Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Organizing for College - Guest Blogger Sarah Scrafford

Today we're taking our college-bound foster daughter down to her school so we can see her dorm and to help her apply for a job. I thought this would be an ideal time to repost a great guest blog by Sarah Scrafford:

Sort out your Organization Problems

My dad is a profound thinker who excels in converting his ideas into intelligent and profitable ventures. But there’s one thing I don’t get – his perpetually disorganized and cluttered desk. Woe betide his secretary or anyone else who attempts to restore some form of order to the chaotic mess of papers and other office paraphernalia; he argues that if the desk is cleaned, he’s bound to forget where he left stuff, little bothering to even listen to my take on the value of a clean and orderly desk with a place for everything and everything in its place.

I guess tidiness and order are characteristics that we acquire as we grow up, because I certainly didn’t inherit them from my dad. Besides saving an enormous amount of time when you’re searching for something, being organized is one way of letting others know that you are disciplined, in how you take care of your belongings and in how you deal with any aspect of life.

College is a time for higher learning, not just from the pages of a book, but in the art of self-discipline too. It’s time students took the effort to change the stereotype that college dorms are messy places that stink to high glory. By turning around one minor aspect like the cleanliness and order of your room, you’ll find that the same attitude spills over into the more important things in your life. Here’s how students can maintain order in their rooms, the easy way:

· When you move in to your residence (either on or off campus), don’t just dump your belongings anywhere; make an effort to identify the right place for each of your things, and put them away neatly.

· If you have stuff that’s left over after you unpack, take what you don’t absolutely need back home to your parents.

· Your books and study materials need to be kept separately from your other belongings.

· Make sure your papers are filed neatly and pinned so they don’t end up flying out the window or being swept away in the trash can.

· If you eat in your room, throw out the leftovers and empty containers immediately instead of waiting for a week to clear up the mess. The sooner you tidy up, the less stains and spills you’ll have to deal with.

· Put your dirty laundry in a designated basket so that the smell of sweat isn’t overpowering when you enter the room.

· Set aside time every week to do your laundry and take care of other personal errands.

· Tack up a list to a cupboard where you can add items that you’ve run out of and need to replenish. This not only simplifies your shopping process, but also makes sure that you’re not left high and dry when you need stationery or other personal provisions.

· As much as possible, do not borrow stuff from others or lend them yours. It’s hard to keep track of what belongs to whom when there’s too much exchanging going on.

· Make notes of things you’re supposed to do for the day. Better still, set up an online calendar of all the events you’re supposed to attend all semester. Check your to-do list each morning before you leave your room.

· If you’re not a morning person and have trouble waking up all fresh and cheery, wake up 10 or 20 minutes before you normally do so you have time to compose yourself, take a shower and be as fresh as a daisy for class.

While there are no hard and fast rules to be followed in your attempt at order, a regular routine helps when you’re a student. An orderly existence is the hallmark of an orderly mind, which in turn makes sure you are successful in anything you do.

Sarah Scrafford is an industry critic, as well as a regular contributor on the subject of top online university. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: sarah.scrafford25@gmail.com