We’ve all been there. There are only two minutes left to get to an exam, and the keys can’t be found anywhere. Your college career flashes before your eyes as you frantically search your mess of a room, and crisis mode sets in. CM interviewed unclutterer.com’s founder Erin Doland to give us some advice so that you can organize your space to make this semester a little more stress-free. Here are the top 10 excuses for disorganization, and how to overcome them!
1. I don’t know where to start!
Start small. Pick one or two of the suggestions in this article to begin with. “Pick just one area of your life, dorm room or apartment and focus only on it,” Doland advises.
2. I’m too busy:
Being organized will always save you time, so make it a priority! Dolan recommends setting a timer for 30 minutes and only doing organizing work on that small area for that amount of time.
3. I’m living in a closet:
Even if you’re in the tiniest dorm available, that’s no excuse for messiness! “Spread out in your room, taking advantage of the flat surfaces like your bed and your desk. If you need some extra room, take over the hallway for a little while.”
4. I have too much stuff:
Stop hoarding! Do you really need that t-shirt from middle school? “The less stuff you own, the less you have to organize, so start by getting rid of anything you don’t want or need.”
5. My roommate is a mess:
Having clutter isn’t contagious, so you can be organized even if the people you live with aren’t. Make boundaries that keep them from being unwanted mess to your space.
6. I’m poor:
Did you know there are free apps for your smart phone that help you get organized? “Reqall” helps you keep your to-do list straight. Other items Doland suggested for a tight budget are removable hooks and desk drawer organizers.
7. I’ve got more important things to do:
If you’re always on the go, putting things back where they belong can seem like a waste of time. If you know that your tendency is to throw things anywhere, keep a hamper in your room for what Doland called “clerty” items (kind of clean, kind of dirty).
8. When I change things, I never know where to find them!
Make sure that your new organization techniques make sense to you. It may be tempting, but try not to let someone else organize for you. You’ll end up wasting time trying to figure out their system.
9. I need more storage:
You may have prime storage units already! If there’s nothing under your bed, start utilizing that space! Also, utilize the luggage you used for moving in. “[Your luggage] can be great for storing your out-of-season clothing so your closet isn’t packed all school-year long.”
10. I go into Syllabi overload!
The first week of classes you get a lot of important information. Losing your syllabus can mean missing a due date. “I recommend uploading the scanned handouts to a private folder on evernote.com, that you can access from your computer or mobile devices.”