How to be More Organized in 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Organization is one of those things that really helps your life in terms of having everything "together" and general stress. It, of course, takes quite a bit of work to maintain but is so worth it as it does really make your life easier.

The New Year definitely makes me want to re-organize everything and get my act back together. After a busy December, it is so nice to have a fresh, clean start and organization definitely helps with that.

I have always been fairly organized and high school has definitely exemplified that. Honestly, I don't know how I would of survived high school so far without being organized so today I'm sharing my favorite tips and tricks to stay organized especially in this new year.

Use an Agenda
My agenda is honestly my saving grace when it comes to organization and I talk about it in practically every organization themed post but it's that good. I use the Lilly Pulitzer Jumbo Agenda and write down everything going on: barre classes, my work schedule, homework, tests, quizzes, assignment deadlines, and everything in-between.

Keep only the essentials in your purse
Outside of school, I pretty much always have my purse with me and by the end of a busy week, it is pretty full and half of that is random items that I don't need to be bringing with me everywhere I go. Take the time to clear out your bag and only keep the essentials: wallet, sunglasses, lip balm/stick, bobby pins, etc.

Empty your downloads folder
This only applies to Mac users but this is such a big one for me. I download quite a few things throughout the week for school, leaving me with a downloads folder with a million and one items in it. Not only is this digitally "messy", it is also makes a bit harder when you're looking for the rubric for your history project so clearing your downloads by either putting the item in its proper folder (more on this below) or deleting it all together makes a big difference.

Sort through your papers
Whether it be your class notes or random papers in your desk, it is so helpful to come up with a system in stick to it. I have a binder for my morning classes, my afternoon classes, and then for my Calc class since we have so much paper in that class. Putting the date on each paper and hole punching everything makes it easier to find in my binder and has a lot less clutter. As for papers in my desk, I try to keep those in folders in a specific desk drawer.

Make a to-do list for the week as well as daily to-do lists
For particularly busy weeks, I find it really helpful to make a big to-do list of everything I need/want to do that week from various commitments (ex. meeting during lunch on Tuesday), deadlines (ex. essay due Thursday night), or random tasks you need to do (ex. go to Target). This really helps me make sure that I do everything I need to do and also that I can spread it out a little better. Once I make the big to do list, I'll make one for the day, which includes that day's commitments, homework, and other various assignments. If I don't finish it that day, it is moved to the next day's to do list.

Keep your inbox at 0
This may seem like a lot but definitely helps in actually seeing new emails and getting rid of emails that aren't so important. I put all of my emails into general folders (like Pure Barre or AP Psych) and then when I receive an email that belongs in that folder, that's where it goes. Occasionally, I'll keep an email out in my inbox if it's time sensitive (like a coupon code to a store) or if I haven't responded to it but other than that I keep it at 0, which makes it a lot more manageable and easier to find important emails.

Have a computer folder for each class and have an internal organization system for each class
On my desktop, I have a folder for each of my 7 classes and I also organize inside these folders a little differently depending on the class. Some classes, I have subfolders for the semester with subfolders for quarters with subfolders for chapters while I other I organize by in-class and out-of-class.

Keep clutter at bay
I'm not the biggest fan of clutter, it just adds extra "stuff" into your space and if you don't need it, you don't use it most times so it just wastes that space and makes things messy. Spend a few minutes and clean up the random extras around your room, whether it's a granola bar wrapper or mail. Make it a habit to do this everyday and that clutter will be long gone.

Dedicate a day to deep cleaning your closet
I typically do this once a season but cleaning (and I mean deep cleaning) makes such a difference. I try to pull everything out of my closet, evaluate each piece (sounds extreme but if you wouldn't want to be your last outfit ever, that's not a piece you want in your closet), decide whether you want to keep, sell, donate, or trash it, and then place it back in your closet. Choose a system that works for you whether that's by color or by length (tanks, short sleeve, long sleeve).

How do you stay organized? Is organization one of your New Year resolutions? Let me know in the comments!

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