Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Keeping Things on Track: Organize for Success

Back to school! We all start the year with the intention to be organized and on top of schoolwork, bills, work, and obligations. It doesn’t take long for the best intentions to turn into the worst habits. Let these organizing tips help you start the year off right and keep things on track all year.

The Two-Minute Rule. If it takes less than two minutes to do, do it now. Your friends can wait two minutes for you to finish something. This will prevent you from having to sit for hours sorting through papers and will ensure you have a clean workspace so you don’t end up doing your homework on your bed (where falling asleep is a big possibility!). Keeping on top of your piles of papers will help prevent forgotten assignments, lost phone messages, misplaced email addresses and damaged forms and applications.

Don’t Carry Around a Bottomless Pit. Don’t let your schoolbag become a bottomless pit of papers and garbage. Make a habit of cleaning out your back pack every night when you take your textbooks and notebooks out. Stray papers shoved into your bag on your way out of class, at extracurricular events, and picked up around school (promotional flyers, brochures, newspapers) have a way of getting crumpled up at the bottom of your bag and forgotten. Put them in their proper place! If you don’t need the information or don’t intend to go to the event –throw out the flyer. Put graded assignments in a designated binder or folder for that class. If you need to dispute your course grade later you want to have all of your graded materials. You may also want to study from your past tests.

Inboxes Aren’t Just for Email. Desktop inboxes aren’t just for corporate executives. Having an inbox for things you need to complete and an outbox for things that need to be dropped off (mail, assignments, forms, money owed) can be a great way to stay on top of what needs to be done. As long as you don’t allow things to pile up and get forgotten at the bottom of your inbox, it can keep you moving through things.

File This Under ‘Awesome’. An accordion file is a portable and affordable alternative to a filing cabinet. Make sections for bills, school, jobs, housing, health, and extracurricular activities. Keep all your information in the accordion file so you only have to look in one place when you need something. This will help keep your bulletin board clear of clutter so you have more room for photos, mementos, and current event information. It’s also easy to move.

Don’t Let a Red Sock Ruin Your Day. Try using a sectioned hamper or two separate hampers so that you can sort lights from darks as soon as they are dirty. This will save you time when you are ready to do a load of wash (and prevent a red sock from turning your whites pink!). Having two different colored hampers will help you remember which is which. Try keeping laundry soap, fabric softener, quarters, and other laundry necessities in a basket so that you can easily carry everything you need without losing anything on your way to the laundry room.

Following these tips will save you time and give you a great start to staying organized this school year. After all, there are more important things to be doing than tidying up!

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© 2010 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577

Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.

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