How To Stay Organized In College

This post is all about being organized in college.

So, you’ve finally just decided to look it up huh? How to stay organized in college. Google search. Well, you found me. I’m about to give you the keys to staying organized in college. Why?

Because I love ya! Second, because I was once you. 

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There was a time, I was the student struggling to get my life together freshman, sophomore, and a tad bit into junior year too. But at some point, in my junior year of undergrad, I finally realized what I was missing. Yes it took me a long time to get it together! Don’t you dare judge me. I needed some structure! 

Staying organized in college is essential to maintaining good grades, having a healthy balance of school and social life, and making the most out of that college experience you’re paying an arm and leg to have.

This post shows you how to get organized in college.

8 Ways To Be Organized In College

College student using a planner to stay organized

Use A Planner to Stay Organized

I know you have your phone with your fancy calendar apps but hear me out. A planner puts everything at a glance for you to see in your hands. You don’t have to scroll to find it and get distracted because grandma sent you a picture of her dog again. 

Every Google search you can think of about organization is going to mention time management. Efficient time management starts with a planner.

The best thing about having a planner is YOU get to write it out. What better way to make sure you remember what you have to do? 

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College student clean workspace

Have A Clean Workspace

As an online student or a traditional university student having a workspace is mandatory. Cleanliness is next to “productivelyness” …or whatever they say.

You can’t study in bed all the time. There’s no way anything would get done in my bed. My pillows whisper sleepy thoughts to me every time I get near them.

Wherever you decide to have your workspace is entirely up to you. No matter where you decide, you just have to ensure it is clean and clutter-free.  Using desk organizers ensure to keep your study area nice and clutter free.

Ensure you only keep the essentials on your desk. All you need is your computer, pen, and notebook

Those shiny figurines that you got from Disney world when you were 12 don’t need to be on your desk. There are a distraction! When your workspace is clean you tend to be fully focused and alert. So clean it!

Make To-Do Lists

It’s important to see your task! You could have this in your planner if you chose. Don’t put to-do sticky notes everywhere. Been there done that and it doesn’t help with my already scatterbrain.

A better way is to arrange your work in terms of priority based on deadlines. However, if some tasks can be achieved quickly, then it would be wise to cross them off early to reduce your To-do list. 

Also, another kind of to-do list is the brain dump to-do list. It’s most helpful especially when studying. 

This brain dump to-do list is applied when you simply write an idea that comes to mind down immediately when you think of it and check it out later rather than switching from the task at hand. A brain dump list is often the best way to keep the most unorganized person organized.

College students being healthy

Stay Active & Healthy

Being healthy is the most essential thing in life. You can have the best grades, the best schedules, and all the friends in the world, but when you are sick you tend to get a bit lazy and unorganized. 

As students, you can feel stressed occasionally in college, but by finding or creating time to relax, socialize, and even exercise you’ll find that being healthy can keep you much more focused and organized. Yoga is an excellent way to relax your mind as well as exercise. Who doesn’t love a two for one deal?

Always try as much as possible to have fun by doing things you like, maybe it’s singing, dancing, creating art, whatever it is you should do it to keep your self active and mentally stable.

Drink water! Drink more than enough water! Your body and skin will thank you later. You can carry your water around in your backpack or carry a trendy cute water bottle around campus with you.

A college student counting their money for the week to stay organized

Know Where Your Money Is Going

College is expensive. I’m still paying for undergrad while in grad school. 

When you can stay on top of your finances. You will see everything else falling into place as well. Use a budget planner. Most banking apps have them already built in to keep you in the know on what you’re spending the most money on and what you could cut out. 

Keep up with what scholarships you have and what kind of financial aid you receive if you receive any and what loans you have out there. Knowing this information will give you a sense of control over the situation and keep you organized when dealing with your finances.

A college student learning about time management to stay organized


You will hear this so much in college that you will eventually tune it out. BUT IT’S SO IMPORTANT! Did you hear me? ITS IMPORTANT SIS! Effective time management is one of the most important tools when it comes to school. 

You’re going to have homework, classwork, projects, parties, festivals, rallies, protests, new Starbucks orders to try! It’s a lot! 

Effectively managing your time is going to be crucial to your organization strategy in college. I know life doesn’t always go as planned and planning out each second of every single day is not realistic and extremely boring. 

Having a general idea of what you need to do and where you should spend more time is going to be essential to staying organized and making good organizational decisions.

Online students, as you are mostly in charge of your school schedules this year. Some important tips for time management that should not be overlooked are breaking up the huge task into bits, eliminating any kind of distractions, and waking up early.

Stay Motivated

I get all the motivation I need from YouTube and Pinterest. Some women organize their underwear down to the day of the week. I’m not there yet. But you could be.

Watching other people stay organized is the motivation to getting yourself together. So watch how other students stay organized and copy their habits.  

Make Your Own Schedule

Knowing when you are most productive, regardless if it’s during the day or at night is very important. 

You might be very productive early in the morning. That’s great so schedule all the big things you have to get done early in the morning so that you’ll be in your most productive zone and vice versa. 

No one expects you to be the Martha Stewart of organization. However, when you know better you do better. Get organized now. It will help you develop a system that will take you far beyond college. 

Do you have any organization tips for college students? Help a sister out! Leave a comment.

This post was all about staying organized in college so you can be productive.