By Emily A., Mary Washington College Class of 2015
Yes, summer is nearly over and the inevitable is upon us — alarm clocks, packed lunches, and a growing to-do list will become our reality for the next nine months. Brace yourselves!
But during the whirlwind of filling out forms, tackling a monstrous school supply list, and enforcing last minute summer reading, it is important to remember that simplicity is key in the race to become organized.
As a current college student, I have found truth behind a saying recycled by my teachers, babysitters, and parents: less is more.
I recently came across Jessica Lahey’s article in The New York Times, Simple Solutions for Back-to-School Organization (Sorry No Trapper Keeper!), which includes some very helpful hints for students learning to become organized and parents teaching organizational skills.
Here are a few of Lahey’s tips that I find to be most effective:
- The answer to disorganization is hardly ever to acquire more stuff: A binder is a student’s best friend. Keep them clean, label sections, and have multiple. Mountains of paper are difficult for anyone to keep organized let alone lug around.
- Use a planbook or an agenda: If you write it down, it’s more likely you are going to remember it and complete it. This habit has lifelong benefits!
- Keep necessary school supplies handy: A sharpened pencil is what gets the homework done. Try installing “old-school” pencil sharpeners, or have a fresh supply of pens.
- Organization is a trial-and-error process: Everyone is different, explore your options and see what works best, whether it’s color-coding, or daily or weekly maintenance.
So before panicking at the thought of the rapidly approaching school year, just remember to keep it simple.