At the beginning of each school year, I always vow to stay organized. And while I’m fairly organized for the most part, I definitely have many moments of procrastination. Plus, my brain can often be super scattered, especially with the high stress of school.
So today, I’m going to share my tips and tricks for staying organized this school year. These are all pieces of advice that have helped me personally, so I hope they help you too!
1.KEEP A PLANNER
I cannot tell you how important this is. It seems so obvious, but seriously, keeping a planner will save your entire school year. Every year through middle and high school, I would purchase a planner, use it for a day, and then toss it to the side. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I realized that planners are absolutely CRUCIAL. I write down literally everything in my planner — homework, projects, due dates, appointments, EVERYTHING. Basically, if it’s not in the planner, it’s not getting done. Plain and simple.
2) KEEP THINGS COLORFUL
While my planner is definitely helpful, lots of different colors also help a lot too. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
Keep lots of neon markers in your backpack. When you finish an assignment that’s written on your planner, mark it off with a bold color. This will keep your planner looking super vibrant, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to mark off an assignment!
Color code assignments, supplies, and reminders. To keep all of your supplies and assignments aligned for the right classes, color code them. Use a purple notebook and folder for math, a green notebook and folder for English, a pink notebook and folder for science, you get the picture. You can also use washi tape or colorful sticky tabs to keep certain assignments in the correct folder or notebook.
Highlighters, highlighters, highlighters! When I’m reading something for school, highlighters are literally my best friend. I like to highlight different items in different colors, which makes it super easy when I have go back to study later. For instance, use blue for vocabulary words, use yellow for important people you’ll need to know, use orange for certain dates you need to remember. This definitely helps for organizing your notes AND for studying in the long run.
3) DIY PHOTOS AND NOTES CLOTHESPINS
This one is a little DIY. It doubles as organization AND room décor. The best of both worlds, right?
- Here’s what you’ll need:
- Clothespins (I bought chalkboard ones from Target)
- Your favorite photos
- Sticky notes
Here’s what to do: Cut a piece of twine to the length of your choice. You’re going to hang up your twine and spread the clothespins evenly along the string. Since mine were chalkboard clothespins, I wrote my classes on each of them (writing the days of the week would work too!). If you don’t have chalkboard clothespins, you can always use chalkboard paint to turn them into a chalkboard texture or you can just use Sharpies to write on regular clothespins.
I attached sticky notes to the clothespins with the class names written on them. Then, in between those ones, I attached my favorite pictures, which made it look so much cuter!
Now, you’ll be able to keep reminders and assignments in an appealing piece of room décor!
4) OFFICE SUPPLIES TURNTABLE
This is more of a desk organizer, rather than something geared directly for school, but hey! I definitely do better in school when my room isn’t a mess. This idea isn’t my own personal creation, but it’s something I came across on Pinterest from Mom on Timeout. It’s so cute, I had to share it with you.
Basically, just take a bunch of mason jars, containers, or repurposed cans, and place them on a Lazy Susan. Just like the Pinterest tutorial, I would highly recommend using Velcro to hold down the containers — you don’t want your containers falling over when you spin the turntable.
This might look super boring, but here’s where the fun part comes in! There are so many different ways to customize your turntable to make it your own. You can paint the Lazy Susan and/or the containers, use washi tape, ribbon, stencils, stickers, your options are literally endless. You can even use different sizes of jars/containers too, or you can keep them all the same for more of a uniformed look.
And of course, throw your supplies in the designated jars and place the turntable on the desk. It’s so cute and so helpful for organization. Plus, who doesn’t like spinny things?
5) KEEP A CALENDAR
If your planner just isn’t making the cut, a calendar has to do the trick!
Of course, you can use the calendar app on your phone. As people of the so-called digital age, we’re on our phones almost constantly. So if you’ve got appointments and important dates loaded into your calendar app, there’s basically no way you could ever forget what’s going on that day.
Or you can buy (or DIY!) a physical calendar. I know what you’re thinking. We’re well into 2015, who buys calendars anymore? True, but they really do help. Sometimes it can be easier to simply get out of bed and actually look at the calendar on your wall, rather than having to scroll through a bunch of clutter on your phone.
Either way you choose to do it, I promise a calendar will help if a planner doesn’t!
6) SCHEDULE YOUR DAY WITH HOMEWORK ALARMS
I’m the type of person who procrastinates like crazy. So for all your procrastinators out there, this is definitely a handy tip for you.
Schedule out your day! But allow yourself to have some fun, while still getting your assignments done. In the morning, I use the Notes application on my phone to write down everything I need to do in a day and everything I want to do in a day. And basically, I’ll schedule what times I want to do each event. I usually give myself ample time to do each assignment so that I can squeeze some fun into my day, too.
Usually when I don’t set a schedule for myself, it’s easy for time to pass, and then suddenly it’s 10 PM and I haven’t worked on a single thing. So this definitely helps motivate me a ton!
And if this doesn’t work, you can always set individual alarms/reminders for yourself so your phone will annoy you until you get your homework done.
7) KEEP EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE
This one might seem kind of obvious, but it’s very helpful in the long run.
If you’ve got folders or binders in your backpack, they’re there for a reason. So use them! A lot of times, I’ll find myself simply throwing everything in my backpack because I don’t feel like pulling out a folder. But then that really important paper gets crumpled, ripped, or even lost, and you’re out of luck. I mean, it only takes about ten seconds of your time to stick something in a folder, so do it!
Another thing that helps is keeping all my books in one place. Last year, I had textbooks on my kitchen table, on the floor of my bedroom, and on the couch in my living room. Yeah, it was bad. Especially the next morning when I needed to bring a certain book to school and I had no idea where it was. So I was running around trying to find it at 7 in the morning. Been there, done that, it’s not fun. So here’s my advice: find a place in your house to put all your books. Seriously, all of them in one place. It will definitely help!
I know it’s much easier said than done, but if I can follow my own advice, hopefully you can consider it, too! One of the best ways to rock every school year is to stay organized. You can do it!