3 organization tips for a successful college student

Let’s face it, organization is the bane of existence for any college student. However, for the unorganized student, packing your things at the end of the semester is always the best part of the year. You think you lost every single left sock, but then magically they all appear from the depths of the dirty laundry pile that hasn’t been touched for a few weeks… only to be lost again after one use.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I know where every single left sock I own is” then this post is not for you, although I hardly believe it. Organization is key to a stress free college life, I promise you that. Knowing where everything is in your dorm makes life just simpler. Here are some tips to becoming a more organized person while you are at college.

1. Homework.

Your professors should tell you to do this, but set up a semester long calendar for all of your homework at the beginning of the semester. It will take a few hours when you do it, but once it is done then it gets so much easier to make sure all of your homework is getting done on time. Personally, excel works best for me because it is very easy to input information and edit things when schedules change. Doing this will be the difference in your success in the classroom.

My freshman year I did not do well staying on top of homework and my grades suffered because of it, but sophomore year I started using a calendar for my homework and life became so much easier. (You can even color code important homework assignments like exams and papers so that you can look forward and see big projects coming up.) As all college students know, once you start to get behind on your homework it gets harder and harder to catch back up. Even if it is the middle of the semester you can make one for the end of the year so the closer you get to finals the easier your life can be.

2. Files files files.

I’m not talking about physical file folders, but as you go through college you will get so many electronic documents that your document folder will look like a mess, and it will be almost impossible to find the things that you are looking for. The best way to fight this is to almost go overboard with files on your computer. File folders will help organize your thoughts so when you are looking for a page to print off five minutes before class you will easily be able to find it instead of wasting time digging through everything on your computer before you happen across it.

As an add-on to this tip getting an external hard drive might be a great option for you. If you don’t like to take your whole laptop with you whenever you go anywhere, you can just bring the hard drive with you and whatever computer you plug it into will be able to access all of your files. I use mine every day and it makes traveling a lot easier.

3. Keep your room clean.

Having an organized dorm room will help life go smoother in a lot of ways. When you wake up 5 minutes before your final exam starts, having an organized room will help you get out faster in the morning instead of having to dig through piles of dirty clothes to find your outfit and shoes. Being clean will make you more efficient in your daily routine. Also, it is nice to not worry about having friends over to your room when it is clean. It is always embarrassing to have friends over only to walk in and remember your room stinks and there is no room to sit down on an empty floor. Eliminating clutter will prevent stress from building up, and yes it takes some work but it is worth it, trust me.

Organization is one big thing that you want to start making a good habit of now. It will serve you well as you go through college and into the professional world. Future employers will be impressed if you enter the corporate world being proficient in organization, so start early!

Are there any other organization tips you suggest for college students? Let me know in the comments!


Jeff is pursuing a business finance degree at Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, VA, where he runs NCAA Division 1 track as a sprinter. Jeff has been running track for the last eight years. He is a representative from his track team on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for Liberty University, where there are only two representatives from each team. He plans to pursue a career as a financial business consultant after graduating college.

When Jeff is not studying or training for track, he is an avid reader and enjoys outdoor adventures with friends such as hiking, climbing, and camping. Jeff is a very outgoing person and has no trouble starting a conversation with new people. He loves sharing what he is passionate about with other students, which is why he decided to pursue a job where he can interact with a lot of people. Jeff is excited to have the opportunity to join the Cengage team and represent this software on Liberty’s campus.

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