Be an Organized College Freshman

Key #1: Planned-out Packing

The first key to having an organized dorm room is perfecting the fine art of packing. If you have good packing skills, you will have a much easier setting your room up properly when you get to school. The last thing that you are going to feel like doing is spending days or weeks sifting through your unorganized boxes during the beginning of a college semester. If you have everything carefully and strategically organized, you will be ready to party after just a couple hours of your arrival! You are going to be anxious to explore your campus and meet new friends when you get to school, so you will be very glad that you made unpacking easy on yourself by being prepared.

If you are prone to procrastination, make a commitment to yourself to start packing for college at least two weeks in advance. You can spread out your packing over a week and a half, and then you can just relax and spend time with friends and family knowing that you are completely ready during the last few days that you have at home. It’s actually quite simple to be a packing pro. Make separate lists for each aspect of your dorm living: bathroom and shower supplies, bedding, clothing items, study needs, electronics, and decorative/personal touches. Make your way through one list at a time, gathering and purchasing (if necessary) all the items that you will require.

Save time by packing your shower supplies into a bathroom caddy; just wrap the caddy with the contents in plastic wrap so that nothing spills out. If you are going to be storing your clothing in crates (as many college students opt to do), just pack the crates with clothes so that all you’ll have to do is stack them up when you get into your dorm room. Basically, anything that you can do in advance, you should try to do. Pack your pens and pencils in the container that you are going to keep them in, and pack all of your pictures together. You will be able to get settled into your new living space in no time by using some of these organizational time-saving tips.

Key #2: Tidy Up

College students aren’t exactly famous for their cleaning skills, but dorm rooms do not have to be pig sties. If you are living in a cluttered mess of a room, you are going to feel unorganized and chaotic. Dorms are far from luxurious – they are small, and you are probably sharing your tiny space with at least one other person. If you don’t stay on top of things, it won’t take long for a mess to overtake your room. In order to avoid feeling painfully claustrophobic, you are going to want to keep as much clean open floor space available as you possibly can, rather than cluttering that tiny area with dirty clothes and junk food wrappers. Set aside twenty minutes each day to go through your room just to tidy up and stay on track. Schedule it into your day – don’t just assume that you’ll do it anyway. You are in college now, and that means that you are right on the cusp of adulthood. Gear up for your adult life by starting the habit now of being a cleanly, organized person.

Key #3: Have the Tools of Organization

There are a few items that every college freshman who wants to be organized absolutely must have: two reliable alarm clocks, a date book or palm pilot, a calendar, and a dry erase board. As a college freshman, you are going to be juggling a heavy work load along with a new social scene, and maybe involvement in clubs or part-time jobs. It’s a big shift from what you are used to, and by getting these essential tools, it will be much easier for you to stay on top of your life both academically and socially. Never assume that you will wake up without the aid of your alarm clocks. It’s a good idea to have two clocks just in case you make any mistakes in setting the alarm, especially if you have a big exam or presentation to wake up for after a night of studying (or partying). In your date book or palm pilot, record all of your assignments and appointments – never tell yourself that you’ll just remember something! Use your calendar to keep track of important deadlines, and make sure that it is hung in a spot in your room that is very visible. Use your dry erase board to jot down any messages you have to communicate to your roommate or roommates or to make to-do lists for yourself.

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