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As a teacher, I'm surprised by how many kids don't know these easy tips. It requires staying a bit organized, but it pays off two ways: 1. Saving your back and 2. Preventing you from looking like a dork with a 50 lb. backpack!
Number One (which seems so obvious): Carry only the books you'll need for the day. If an instructor never uses the book in class, (and many college profs. never do) why lug it around?
Number Two: Carry one manila pocket folder stocked with 3-ring loose leaf paper. Take notes for each class on a separate piece(s) of paper. Label, date, and keep the notes in the folder until the end of the day. When you get home, read over and then transfer each day's notes to the appropriate thin, flexible plastic 3-ring binder you keep for each subject. These can be cleaned out and used each semester for new subjects!
No more carrying separate spiral notebooks for each class or carrying large, awkward binders with dividers. If you do happen to need all of your notes for a class on a particular day, just grab the one lightweight binder you need.
A helpful hint to help a college student keep from getting buried: get a 5 drawer rolling file cabinet. One drawer per subject; easy get at and keeps subjects separated. It's helped my daughter. Before this, all would get thrown onto the bed or a chair. The next time something was needed, she'd be searching frantically for it. Now she just opens the drawer and places it into her bag.
By LRP from LWL, MA
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I could use advice for organizing. I'm a high school student going off to nursing school. Therefor organization tips would be awesome for my room and school, too. Thank you.
By Shane from NC
I use decorative tins for small items and baskets for larger things. You can get these at dollar stores or thrift stores and garage sales. In Houston we have Big Lots. I don't know how large a chain it is but they have plastic bins so cheap you will feel you stole them. You can stack the bins thereby saving floor space.
I have learned two very important rules the hard way. Number 1. If you haven't used it in the past year either toss it or give it away. Number 2 Always put things away the minute you finish using it.