How To Stay Organized, From A Type A Organizational Freak


Some people may say that I’m a little obsessive when it comes to organization. Given that one of my prized possessions is my label maker, they may be right. But that also makes me the perfect person to tell you about all the things you are going to use to keep yourself organized as we head into the fall semester.

Now, if you’re a freshman heading off to school, you’re probably thinking “It can’t be hard to keep everything straight!” Oh, bless your heart, little one. Between classes, study groups, and the litany of sorority events that are soon to fill your schedule, trust me – you are going to need all of the help you can get.

Buy A Planner
The absolute number one thing you are going to need is a planner. Sure, you can put all of your events and such in the calendar on your phone, but a cute planner is much less geeky and a lot more stylish. Once you’ve decided on a planner, start putting everything you need to remember in it – classes, assignments, doctor’s appointments, birthdays, breaks, holidays, work, sorority events, dates, literally everything. It may seem like a lot of work to write everything down at first, but you’ll thank me when you don’t schedule a study group at the same time as your Big’s 21st birthday celebration.

Kill Lots of Trees.
I’m all about being environmentally friendly. But I’m also all about passing all of my classes. And while you’ll get all of your class materials (syllabus, supplemental readings, etc.) electronically, it’s a lot easier to keep everything organized when you print it out, put it in a binder, divide it by week, highlight due dates, etc. Speaking of, it’s a lot easier to keep it all organized when you…

Color Code Your Classes.
For each class, pick a color and have everything for that class (notebook, binder, post its, tabs, highlighter, pen color entries in your planner) in that color. Purple for psychology, blue for biology, etc. Not only does it make everything more colorful, it makes it much easier to identify what supplies are for which class.

Invest In Erasable Pens.
Personally, I am a big fan of pencils, but I know that makes me really old school. So instead, be sure you get some erasable pens. Nothing is ever set in stone in college, so nothing should ever be written in permanent ink. Please also keep this in mind when you drunkenly decide to get a tattoo after that awesome frat party.

Get Organizers for Everything.
If you’re like me, when you head off to college, you’re going from living in a rather large room by yourself to sharing a very small space with at least one other person. As such, you need to make use of all of the spaces you’ve got available, including your desk top, your desk drawers, your makeup area, your dresser drawers and your closet. Anything you can use to make your space hold more stuff is a good thing, and luckily a lot of these organizing supplies are cute as well as functional.

Make a Weekly To-Do List.
You can definitely do this in your planner if you’d like; I personally make mine on cute paper that I keep on my desk. Every Monday morning, I sit down and make a list that includes everything I need to do that week – school assignments, cleaning, laundry, big/little crafting – and then take great pleasure as I cross things off, throw it away when everything’s done, and make a new list for the next week. There’s something satisfying about crossing things off a list, right?

Get a Label Maker.
Okay, maybe this is a bit too far, but humor me here. Having things labeled – your class binders, your notebooks, the storage bins under your bed that contain who knows what – makes it a lot easier to find what you need in short time. Plus, a label maker can come in handy if you have a roommate who doesn’t seem to be able to remember which bottle of Diet Coke are hers in the dorm fridge.

So there are some tips to start you off on your journey to get organized. I could have gone on, writing about my love of cute binder clips and how all of my my handbags are stored in individual, color-coded and labeled plastic bins, but let’s be real – you aren’t ready for that level of organizational crazy.

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, and documenting her love of all things cheese related. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at [email protected].

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