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Getting Organized: Organizing Your Study Space

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Oct 26, 2010

The first thing to consider is finding a dedicated space to study and keep your supplies at home or in your dorm. You may have a desk in your room or in another part of the house, like in a family room or home office. Dedicate this spot to studying and keep it free from distractions.

Yes, there’ll be times when you’ll need to work in other places. For example, if you’re working on an art project, you might work in the kitchen or in the garage. If you’re reading, consider reading in your bedroom. Regardless of where you choose, it’s important to have one main space for your school work.

Helpful Items in a Good Study Space

You can go hog wild and find all kinds of furniture and equipment to organize your workspace, but you don’t need each and every organizational gadget out there. You just need some basic pieces. You can then consider some of the extra stuff.

A good study space should have the following:

  • A work space (either a desk or table where you can write or draw or solve math problems): The space should have enough room for you to spread out your work so that you can keep the tools you need (paper, books, pen, protractor, calculator, and so on) at your fingertips.
  • A good chair: You want something that’s comfortable and supports you with good posture. A bean bag chair, for example, isn’t a good study chair. Instead, use an adjustable office chair or other chair that’s the right height for your workspace.
  • A place for books: You need a place to store the books you use frequently, such as a dictionary, thesaurus, or atlas. Keep your school books close by so that you don’t have to get up and find your backpack when you’re working on your homework. Use a small bookcase, desk drawers, or shelves on the wall.
  • Good lighting: You need adequate lighting for you to see your work clearly. Sometimes, an overhead light is not enough, so consider a desk lamp or a floor lamp that shines light where you need it.
  • Outlets: If you use a computer to do your homework or to study, you need access to outlets in which to plug in the computer, even if it’s a laptop. You’ll also need to plug in your desk lamp and any other equipment that requires electricity.
  • Writing tools and other supplies: You might store your pens, pencils, rulers, protractors, and so on in a desk drawer or in a holder on your desk. Know what tools you need to complete your homework and make sure they’re handy.

In addition, your study space may include other elements that help you organize your work. Consider buying a filing cabinet to keep all your files organized into folders. Or you might create labeled boxes (a la Martha Stewart) to keep your supplies organized and looking neat and chic.

A bulletin board is a great addition. You can post reminders of upcoming assignments, including a calendar of key assignment dates. As another alternative, you may have a large desk calendar that you use to write down assignments and test dates. The “Managing Your Time” section goes into more detail about managing your schedule using tools like these.

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