If you walked into my bedroom right now, there would be clothes all over the floor, water glasses on every surface, and three different types of cookie packages on my desk. Messiness is a part of my life, but disorganization is not. There may be cookies on my desk, but my wall planner above it is neatly color-coded for each event. My clothes may be all over, but my assignments are tucked away in folders for each class. Being organized is not hard, as long as you find what helps you. Here are some things that have helped me become more organized.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Make lists. The biggest thing that helps me is making lists. If I don’t write everything down, I’ll end up forgetting and freak out. I have a grocery list, a to-do list, a retail shopping list, and a homework list. There’s nothing worse than going to the grocery store and forgetting to buy essentials because you couldn’t remember, and there’s nothing worse than not having your homework done before a class because you forgot to write it down. If you think you won’t forget, take the extra precaution so you really don’t forget and write it down.

Utilize reminders. The Reminders app on iPhones is truly a gift from Apple God, a.k.a. Steve Jobs. It’s not just one of those annoying already installed apps, it’s a lifesaver. The app reminds me of important times I need to remember and places I need to be. Not only am I messy, but I’m forgetful as well, so being reminded to do something is a requirement. Since I’m always on my phone anyway, having the reminder pop up on my screen is super beneficial, and I’m no longer late for everything/don’t miss anything anymore.

Strategize your notes. There are many ways to take notes, but some ways are flat out bad note taking strategies. To fully capitalize on what you learned in a class, it is important to take notes in an organized and thorough manner. Obviously, that doesn’t mean writing word-for-word what the professor says, but try to structure notes in a way that categorizes the different topics you learn and the important details for each topic. If your notes are not aesthetically pleasing (even with bad handwriting), they are probably bad notes.

Folders and labels. For ultimate organization, keep all of your assignments for one class together. The easiest way to do this is by using folders. Having a folder for each class is helpful, and labeling them as such will help even more. This way you will never have to scramble looking through five different classes worth of work. Not only does this work for classes, but it also is good for life documents. For example, I have a folder for all of my paychecks and check receipts. Considering I pay in check for bigger things, such as rent, I know this folder is for important finances. Another folder I have holds all of my important documents, such as my birth certificate and medical documents, and another folder has a collection of birthday cards and ticket stubs. I would consider folders and labels almost as important as making lists because they keep all of your stuff in one, easy-to-find place.

Using these tips can help someone become more organized, and maybe even set them on the path of getting their life together, like me. Being a college student, it is extremely important to be organized or else you take the risk of falling behind. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than falling behind in college, so take the initiative now and become more organized.