my folder label and keeps all my important papers for the class in one convenient place where it doesn’t mingle with the other papers.  Inside I put all my handouts or assignments that are due.  Also, they come in a variety colors to make it easier to remember which folders I need for the day.
What do you use or do to stay organized?
Material Detox

4 thoughts on “Back to College Organization”

  1. What a coincidence were both in a family of 5 children. I was very messy too back in college my room started to become more organized and tidy when I started working because I have a routine now unlike at school

  2. I am in grad school, and taking 4 classes (three is a ‘full’ course load). Staying organized AND AHEAD of the assignments is the only way to survive. I watch younger people procrastinate and their grades suffer as a result. Thanks for the great organizational tips!

  3. I need need need that hanging wall organizer. I’m trying to run a business and am organizationally challenged. That’s why I’m blogging at 11:55 at night. Not the easiest thing to do. Run a business if you’re organizationally challenged I mean.

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