Being a college student often means living in a tiny box called a dorm with a bunch of roommates.  Or maybe, you have the luxury of having an apartment space with roommates.  Either way, your space is small and your workspace is often just a tiny little corner of the room.  Making this little office corner comfortable and efficient is crucial to your academic success.

Declutter

It doesn’t matter how much space you have; it is always easier to be productive (and stay organized) when you have less stuff.  So take this time to dump all the trash and donated any gently used items that you aren’t using.  Limit your personal knick-knack items and if you must have them, get them off the desk.

Start getting used to dealing with incoming stuff immediately – file it, toss it, or act on it.  In a small space, you don’t have the luxury of letting papers pile up on your desk.  You have to get in the practice of acting on it.

Add Some Personality

Your small little work space should be a place you want to spend time in – especially since you’ll be there a lot during the semester while studying for exams or writing papers.  So make your space feel comfortable and welcoming.  I invested in an amazing office chair to give my back a break.  I added a couple of framed photos and painted my bulletin board a bright purple (my favorite color) for some color.  Just be sure not to go overboard and turn your office corner into an eye sore.

Go Vertical

Since floor space is limited, go vertical.  Add shelves, hooks, or bulletin boards to your walls to help store things vertically while also drawing the eye away from the small space.  My bulletin board includes a large calendar, shopping and to-do lists, and even coupons.  This keeps all that stuff off of my desk and easy to grab – and it is so visual that I’m more likely to notice it rather than forget about it.

Store It

Always store things based on how often and where you use the item.  For example, I use my stapler weekly to staple papers and reports together – so I hide it out of view in the top drawer where I can easily grab it.  I use Post-It Notes and pens multiple times a day – so I like to keep those on top of the desk for easy access.

Keep It Multi-Purpose

Having multipurpose gadgets means I need less space for more productivity.  My 3-in-1 wireless printer is my best friend – I can scan, copy, and print without having to have multiple machines and it is one less cord I need to wrestle.  I also own a multi-color highlighter (cause I’m color coded obsessed) so I don’t have to carry around five different highlighters.

Portability

One of the best words of advice I can give to any college student is to make sure that their work is portable.  I love to have access to all of my notes, essays, calendars, and brain storming sessions on-the-go so that I can view, edit, or work on them at any time.   My laptop goes with me to school and I love being able to whip it out while eating lunch to do some work or waste time on Pinterest.  I store all notes and papers in the cloud – this is especially important if you need to access something from another computer or device.  Everything is synced and with me 24/7 no matter what device I’m on.

 

How do you stay productive in a small office space?