How to Get Organized for School

Three Methods:Getting Organized for Elementary SchoolGetting Organized for Middle School and High SchoolStarting Your Day Organized

It's the beginning of a new school year and you want to be a successful student. In order to do that, you need to get off to a good start. That means getting your year off organized! If you want to be organized for school, you need to organize your supplies before it starts and keep your work organized as you go along. This will help you to be a success.

Method 1
Getting Organized for Elementary School

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    Get your school supplies before the school year starts. Be sure to get the supplies your teacher suggests. Your teacher may have sent you a list of supplies that you will need for the year before your classes begin. If he or she did, then you should remind your parents to help you get them all before the start of the school year. This will guarantee that you have the right supplies when they are needed in class or for an assignment.
    • You may also need a new backpack and a new lunchbox for the year. In addition, getting some new school clothes before the start of the year is also usually a good idea.
    • You don't have to spend a lot of money. There are many 99-cent stores that sell inexpensive school supplies. If your family cannot afford to buy school supplies at all, there are some charities that may be able to supply them to you.[1]
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    Put your school supplies in a container that is used only for them. Once you get all of your supplies, it's important to keep them organized in a container. This could be a pencil pouch or a pocket on your backpack. Whatever the container, this simply is a good way to keep them separate and organized.[2]
    • You may want to have two separate containers for your supplies. One can hold the things you use every day and the other can hold the things that you rarely use.
    • Using a container that is specifically made for holding school supplies may work best, as it was made in the right shape to accommodate your supplies.
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    Keep your personal area clean. If you have a desk with your own drawer, don't just shove stuff in there. Instead, stack your materials neatly. This will keep your papers and supplies in good shape and it will help you to easily find everything you need for class.
    • This is also a good idea for your backpack and your space at home. If you cram everything into your backpack and don't clean it out regularly, you can end up damaging your supplies and losing important papers.
    • In order to keep your area clean, make sure everything has a specific place that it goes. If your items have a place, it will make putting your stuff away more straight forward.
    • If you have a hard time keeping your area clean, try using some organizational trays to keep odd shaped and small items separate and out of the way.
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    Keep track of your homework and assignments. Even in elementary school you will have assignments that you need to turn in on time. Your teacher will tell you when they are due and it is your job to get them in on time. This might require you to have a calendar of assignments, so that you know when one is coming up, and that you bring home the materials you need to complete an assignment.
    • When you get an assignment, write the due date down in your calendar right away. In order to do this, however, you need to bring your calendar with you to school every day.
    • If you have a hard time keeping track of assignments, ask your parents to help you keep track of them and when they are due. This could involve them reminding you ahead of time about an assignment, so that you have time to compete it.
    • When you are heading home for the day remember to think about what homework you have to do that evening. Homework usually requires you to bring home materials, such as worksheets, so if you are organized you will remember to bring them home with you.

Method 2
Getting Organized for Middle School and High School

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    Decide what kind of notebook you want to buy. This is a very important decision. Some people prefer spiral notebooks, as it will keep all of your notes in one place, while others prefer a three-ring binder that they can open and close. The choice is up to you and should be based on which one you think will keep you most organized.
    • A three-ring binder has the benefit that you can open it, put paper in, and take your paper out. This can be helpful if your teacher asks to see your work. However, it can take up a lot of room if you buy a big one.[3]
    • Organize your three-ring binder if you buy one. Get tab dividers and create a tab for each one of your classes: science, math, social studies, reading, writing, and any other classes you attend. This way, you will have your notes and work from each class in a separate place.
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    Get a folder for each class. In each class, you may get a lot of "hand-outs," or xeroxed papers. You need to keep these papers organized. If you get a folder for each class, and label each folder with the class name, then you can easily keep your loose papers organized.[4]
    • Bring the folders with you to class. If you get a handout, put it into the folder immediately after you are done looking at it in class.
    • If you scared of the papers falling out of a folder, pocket files that close completely are a nice substitute.
    • Clean out your folders once a week. Take out old handouts and make room for new handouts.
    • Some spiral notebooks come with pockets between sections. These can function well for keeping loose papers organized. If you have a spiral notebook with pockets, be sure to use a specific pocket for each class, and don't just stash your handouts in a random pocket.
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    Buy your other school supplies. These may include: pencils, pens, a ruler, and paper, among many other things. You may also need to get a new backpack or school bag at the beginning of the school year.[5]
    • If you have separate classes with separate teachers, you may be able to use some of the same supplies for several classes. Look at the supply lists given to you by all of your teachers and compare what each requires. If there is overlap in general supplies, such as pencils, then you can probably use them for multiple classes.
    • If a teacher says you will need a certain supply for their class, get it. Having the right supplies will help you to succeed in a given class.
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    Keep your personal area clean and organized. If you have a locker, make sure all of its contents are neatly organized. This way you can easily find the folders and textbooks that you need when you need them.
    • You may need to share a locker with another student. They may not be as tidy as you are, so you will need to negotiate with them about what space is yours and what space is theirs, so that you can keep your section neat at least.
    • To keep your locker organized, decide where all of your stuff should ideally go. There should be a shelf for books, a hook for your jacket and bag, and an area for other items you need, such as a spare brush or gym clothes. If you have planned out where things go, its easier to keep your stuff organized.
    • If you have a hard time keeping your area clean on a day-to-day basis, then pick a day each week to spend a few minutes cleaning up your space. Put things in their right place and clean out garbage and items that need to go home. Friday is a great day to do this, so that you can start Monday morning with a clean start.
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    Keep track of assignments and due dates. This is a very important part of being organized for class. In order to be successful in class, you need to know when to start an assignment and when it needs to be turned in. There are few feelings that are worse than going into class and realizing that you forgot to do an assignment that is due.[6]
    • This is most easily done by using a planner, either on paper or electronically. At the beginning of the term, write the important due dates into your planner. That way, for any given day or week, you will know what to get done.
    • Write down due dates right when you find them out. This includes when a teacher changes the due date of an assignment they have already assigned. This will help you avoid forgetting about an important date. However, this requires you to keep your calendar with you every day at school, so that you can keep it up to date.
    • Try color coding your assignments in your planner so that you know which assignments are for which class. Pick a different color of highlighter for each class so that you can see what assignments are for each of your classes.
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    Bring the correct supplies to school and home. If you are organized enough to know what is due, you should be able to figure out what supplies you need to complete those assignments. This includes both what you need to bring home to do your homework and what you need to have in class so that you can complete assignments there.
    • When you write due dates in your planner, try adding a short list of what you will need to have at home to finish that assignment. This will make having the right supplies easier.
    • Your teacher will tell you what to bring to class. This may change from day to day or it may be the same for every class period.
    • Bringing heavy textbooks home can be a hassle. What is more of a hassle, however, is not having what you need to finish your assignment on time.
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    Don't procrastinate on assignments. Organizing your time is an important part of being organized for school. This means getting your assignments done when you are supposed to, instead of late or not at all.
    • If you have a daily or weekly planner, set aside time to do your assignments. This is especially important for more long term projects, as they will take more time and cannot be easily done at the very last moment.[7]
    • Make sure that you do your homework as soon as you get home. Otherwise you are bound to get distracted or talk yourself out of it.
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    Have a designated space to do your homework. When you sit there, don't do anything else. Just focus on the homework or projects you need to do. Keeping the space solely for your school work will help you to focus on your work when you are supposed to.
    • When you do your homework, make sure you do it in a quiet place with little distractions. It's best to avoid working where people are talking loudly, in front of the TV, or in any other noisy area.
    • Stock your homework area with pens, pencils, erasers, and anything else you will need on hand when doing your homework.[8]
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    Make up any missed time. If you are ever absent, make sure you get notes from a friend before the next class. If there is anything you don't understand, go and ask the friend you borrowed the notes from or the teacher. This requires some effort on your part but will help you to continue to be successful in class.
    • Staying organized while making up for lost class time will help you in the long run. The information you missed in class will probably appear in quizzes and tests, so if you follow up and get the information you can still succeed.

Method 3
Starting Your Day Organized

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    Get organized the night before. Scrambling to get ready in the morning does not help you to feel organized for the day. To avoid a last minute scramble, put everything in your backpack the night before school, fix your lunch the night before, and set out your outfit the night before.
    • Getting ready the night before will also allow you to have a little more sleep in the morning. Fewer things to do in the morning means less time you need to get ready to go.
    • Make getting ready for the next day a habit, just like the habit of brushing your teeth before bed. Don't go to bed for the night until everything is organized for the next day.
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    Get up early enough so you have time to get ready. It can be very tempting to hit the snooze button on your alarm or sleep for just a few more minutes in the morning when you are very sleepy. However, if you want to have an organized day, it's important to give yourself enough time in the morning so you can get all the things you need to do done.
    • For example, waking up with plenty of time to eat breakfast is very important. Skipping breakfast in exchange for a few more minutes of sleep will not serve you well for the rest of the morning.
    • Don't underestimate how much time it takes for you to get ready. If you are rushed to get to school, then you will have a harder time settling into your day once you get there.
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    Be on time. It is hard to be organized and calm when you are rushing to school every morning. Being on time to school in an unrushed way is one of the most important things you can do to start your day off in an organized way.
    • If you are having a hard time getting to school because of other people, like your ride is always late, consider trying to change your means of transportation. Perhaps instead of getting a ride you could ride your bike, so that you can leave your home when you need to to get to school on time.

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Categories: Back to School