University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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6 Organizational Life Hacks

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 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.

Wardrobe Planning

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.


99e35894ef244984_P1120212.previewCreate a memory board.

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.


Study Space

Set up a designated study area.

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.



Keep a goal list.

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 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.

Best Dorm DIYs

washi tape

Dorm life is a blast, but a warning for incoming freshmen: You probably won’t be too impressed with your new digs when you first walk in. The bed is might be smaller than you’re used to; you’ll be sharing a lot of your space with a roommate; and aesthetically, the furniture isn’t anything to write home about. But, the good news about your bare bones dorm: it’s a blank slate. Your dorm is an empty canvas just waiting for your look to be splashed all over it. Here are a few DIY projects you can do to make your dorm a space all your own, and a true “home away from home.”

Washi tape

washi tapewashi tapewashi tape

These little strips of magic can do wonders in giving a colorful, custom look to an otherwise drab dorm. Line your bookshelves with the tape, create frames around posters, and make unique designs on your wall.

Stenciled curtains

stenciled curtains

Curtains can really make a room, but nicer, unique panels can get expensive fast. The solution? Make your own. Grab some cheap panels in a color you like, some complimentary paint and a cool stencil. Now you have all the tools to create a custom look for your windows at an affordable price. We love this tutorial here


Marquee Letter

marquee letter

String-lights in a dorm room create a soft, cozy glow, but why not take it a step further and make your own marquee letter or sign? This high-end looking DIY is surprisingly easy and inexpensive.

Faux Agate Coasters

Beautiful agate coasters can be seen all over Pinterest and Tumblr. But if you want the real thing, keep in mind that a set of four can cost anywhere from $50 to $100! Most college kids don’t have that kind of dough to drop on a whim. But you still want a place to set your Sonic Happy Hour Route 44, so that’s where this DIY comes in.

faux agate coasters

Gold Alphabet Magnets

gold alphabet magnetsThe mini fridge is a dorm room staple, but it’s often overlooked as a spot for décor. Deck your fridge out with cool magnets, like these golden letters here


A living plant instantly brightens up any space. Put your greenery in a cute planter that matches your design scheme and it’ll add that much more warmth to your space. We love these three the best: the macramé planter design, the gold leaf design,, and this doe and deer design Hearty succulents are an especially good choice since they don’t need much attention and aren’t finicky about weather conditions.


We know the dorm won’t look like much when you walk in, but with a little elbow grease and a few DIYs, you’ll have a space you’ll love calling home for the year. Do you enjoy DIY projects? We want to hear from you! Post your DIY along with #UALR or tell us about it in the comments.

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