College Preparation and Organization

college preparation and organization

 

It’s a big transition that first year of college! Being sure you have the right stuff makes that transition easier. College preparation and organization make this transition easier.  It’s important to get started with the right stuff.

 

Preview

Take advantage of  your first peek at college life while  you are registering for classes during the summer.  Look over your space with an honest appraisal. It’s much smaller than  you think!  See what is built in to your room and what storage exists.  If needed, use a tape measure too.

 

Less is more

For most college bound, the big items to take are clothes and technology.  It’s tempting to try to bring it all.  But that can lead to chaos.  Decide on clothes by deciding on a number to take. You can can 10, 14 or or a specific number of items. Shoes and accessories are harder to store so think about practicality too.

 

Here are favorite college clothes storage items.

 

shoe organizer

Shoe organizer, not just for shoes.

 

command hooks

Command hooks

 

hanging shelves

hanging shelves

rolling cart with drawers

Three Drawer Rolling Cart

 

For technology, bring your game system and other goodies grouped together.  It may not be possible to install a 52 inch screen, but you can consolidate your games.  Use a notebook for all the CDs, a bin for the controllers, and a crate for anything else.

 

media storage

Media Storage

 

media organizing

Shoe box for organizing your media

 

More than clothes

Remember, you need to be prepared for more than just partying.   Prepare for studying, room decorating, laundry, bathroom, and other room stuff.

  • For academics, you will need one spiral notebook for each class, a planner, flash drives, and folders for handouts.
  • For laundry be sure to bring a laundry basket to tote your clothes to and from the laundry room.
  • Find out where your bath and shower are.  A caddy is a handy tote for your shampoo, soap and more.
  • Coordinate with your roommate who will have a  mini refrigerator, microwave, and printer. Tiny spaces need just one of each of these.

 

College prep time line

• Start after your orientation week in June/July
• Break your preparation and purchases into baby steps with clothes, organizing, study stuff, and more
• Create a spot to keep it in while organizing
• Set a time to give away extra clothes
• Group items together and label your boxes for organized packing

 

 

Organizing Tips for College Freshman

organizing your college freshman

 

It’s almost that time to set your college freshman off! It is a bit scary, a bit exciting and a bit overwhelming for you and for them.   It takes time to get ready for freshman year, so now is the time to get started.  Here are a few tips for organizing your college freshman.

  • Your child will be sharing a space that is a little bigger than their bathroom at home with a new roommate.  Remember to connect with your new roommate as soon as possible to determine who is bringing what for their room.  Most kids want their own laptops and ipads, but refrigerators and microwaves are easily shared.  College essentials also include a shower caddy and laundry basket.   as well as sewing kit, some medicines and quarters.  The Container Store check list can be a big help too!  http://images.containerstore.com/medialibrary/pdf/tips/CollegeChecklist2012.pdf
  • Your time is your own in college and being productive throughout the week is important.  Use a grid from a week at a glance calendar and fill in your classes, then your study time, then your other responsiblities like laundry, meals and activities.  This way you can see what your week will look like and where you will have time to get everything complete. Choose a great planner to transfer this plan and to keep assignments and syllabus.   For each assignment, be sure to write everything in the same calendar.  You will see where assignments from different classes overlap.  Being organized is more than organizing your stuff, it is also organizing your time.  Need a time grid to practice on? Just email me and I will send you one!
  • Organizing your papers in college means stepping up your filing system. Purchase a small box file to keep important documents like college forms, rental agreements, and more.  For your academic papers, you can continue with a binder or switch to colored folders, one for each class.  Take a few minutes each week to review what is in each folder and being sure that papers are kept in the right spot.
  • Keep all your contacts in your phone.  Contacts include email, phone numbers and even addresses.  Having these all in one spot makes it each to stay connected.  Add these right away when you get information so you don’t need slips of paper.
  • Give yourself the gift of order each week. Spend a few minutes looking ahead in your calendar, getting papers back together, and planning on the next steps.  You will be so glad you did!

Do you have ideas to share with new college freshman?

Organizing for College

college organizing

 

 

Its time to send your baby off to college, and there is a lot of preparation to do!  Not only will they be working on academics, they will be working on real life!  Your kid may be ready to fly the coop, and you are not sure they are as prepared as you might like.  Having an organized approach will make for an A+ transition!  Organizing for college is a collaboration with your child.

 

  • Talk through the college day with your student. No longer will they be going to one spot all day long. What will their day be like? Help them write up a schedule that will work for them, taking into account their class times, and their high energy times.

 

  • Help them set up a planner that will work for them.  Getting started in college is where real life time management begins. Having a great week at a glance planner in paper or technology will be the first step in making real decisions about their time, their priorities and their schedules.   Record all the day’s details in their planner so they can see just how busy they are.  Using their phone is a great option since it is with them all the time, they can set reminders and recurring events, and they can check it whenever and wherever.  You can also recommended a toodledoo or notes for reminders on tasks.

 

  • Paper is a reality for college kids.  Help them set up a small filing system in a file box for their important papers such as enrollment documents. Encourage them to pay bills online  and use ways to eliminate paper as much as possible. For their class notes and more, what will work best for them? Spiral notebooks, pads, or ??? As long as their system works, that is what is most important.

 

  • The realities of dorm living mean two kids in a space about the same size as their bathroom at home.   Consolidating, communicating and coordinating are key components to getting along in a small space.    Encourage your student to do all of these in a positive, open and honest way for sharing a living space.  Storage is always at a premium.   Look for creative ways to maximize the space you have and use labeled uniform bins to store less frequently used items.

 

  • Encourage your kids to rely on their strengths and core values. They are entering a time when there is a lot of new information and lots to think about.  When they rely on their true strengths, they are most comfortable with their decisions.  Core values like tenacity, honesty, creativity, and determination all make for college success.

 

  • Keep communication going with the home front. Our kids will “fondly” remember that Sunday was the day to call home!  Having one day to be sure to touch base, even in this time of texting, makes it a little easier on everyone.

 

  • Parents can forever seem like worriers, but encourage them to keep safety in mind.  Have a flashlight, jumper cables and a real first aid kit in their car.  Just in case!

How is your organizing coming for your best college year yet?