Staying Organized 101

I don’t claim to be the most organized person in the world, there are parts of my life that are incredibly unorganized. Our coat closet literally has more coats on the ground than on the rack, our basement storage is piles of crap up to the ceiling, and don’t even get me started on what under the kitchen sink looks like.

That being said, I have never paid a bill late, never forgotten an assignment or even turned one in late (not sure how I have managed that) and my coworkers make fun of how I spend the first 15 minutes when I get to work putting everything in a particular spot and organizing papers (in fact one of the salesmen told a new girl who started to not mess with my OCD work space cause I would go crazy).

Now if my parents are reading this (which I know my mommy is 😉 they are cracking up thinking “what , our Tavia organized?” then laughing hysterically. I haven’t always been so organized but once I got to college and realized that you cannot survive and get good grades without some stellar organization, I kicked my booty into gear.

So for those of you who organization in school and life just doesn’t come naturally, here are some tips from an amateur expert 😉


Like I said I have literally NEVER once turned in a single assignment late. I owe it all to these two trusty little books (now of course they change every year but these are mine for ’12-’13 school year)

On the bottom is my planner and on top is simply a lined mini-notebook. Of course get cute ones cause it makes organization so much more fun!

Let’s start with the planner, many people use a planner to write down their assignments and schedule and for some that is enough. Well mine is color coded and very thought out.

Everything highlighted in green is something that was assigned that day. If it is highlighted in pink then it is due that day. I write every day that I work, the Jewelry Store is in maroon, and Honda is in blue. Orange squiggly lines are for the days that I teach a lesson. And this was midterms week so I designated rectangles around midterms. Any extra weekly stuff gets to be in any color I want, can’t be rigid all the time right? (slightly ridiculous? Yes. Does it work? Heck yes!)
Next is the mini-notebook which I use for to-do lists and things that I need to get done that week. 
Each week I write a list of assignments that have to be completed that week. I also write them in order of due date so they can be done in order. After I finish the assignment I highlight it and move onto the next thing! I love lists so it really helps keep me on track and motivate me.

The next thing is a lot less crazy and really simple but makes a huge difference. In College you are in multiple classes and they are all handing you what seems like a million papers a day. To keep track of what goes with which class I have a binder full of folders.

This has a folder for each class and they are in order of when I have the classes.  It is pretty thick but better than having a whole binder for each class. And I have a homework folder in the front where I put papers for things due soon.
They are each labeled clearly so they are easy to find. After a while though, I have the colors memorized.

So those are some ways I stay organized for school. Here are a few helpful things for life.


Not only do I have to keep myself organized but I have to keep The Hubs organized too. Here are some things that work well for us.

 The fridge is sort of our organization station, it works great though cause we go to it multiple times a day 🙂

For bills I have 2 clothespins one labeled due and one labeled paid. Once we get the bills I put them on the due clip and highlight the due date. Once they have been paid they get moved over to the paid clip and I eventually get around to filing them in our file box for each separate bill(internet,  cell phone, electric etc.)

To the right of the bills is a big “family calendar”.

I have my planner that is just for me but this is one way to keep The Hubs informed of what is going on (or else he would have no clue). Anything we both have to do goes on there and since I don’t work a consistant schedule I put my work schedule on there so he knows where I am when he gets home and I am gone 🙂

On the front of the fridge is another little organization station, this gets used a lot!

In the left top corner is the shopping list, we both add stuff to it as we see we need something. Then when it gets really long, it’s time to shop! I put coupons that expire soon and I want to use on there so I don’t forget about them. Right now we are saving yogurt lids for breast cancer so that’s on there. And the white board constantly has notes on it with reminders and notes since we don’t see each other at all during the day. (of course this note is made up for the picture)
I try to keep up with a weekly menu, but don’t always get to it. 
It is so helpful for me, so I don’t have to just whip something up. This way I know exactly what I am going to make and I just started putting the whole meal in the notebook you see to the right of the menu. In the book I write down the sides and even if I need to buy anything for it. This helps Collin also. The lines are nights I work until 8 so I don’t cook and he is on his own. And it keeps him from always asking “what’s for dinner?”

These are just a few ways that we stay organized and they work really well for us. I think it’s fun to stay organized and it makes things go so much more smoothly!

One thought on “Staying Organized 101

  1. Deborah Raney says:

    Well, I AM impressed. (Dad isn't sure he even believe it all! I think he wonders how you “organize” your flip-flops these days?) But I think you've taken a page out of your big sister's organization textbook. Yay for you both!


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