Tips for organizing your life

Allison Smith

Start planning your spring cleaning now

Even though the weather still feels like it’s winter, believe it or not, spring is only 18 days away. So now’s the time to start planning your spring cleaning. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Clean up your closet

Can’t figure out what to wear? Color-code your wardrobe. It’s easier to find things if you organize your clothing by color. It’s also a lot easier to plan outfits, especially with the tiny dorm room closets.

If you have a pile of shoes thrown into your closet, you should consider investing in a door-hanging shoe rack. It doesn’t take up any more room, and it saves you a ton of space, especially if you have a million pairs of shoes.

Roll your sweaters and pants and put them in a drawer. Again, this saves a bunch of room by eliminating the large amount of space sweaters and pants take up.

If you can, loft your bed and invest in some under-the-bed storage containers. This helps eliminate clutter that would likely have accumulated in your closet.

Places like Bed Bath & Beyond and the Container Store sell drawer organizers for small pieces of clothing like socks and underwear so you can find those sexy panties right away when you’re getting ready for that hot date … or, you know … if you need your socks right away, too.

In a nutshell:

• Color code your wardrobe

• Use a door-hanging shoe rack

• Roll your clothes before putting them away

• Invest in under-the-bed containers or drawer organizers

Put your papers together

There’s nothing like being thrust into the real world with all of those bills, statements and taxes to worry about.

Start early and purchase and use a filing box to file away your homework, important papers and other things. Starting to file early will help you make a habit out of being organized.

Another important thing to file away is your receipts. You’ll never need to hunt for your receipt again when you need to return something.

Ten minutes away from turning in your paper and can’t find your stapler? A drawer organizer for your office supplies can help you find office supplies when you’re in a pinch.

In a nutshell:

• File everything — homework, receipts, bills, etc.

• Use a drawer organizer to keep track of office supplies

Get organized for class

A good way to get organized in school is to keep a planner. Use just one and always have it on you. Having too many can get confusing and you might forget assignments. Make sure the planner has enough space for you to write down everything you need to know for your projects.

Google calendar is a great tool, and it’s free. What’s great about it is its syncing capabilities. Google calendar will sync with your iPhone/iPod touch, your BlackBerry and your laptop. You can also share your calendar with others. Need to figure out a good time to have lunch with mom? Send her an invitation and it will show up on her calendar as well.

ICal is Apple’s calendar program. It’s light and simple. If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch, you can sync with your laptop to never miss an event.

A calendar for Windows is available through the e-mail application Outlook. In this program you can schedule events, make appointments with contacts and schedule meetings.

Get a backpack or bag with a lot of pockets and always keep it stocked with pens and paper. Yes, classes are becoming more and more technology-oriented, but you never know when your professor will need you to write something with those ancient tools.

In a nutshell:

• Keep a planner

• Use a Google calendar, which can be synced with PEDs and shared with others

• Other calendar programs, such as Apple’s iCal or Windows’ calendar in Outlook are also useful

• Having a backpack or bag is always useful in keeping organized

Great stores to aid in your organization:

• Wal-Mart

• Target

• Kohl’s

• Bed Bath & Beyond

• The Container Store

Contact features reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].