A Busy College Student’s Guide to Organization

One of the largest changes I’ve seen in my life since moving to college 2 years ago is my level of organization. I love to organize things and I always have, but I never quite developed a knack for keeping them that way. After sharing a bedroom with a roommate for the past two years, I’ve undeniably become a lot cleaner and more organized. 

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Assignment Spreadsheet

The first thing I do every semester is go through all of my syllabi and set up a spreadsheet with every assignment, the date it’s due, the class it’s for, and my progress. I color-code the different courses so I can see what’s coming up at a glance, and then set aside a color like gray to be used to mark completed and submitted assignments. This is certainly a more time-consuming organization hack, but it ensures that I never miss a deadline because I keep the spreadsheet open in my Google Drive 24/7.

A screenshot of my Assignment Spreadsheet.
  1. Planner

I use this bullet journal-esque planner to set up my days. I mark off times I have class, set aside time for remote internship work, and note important days I need to remember. I also track my homework assignments daily and usually make checkboxes so I know when I’ve accomplished them. 

  1. Journal

Journaling helps me keep my head organized. As an overthinker, it can ger overwhelming when everything going on comes to a head in my internal conversation, so having a means of journaling to track what’s going on in my personal life is a must-have. It helps me stay healthy mentally. I typically use a bullet journal so that I have freedom for what I want to do with each and every page, such as writing what happened in a day or drawing up habit trackers, but gratitude journals or even blank notebooks work just as well. 

  1. Make Your Bed

If you’re like me and like to study at the desk in your room but feel more productive when your surroundings are clean, try making your bed. The bed in my apartment is a double, and my room instantly feels cleaner when the comforter is smooth and flat. 

  1. Set aside time to clean

With a busy college schedule, it can be hard to adhere to tidying up every day. A huge due date certainly outweighs a small pile of dirty dishes or unfolded laundry. I try to set aside time once a weekend to pick up everything that got tossed around during the week. The beginnings of my weeks are heavier than the tail end, so I try not to worry if clothes don’t get put away or papers pile up on my desk Monday through Wednesday, but once I hit Friday, I make a concerted effort to start picking up little things and placing them where they belong. By the end of the weekend, I’ll have whipped my room back into shape. 

Have any organization hacks I should try? Let me know in a comment.

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