How to stay organized in college

Storage & Organization

Many people consider making the bed in the morning to be a crucial first step in starting the day organized and productive.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

What’s the best way to organize your life in college?

College is a major life change. Adapting to the new lifestyle is the key to success, and with that comes other changes, including finding new ways to keep your life organized.

Getting organized isn’t only a physical process of tidying up and keeping a calendar. It’s largely a mental process that taps into a work-life balance, mindfulness and understanding one’s limits. Because everyone approaches the idea of organization differently, it’s important to explore different methods to find ones that work for you.

How to organize your life as a college student

1. Keep a calendar

It’s no secret that college students are busy between classes, internships, work and activities. Keeping a calendar may improve time management skills and can help prevent overscheduling and burnout.

Additionally, a calendar serves as an informal list of goals. As college students complete each task or finish each day, they may feel a sense of accomplishment as they cross off completed tasks, whether it’s finishing a paper or doing their laundry. 

While many students embrace the convenience of calendar apps, others still use planner books or wall calendars to write down appointments and due dates. 

Clever Fox Planner Premium Edition

Clever Fox Planner Premium Edition

This weekly and monthly planner is jam-packed with features to help users stay organized, such as monthly review sections, bookmarks and blank space. 

Sold by Amazon 

Maalbok 2021 Monthly Wall Calendar

Maalbok 2021 Monthly Wall Calendar

The oversized day blocks of this monthly calendar leave plenty of room for recording important dates and appointments. 

Sold by Amazon

Two Tumbleweeds Daily Planner Notepad

Two Tumbleweeds Daily Planner Notepad

Praised for its convenient design, this daily notepad planner has dedicated sections for a schedule, meal planning and to-do list. 

Sold by Amazon

2. Get used to “day before” prep

Rather than rushing to morning classes or activities — or arriving late — getting into a “day before” prep routine can optimize time. Before going to bed each night, pick out clothes and place textbooks and devices in your school bag. 

On top of that, it’s helpful to plan and prepare breakfast the night before. Some college students make overnight oats for an easy, nutrient-dense breakfast, while others use personal blenders and pre-measure shake ingredients to enjoy breakfast on-the-go.

Gracie Oaks Entryway Blanket Ladder

Gracie Oaks Entryway Blanket Ladder

A space-saving design, this blanket ladder has four 15-inch rungs to hold clothes or towels. When it’s not in use, it tucks easily behind doors or dressers. 

Sold by Wayfair

Magic Bullet Blender

Magic Bullet Blender

It’s easy to bring breakfast to class with this Magic Bullet set, which includes a few travel cups. The blender handles everything from omelettes to smoothies.

Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond

Crystalia Breakfast On the Go Cups

Crystalia Breakfast On the Go Cups

These BPA-free yogurt cups are ideal meal prep accessories for yogurt, overnight oats or muesli. The cups are leakproof and come with matching spoons.

Sold by Amazon

3. Set a cleaning schedule

Cleaning a suite or the dorm bathroom isn’t a glamorous job, but it needs to get done. Instead of putting it off, set a cleaning schedule that works for everyone in the dorm, as teamwork often makes cleaning less daunting. 

It’s hugely convenient to have cleaning supplies that are efficient, like multipurpose surface cleaners or wet/dry vacuums. Many of these products offer better results and may cut cleaning time in half.

Mag-Fancy Dry Erase Calendar Kit

Mag-Fancy Dry Erase Calendar Kit

Divide cleaning responsibilities among suitemates and display them on this dry erase fridge calendar. It comes with a set of four markers with eraser toppers. 

Sold by Amazon

Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All-in-One Wet/Dry Vacuum

Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All-in-One Wet/Dry Vacuum

This popular Bissell vacuum cleans most floor types, making it easy to clean an entire dorm in one fell swoop. It has a tangle-free brush roll and an easy-to-empty dirt tank. 

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Available in five scents, this multi-surface cleaner is suitable for everyday use. The formula is cruelty-free and can be used on hardwood floors, tile, countertops and walls. 

Sold by Amazon

Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System

Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System

Thanks to this convenient toilet cleaning system, there’s no need to bend or scrub. The set comes with six Clorox-infused scrubber heads that make quick work of stains.

Sold by Amazon

4. Make time for self-care

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with packed schedules, especially around exams or major projects. Making time for self-care gives you the opportunity to take a step back and reset both physically and mentally, which in turn may boost productivity levels later on. 

Some college students benefit from adding activities like yoga or fitness classes to their schedules to help them unwind. Others adopt daily habits for self-care, like journaling, skincare routines or meditation. 

Calm the Chaos Journal by Nicola Ries Taggart

Calm the Chaos Journal by Nicola Ries Taggart

This daily mindfulness journal has easy-to-follow prompts that aid in goal-setting, reflection and planning. The simple layout leaves plenty of room for writing or doodling. 

Sold by Amazon

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask

Indulge in self-care after a long day with this best-selling clay mask. It draws out impurities and leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean.

Sold by Ulta

Peace Yoga Meditation Pillow

Peace Yoga Meditation Pillow

This pillow is comfortable for meditation or practicing yoga poses. It’s filled with buckwheat and comes in six colors. 

Sold by Amazon

5. Utilize closet and drawer organization

Most dorms are on the smaller side, which makes space a hot commodity. To maximize storage space, purchase closet and drawer organizers. These help keep clothes and accessories tidy and accessible. 

One thing to keep in mind with these organizers is that they free up quite a bit of space. To stay organized, it’s smart to leave the free space free. Otherwise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with an overabundance of stuff.

Home Basics Chevron 10-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer

Home Basics Chevron 10-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer

Not only is this hanging organizer affordable, its slender design is less than 6 inches wide. It’s great for storing shoes, shirts or soft accessories.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Simple Houseware Drawer Organizer Set

Simple Houseware Drawer Organizer Set

This four-piece drawer divider set helps organize bras, socks and underwear. The dividers are made with mold-proof material. 

Sold by Amazon

Sterilite Stackable Storage Drawer Set

Sterilite Stackable Storage Drawer Set

These stacking storage drawers can go anywhere in dorms, including closets. While they’re often used for storing shoes, they’re suitable to organize makeup or hygiene products.

Sold by Amazon

6. Tidy up your desk

Tidying up your desk may help boost productivity levels while studying or writing papers. To maintain a desk free and clear of distractions, consider desk organizers to maximize space and storage solutions.

At the very least, it’s smart to have classic desk organizers like pencil cups or file organizers. In the digital era, however, you may need organizers that accommodate devices, cables and other electronics.

MobileVision Bamboo Multi Device Organizer

MobileVision Bamboo Multi Device Organizer

This five-slot organizer, available in a few design variations, keeps devices organized while they charge, including laptops and smartphones. 

Sold by Amazon

VELCRO One-Wrap Cable Ties

VELCRO One-Wrap Cable Ties

These cable ties keep device power cords and wires tangle-free, plus they can be used to wrap up pens, pencils and other office supplies in desk drawers.

Sold by Amazon

Poeland Desktop Pencil Holder

Poeland Desktop Pencil Holder

Popular for its small footprint, this four-compartment pencil organizer holds dozens of pens as well as highlighters and scissors.

Sold by Amazon

ABC Life Expanding File Folder

ABC Life Expanding File Folder

Keep paperwork organized with this 26-pocket accordion file organizer. It’s made with high-quality plastic and has a waterproof lid. 

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Now