Every school year, students start classes with several goals in mind. At the top of the list is one master goal: get – and – stay organized! Inevitably workloads increase, fatigue sets in and chaos ensues, forcing us to throw our good intentions to the side and simply focus on survival. There has to be a way to avoid this disorganization so many students face, right? It may take a little extra work and preparation, but we’re here to tell you: it is possible.
Here are a few of our favorite tips on how you can stay organized no matter what the school year throws your way.
Start meal planning.
Busy college students are all too familiar with the dinnertime scramble or a vending machine lunch – especially those with kids or others who need someone to prepare their meals. Taking a few minutes out of your weekend to plan meals and grocery shop will save you the stress of frantically throwing together a dinner or the high price tag of eating take out for three days straight. By planning ahead, you’re more likely to eat healthy, cost-efficient food. You can take your meal planning a step further by doing some meal prep like chopping vegetables or putting a week’s worth of lunches together during your weekend. Get started with this http://strawberrymommycakes.com/2014/09/15/free-printable-weekly-meal-planner/ cute printable meal planner.
Color code activities with Washi tape.
A calendar or planner is your friend, and you should definitely be using it to its highest potential. At the beginning of each week, plan out the week ahead by color-coding different activities with Washi tape. Find a few different tape colors and designs you like, then assign each tape roll to a different category, such as classes, social activities, chores and other obligations. We love this tutorial here <http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Washi-Tape-Calendar-25476176>.
Plan out your wardrobe.
We know you’ve heard this one before, but an effective way to avoid the frantic morning rush is to pick out what you’re going to wear the next day the night before. By minimizing the amount of decisions you have to make before you get out the door, you’ll be able to get ready more quickly. You’ll also avoid any wardrobe surprises while getting ready – like discovering all your socks are dirty or finding your only clean blouse crumpled on the floor.
Cut down on paper clutter by keeping mail, bills and important reminders on a memory board. This project is easy to make and won’t take up too much of your precious time either! You can find step-by-step instructions on how to make yours here: <http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-French-Memory-Board-26708082>.
Setting up a designated study area in your home will keep schoolwork from taking over your kitchen table or living room. The area doesn’t have to be big, just big enough to store your books, papers and computer. This area will make them easy to find and out of other living areas. Ideally, you’d be able to find a well-lit spot away from distractions like the TV. If you don’t have a good study spot in your home, set up a bookshelf for all your academic materials, then set up at the library, a coffee shop or your own kitchen table to study. Just remember if you study at home, put everything back in its place once you are finished.
Goal setting is an important part of getting things done. Whether it’s the small, daily tasks or your biggest, lifelong dreams – having goals encourages motivation. You can’t keep your eye on the prize if you never communicate what the goal is that you’re working toward. Start setting weekly, daily or yearly goals. Check out this <http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Rotating-Goal-List-32130026> free printable checklist to get started off on the right foot.
We hope you’re feeling inspired to get organized. If the thought of implementing all of these tips at once overwhelms you, just start with a few! The steps you take toward a more organized life will reap rewards in the future.
Now we want to hear from you: What organizational practices do you swear by? Let us know by commenting below or post your answer to social media using #UALR.