School Smarts

Five Easy Steps to De-Clutter Your Student’s Life Will Improve His Scholarly Success

Sure, a messy room is the sign of a creative mind, but how will that help when you can’t find your next masterpiece beneath all those heaps?

As a time management technique, I advise students to clear out the clutter in their rooms throughout the school year which is always accompanied by mounds of stuff.

You’ve got to use textbooks and papers, and if you de-clutter your personal space and desk, you’ll have the room for the necessaries; but, in addition to de-cluttering, kids of all ages will get ahead of the game by using smart organizational tools to help them economize on time and stay calm when clearing out the mess.

Because of the experiences I’ve had in coaching thousands of both adults and teens about increasing productivity to achieve the goals they’ve set for learning, lifestyle, and business, I am very aware of how a study space that is organized can promote enjoyment, achievement and success.

These Five Tips Will Help You to Quickly Clear Out the Clutter.

1. Get it Out of There. Imagine the building is on fire, and you have 60 seconds to grab whatever you can carry and make your escape. What would you grab? Consider those items your essentials and everything else potentially expendable. My advice is to toss out the clothes that don’t fit, the papers that aren’t needed, the socks that don’t match and other items from the “expendable” heaps to create more space before the school year and its demands get away from you.

2. Enlist a Cruel Friend. Breaking the “pack rat” habit can be difficult for people of any age. If you find it hard to let go of some of your things, my advice is that you know should be tossed out, invite your most unsentimental friend to shame you into letting go.

3. Control Your Stuff. Control your stuff, or your stuff will control the time you spend stumbling over it. My advice is to find affordable bins or boxes with secure lids that stack inside a closet, that fit under your bed or under your desk, and then toss everything inside those containers. Next, take ten minutes every other day to go through a box to pluck out what’s expendable. Then, toss it. It’s a smart system to cycle through the clutter and make more space inside those same containers for truly useful items.

4. Don’t Fall Into The Granny Trap. I call it the ‘granny trap,’ because kids and teenagers can also fall into the trap of keeping too many of what my grandmother called knick-knacks without real value cluttering up shelves and table tops. Unless you’re a serious adviser, toss it. You’re young; stay portable.

5. Fake It. At a minimum, you can keep un-sorted excess stuff out of sight in those stackable, hide-able bins or boxes until you find ten minutes to clear out the clutter from your personal space. You could give up ten minutes of text messaging your friends, and you’ll have instant, if temporary, new floor space and stave off complaints from surprise visitors.