How to Stay Organised at University

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Staying organised is the key to having the best time at university. With lectures, deadlines, shopping, bills, exercise, parties and more: student life – especially in your first year – can often feel overwhelming.

If you manage to start off on a good foot and get your shit together early, you’ll have more time to enjoy the better parts of student life. After all, you’re only at university to go out, get drunk and make memories for life, aren’t you? Why make it harder on yourself.

But if you actually do want a degree – and also all of the above – then getting on top of your study-load will give you the best chance.

Here’s how to stay organised at university.

1) Clean Room, Clean Mind

All those years of nagging have finally hit home. You finally understand what having a tidy room means. Some of you probably realised this way before university, others, well, didn’t. A clean, tidy and organised room leads to a clean, tidy and organised mind. Science.

Keep clutter to a minimum. You don’t need to go full throttle Marie Kondo. Does your GSCE fossil brushing kit spark joy? Probably not. Pack the things you need, things that have meaning and things that make you happy.

Remember, you’re not going to outer space. If you forget that pasta strainer at home or leave your 79inch wok on the train, you can always buy when you get there.

2) Essential Stationary

One thing that can help is stationary. Some people are self-confessed stationaryphiles, others survived five years of school without a pen to their name. You might be somewhere in the middle.

Things like calendars and diaries are super-useful for quick glances. Use highlighters for important notes and try to keep a folder of physical documents for each module you’re studying.

Depending on your course, you might not have too many pieces of paper to keep. That just means the ones you do have are important. Keep them easily accessible for when deadline panic sets.

3) Online Organisation Over Everything

We live in a digital world. Most of what you need will be online. The internet is bigger than any filing cabinet in the world – there’s a lot of clutter out there. Your university will hopefully keep what you need in a tidy fashion on its own student portals. For other stuff, it’s down to you.

Keep an online calendar that can be accessed on different devices. Also find an easy-to-use notetaking app like Meistertask or Evernote. Use one internet browser for university and an other for personal stuff.

There will be a time when you NEED those 50+ tabs open for what feels like forever, but who wants to think about essays when you’re re-watching Friends for the 15th time to help cure your loneliness. That’s too much stress for anyone.

Organise your social life by registering for freshers (Select your city from the university city list below).


4) Plan Making, Goal Setting, Life Living

Well. Now you put that pen and paper to plate. Your shopping list was a concept, now you actually have to do something with it – but fortunately you have all that knowledge from before you moved in, don’t you?

Bulk cooking meals and either freezing them or sharing them in a rotation is a fresher-fool-proof piece of advice passed down from generations.

But learning to cook, like anything, is a journey. You won’t be the next Gordon R’ after just a few TikTok pasta meals. Take inspiration from anywhere. It could be in a restaurant, your university cafe, an Instagram post or even an actual book. Ok. Maybe not a book, but the Kindle alternative.



Find the most up-to-date student guides, stories & tips. Put together by some of the most experienced students and teaching professionals.

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