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Best Organization Tips for High School and University Students

When mental health and stress are two of the biggest concerns for university students, personal organization is one of the best tips to become more balanced and calmer. The satisfaction of converting chaos into order is an easy and achievable way to feel less stressed.

Whether you are in high school or college, being organized is essential for success both academically and personally.

This blog gives you some of my favourite organization tips to help create some order in your student life and for helping to combat any feelings of despair if things feel a little overwhelming.


Founder of From High School to Uni sharing organization tips for students

How do I start organizing my student life?

Organizing your life can be a daunting task, especially if you are a student with a busy schedule. However, taking small steps can make a big difference in the long run.

By following these tips, you can develop good organizational skills that will serve you well throughout your academic and professional life.


Tips for High School and University Students on How to Get Organized


1. Note down all your tasks in a 'to do' list

Start with the basic principle of writing down all information and tasks. This habit will help you organize your thoughts, ideas and plans effectively.

Lists of everything are concrete, focused, and a great way to get organized. They are also incredibly therapeutic and give you a sense of accomplishment when ticking off the tasks listed one by one.

There are many options available to you to organize your tasks. You can use an app on your phone, OneNote or Notes, an Excel spreadsheet, a notepad, or our Weekly Task Planner. Whichever method you choose, just data dump and write down all the tasks awaiting your attention, ready for the next step.

Matrix showing the Eisenhower decision tree
Do it now, later, delegate it or delete it

2. Make a Priority List

Prioritize tasks according to their urgency and importance to help you decide what needs to be done now, later or possibly not at all. For example, completing your homework due Friday versus working on the end of term project.

Use the Eisenhower Matrix above to work out how to prioritize each of your tasks:

3. Don't know where to start? Try using a planner!

Invest in a planner to keep track of your daily tasks, projects, and deadlines for assignments or as a reminder to pay bills. This will help you stay on top of your work and organise your time and commitments effectively.

Our Weekly Task Planner below is included in your subscription to Member Resources.


Weekly task planner provided by From High School to Uni
Planner included in our Member Resources Uni Bundle

4. Declutter your bag or backpack

  • Start by clearing out your backpack or bag.

  • Remove all unnecessary items and carry only what you need for the day.

  • Keep your bag tidy by using a bag organizer. It's an easy and inexpensive way to keep things organized and save time searching for items. If you like to change bags, this is the ideal organization tip for students to just transfer the content from one bag to another.

  • Check out our Instagram post for suggestions on the ideal contents of a student bag.

Bag insert to swap in each of your bags - best organization tips for students
Bag inserts are a 'must' to stay organised

“I remember meeting a girlfriend for the first time, and making her laugh by pulling out things like a mini sewing kit, band-aids, measuring tape, and handwipes from my bag with my eyes closed.
THAT is how organized my bag is!

5. Breaking Down Tasks into Manageable Chunks

Break down projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Don't try to do everything at once, take it one step at a time.

6. Decluttering Your Space for Improved Focus

Forget the KonMari method – you don’t need to ‘spark joy’ to declutter and organize your wardrobe! Just schedule some time to tackle a specific area. If it feels overwhelming, schedule a couple of hours one morning to organize your clothes, and an afternoon another day to declutter and set up your workspace.

Organize your socks and throw out the ones with holes. You know you won’t darn them any time soon!  Fold your sweaters and arrange your shoes neatly.

Use containers to sort things in your drawers. A shoe box or Amazon parcel will do. Anything that will help organize your belongings and keep your drawer space tidy and clutter-free. Check out our recommended storage products to help you get organized.

An organized wardrobe will set you up for a stress-free start to the day.

7. Set a laundry day each week and stick to it

This is a very Swiss trait, but designating a specific day of the week to do your laundry will ensure that your clothes are always clean and ready to wear. And a little routine will bring some stability to your life, particularly for neuro-divergent students.

From High School to Uni - the best tips and guide for students preparing to go to university
Expert tips for students

You can read more expert insider tips for students on how and when to do your laundry in our student guide From High School to Uni.

8. Always wash your dishes immediately after eating

Maintain a clean and tidy kitchen by washing dishes immediately after meals and keeping the area tidy and organized. Don’t leave things to ‘soak’ – you’ll just annoy your housemates, and probably won’t feel like cleaning them up later anyway.

Get on with it straightaway and feel good about having done the job.

9. Develop a morning routine

Establish a morning routine to start the day in an organized and stress-free way. Getting up at more or less the same time every day, and taking a moment to stretch, eat a nutritious breakfast, and plan your day will help to establish a calm way of dealing with the day’s challenges.

A girl doing yoga in reverse prayer pose - a good way to start the day

10. Clean up files on your computer

Clean up your computer to maintain an organized digital workspace and improve productivity. Back up your files regularly to keep your work safe. 

Avoid clutter and overload by immediately deleting spam emails and regularly unsubscribing from unnecessary newsletters.  Except ours, of course!



How to get organized when you feel overwhelmed?

When you're feeling overwhelmed, getting organized can seem like an impossible task. But remember, you don't have to do it all at once. Instead, start small and work your way through tasks, one at a time. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Establish Daily, Weekly and Monthly Goals

1.   Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you feel more stressed and anxious.

2.  Minimise distractions. Turn off your phone or social media notifications when you're trying to concentrate. At night, switch on to Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode to prevent alerts and get uninterrupted sleep.

3.   Set small, achievable goals. Taking small steps can help you feel less overwhelmed and more accomplished.

4.   Make a schedule or to-do list. This can help you stay on track and prioritise your tasks.

5.   Declutter your space. A cluttered environment can contribute to feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Remember, the key is to start small and take things one step at a time. By implementing these tips, you can begin to feel more organized and less overwhelmed. Celebrate your achievements!

Getting organized is worth it

Getting your life organized is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family and your studies or career. It may seem like a daunting task, but starting small is a step in the right direction to making a big difference.

Choose one small thing to organize today, such as your wallet, a corner of your desk or a shelf in your fridge. Start tiny if small seems too difficult. Soon you'll be breathing easier with every organized inch of your life.

According to a study by the National Association of Professional Organizers, (yes I’m a member!) people waste up to an hour a day looking for misplaced items. That's a lot of time wasted that could be spent doing something more productive or enjoyable. Getting organized can save you time, reduce stress and increase productivity.

As well as saving time, getting organized can also save you money. If you know what you have and where it is, you're less likely to buy duplicates of things you already have. You could also save money by avoiding paying late fees and/or interest charges by paying bills on time and keeping track of due dates.

Getting organized can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Clutter and disorganization can exacerbate feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. By creating a more organized and tidier environment, you can save time, reduce stress, save money and improve your overall wellbeing. So why not give it a try?

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