There are so many things kids are doing to keep themselves organized these days! Staying organized, learning to declutter, and managing time when you’re younger provides the skills you need to manage even more as you become an adult. Do you ever wonder how people do it? Have you ever looked over at the person next to you and wondered how they keep all their things together and organized, and how they look so put together? For example, we’ve all had those friends that keep all their notes together, tabbed, and organized. How do they do it? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay organized. Try these out!
First, keep organized with tools that keep you on track. The tools you use to stay organized must be easy to use, accessible, and pleasing to the eye. Not only do they need to serve a function, but you should be happy to use something that you enjoy looking at and sits right at your fingertips.
Get a planner and write things down! You should pick a planner that is light enough for you to carry around, but something that you will be excited about using. Having your own planner says that your time is valuable and will encourage you to create a schedule. Write down your schedule as well as your family’s schedule so you always are prepared for what’s coming up next. Write things down your assignments, how many steps you’ve taken that day or your exercise routine, your weekend plans, or any upcoming holidays or vacations. Get used to pulling your planner out and get used to writing – and don’t forget to journal your thoughts from time to time! You’ll find it to be very cathartic!
- Use checklists. So start writing down things that you want to get through during the day. Start with “3 Things I Need to do Every Day” and write down three things that are important for you to accomplish every day. You can even try “Things I Need to Buy at the Store” and continue to add to the list until you’re able to go to the store to get your items. Keep larger post-it notes handy in your planner so you can begin these lists on the post-its and take them in and out as needed. One of the things that I encourage kids to do is to write down the following phrase to rehearse every day to themselves as part of their checklist: “I am great. Today is going to be a great day. I am going to do great things.”
- Use containers, boxes, or baskets. Make sure everything you have has a “home.” If there is an assigned place for everything you own, you’ll tend to keep tidy and throw things out that does not fit in one of your containers. It makes things a lot easier to find! You can go to the dollar store and purchase stackable basket organizers. You can even look around the house and find a box (like a shoe box) to recycle and use wrapping paper and some embellishments to deco it out.
- Your school work or paper work belong somewhere. Use folders and binders to place calendars, notes, and handouts. If you have graded assignments or keepsakes throughout the year, keep a large Tupperware or plastic bin or box for to keep these all together. All you have to do is open it up, stick your papers or projects in it, and close the lid. You’ll love having these in the future to look at.
- Before you go to bed – make sure you have time to organize! Build in time every night to pick up things around the room, organize things in the right pile, and place things back in their correct place.
- Weekend project – make more containers or storage boxes for your things. If you’re noticing you’re starting to have clutter, you’ll have to either 1.) discard things away that you’re not using (living simply is key), or 2.) reorganize
- Designate a routine “study time” every day after coming home. Where you study and work should be a comfortable area, well organized, reflecting your personality, and supplied with your favorite and easily assessable tools to decrease the amount of times you have to get up to “look for that highlighter” or “get a pair of scissors.” Make sure your desk is supplied with all the tools you need for success.
- Tab it! When you’re studying, tab your chapters, so you know which chapter is which. You can use small colorful post-it notes to tab the sections off. Next, as you are studying, if there is an important concept, word, or formula, use another post-it to write the concept or formula so it sticks out in your mind and on your page. As you’re flipping through the book before a test, these will stick out at you and help you remember what you need to study.
- Take notes! Even if you think you don’t need the information, write it down anyway. One of the hard lessons I learned growing up was that the notes I was taking was only what I thought was important. Often times, it wasn’t what was on a test. Take notes on everything, what the teacher says, what is on the board, any movies you watch during class, and any handouts you receive and is discussed in class. The idea is not to learn everything during class, it’s to take inventory on everything that is filtered through you and have those things to reflect on later on when you have the quiet space to do so. Have fun taking notes, use your favorite notebook, use highlighters, your favorite pens and post-it notes. Have some correction tape handy and take full advantage of keeping things pretty!
- Reward yourself. This is hugely critical in your organization journey. After a week of staying organized, ask if you can purchase something nice to help you along your organizational journey, such as a new basket or bin to deco out, an awesome sticker packet for your planner or journal, some new deco post-its, a new desktop organizer, or even a new pencil case to keep all your writing tools organized and in one place while you’re at school. Continue to create milestones for yourself and continue to reward yourself for the great organizer you are!
Start this challenge now: CHALLENGE ORGANIZATION. Ready, set, organize!!