Skip To Content

    23 Ways To Get Your Life Together Before The New School Year

    Don't be a hot mess this year!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Start the year off on the right foot with a planner. This one helps you improve your focus and achieve your goals.

    Promising review: "My mother bought me this planner for my junior year of high school, and it truly is the best planner I have ever seen. The paper quality is much better than I expected, and it holds ink very well. I have not used Sharpies on it, but highlighters, gel pens, and thin pens work very well! The journal itself is very durable and soft. It is not likely to fall apart! I love the pages in the beginning for the mind map and focuses. This journal is unique and worth much more than it sells for!" β€”Lisanna Stanfill

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in blue and pink).

    This is our pick for best cheap planner on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    2. Attach a bedside caddy to the side of your bed so you never lose track of books, notebooks, pens, etc., that you use right before bed.

    Promising review: "This thing is amazing, and I don't know how I lived without this before. I'm constantly looking for my phone and my remote, which now have a safe and standard place. This thing is gorgeous too. I lucked out as it works with the other gray colors in my room. I absolutely intend to buy more of these as gifts for pretty much everyone I know."β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.25.

    3. Sign up for a vitamin subscription so you can be healthier (and miss less school) without really trying.

    Care/Of personalizes vitamins for your body, goals, and lifestyle, and delivers them right to your door. Read our full review on the service here.

    Get it from Care/of starting at $5/month.

    4. Start using cable ties so you never have to spend five minutes untangling your headphones again.

    Promising review: "I have been looking in stores for cord ties for the cords for my Kindle Fire and Paperwhite when I am not using them. These ties are flexible and very colorful. What I like most of all about these ties is that they can cover more than one spot. Most of the ties I have seen are thin and cannot hold the end of the cords in place unless you have them on top of each other. Then you have a big lump to deal with. With these ties, you can have them cover more space without wrecking them. I really like these ties and am glad I got them." β€”musicmomma

    Get it from Amazon for $5.44.

    5. Have a to-do list notepad, such as this one with four areas to write tasks, because there's nothing more satisfying than checking things off the list.

    Promising review: "I love this to-do pad. It has everything organized so well, and I always start out my day jotting down what I need to get done in each section. Not sure how I lived without it in the past! I will definitely order more for myself and as gifts for friends who need to organize a bit better. It brings me such satisfaction to know that I accomplished everything I needed to do. It's high quality and well thought out. I can't wait to go through this pad and order more!" β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $7.08.

    6. Organize your makeup so you can spend less time searching in the morning and more time getting ready or actually just sleeping more.

    Promising review: "Say goodbye to clutter! This keeps you organized and saves you time finding your supplies. Who would’ve thought this Lazy Susan concept could be put towards makeup organization. I absolutely love it. It makes my room cleaner, and there's less dust to worry about." β€”vixen

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in clear and white).

    7. Put a waterproof notepad in the shower so your best ideas don't go down the drain.

    Promising review: "You know when something pops into your head that you have to buy or finish, but it's a totally inopportune time, like when you're just falling asleep or when you're driving? Yeah, this happens to me a lot in the shower. I think shampoo activates my neurotransmitters or something. So I got this handy little notepad to keep in my shower. I love this thing!! It sticks to my sliding shower door and hasn't fallen down once. The pencil works great, and the paper has kept it's form perfectly. I'm super impressed. I highly recommend!" β€”Kim

    Get it from Amazon for $8.39.

    8. Stick to using a dry erase weekly calendar so you can write down all your important tests and due dates each week.

    Get it from PB Teen for $19.99 (originally $39).

    9. Keep all your devices organized in a charging station so you won't have to hunt for them anymore and use a multi-plug charger to make sure they're all at 100%.

    Promising review for charging station: "The charging station is great, high quality, and has a functional design. This has become the new home for all of our technology (iPad, iPhones, Mac Laptop, Kindle). It provides a simple, aesthetically pleasing place to store electronics and charge them. It's a great way to minimize phone distractions by keeping it in a central place when not in use." β€”Paul Mackey

    Promising review for multi-plug charger: "I love this charger so much that I just got a second one! It is intelligent, fast-charging the electronics that can handle it, slow charging the others. It finds the optimal change speed for each device plugged in and accommodates, even with multiple devices that each need their own speed. It doesn't get too hot, either. Overall, this is an awesome charger!" β€”EST

    Get the charging station from Amazon for $39.99 and the multi-plug charger from Amazon for $23.95.

    10. While you're at it, organize your desk supplies and your pens and pencils will always be in reach.

    Promising review: "This thing is great. It holds pencils, paper clips, sticky notes, and has room for full-size papers in the back. It has a small footprint and really cleaned up the clutter on my desk. If you need something to organize a desk, this really fits the bill." β€”Justin LeCheminant

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in silver and black).

    11. Get your closet in order with a organizer system, and you'll spend less time trowing clothes around your room looking for that one shirt you're dying to wear.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this closet organizer. It was a little hard to install given we have cinderblock behind the wall, but once that was figured out it was easy enough to install. Love that it is configurable even after installing as I have rearranged slightly a few times when putting items back in. I want this is all of my closets now!" β€”Kiki

    Get it from Amazon for $89.98 (available in silver and white).

    12. Invest in your future self by signing up for a self-care subscription box. You'll get products to help reduce stress and increase joy sent to you monthly.

    Promising review: "This box was everything I wanted and more in a self-care box. I tried another before this one, and it was a mess. The TheraBox contains items that are 1) useful, 2) unique, and 3) high quality. I don't like stuff or trinkets. I was looking for a box that had things I could use, benefit from and be done with. My first box came with bath items, journals, face masks and more. Looking forward to my next one." β€”Alison

    Get it from CrateJoy for $34.99+/month.

    13. Put a keyboard cover on your laptop so you can once and for all stop getting crumbs between your keys. (It also protects your computer from water damage.)

    Promising review: "My favorite keyboard skin so far! This is the third one I have tried but the others have taken some getting used to because they slow down your ability to type a little. This one almost feels like there is no skin at all. No adjustment time at all really. And I love the rose gold color!" β€”terrie

    Get it from Amazon for $6.29 (available in 28 colors).

    14. Use a different colored pen for every class so you can keep everything you have to do straight.

    Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens won't smear, fade, or bleed through your paper, leaving you with perfect notes.

    Promising review: "These pens are the best!!! I use them to organize my notes for school and flash cards. They're not leaky so my work is much neater. And they last longer and work better than the sharpie pens. These are definitely going to be my go-to pens from now on." β€”Jessi

    Get them from Amazon for $9.99.

    15. Add a Tile Mate to your backpack, keys, phone, wallet, or any other item you tend to lose, and you'll never misplace it again. / Via Tile

    Promising review: "The Tile saves me so much time finding my keys and phone. I like that the phone will ring even if the sound is turned off. (But the phone does have to be on). You have to click the Tile twice to make the phone ring so I have had no problem with my phone randomly ringing from hitting the button. Money well spent." β€”Georgia

    Get it from Target for $19.99 or Walmart for $24.95.

    16. Get more out of your space by utilizing your desk chair with chair back storage so your desk doesn't turn into a pile of papers you just want to avoid.

    Get it from PB Teen for $24 (available in grey and blue).

    17. Use an alarm clock with natural light to help you actually get up in the morning and make it to class.

    Promising review: "This thing works!!! I bought it with a bit of skepticism, sort of thinking it would be a gimmick, but it truly works for me. It's not a harsh light β€” it's much like having soft sunlight in your bedroom. There's just something about seeing the light, along with hearing the alarm beep, that's enough to get you out of bed. Sometimes I still snooze, but only one time instead of the three to four times I used to snooze. :) It's like your brain just knows it's time to get up. Simple but effective!" β€”D. Kesselring

    Get it from Amazon for $46.20.

    18. Or invest in an Amazon Echo Spot and all you have to do is ask Alexa to set an alarm for you. You can ask her for the weather, traffic updates, and so many other things to make your life easier.

    Promising review: "I love my Amazon Echo Spot. I have it next to the bed, as it serves as my alarm clock every morning, not to mention can give me my flash briefing as I get ready for the day. I like the different clock face options, and the speaker is very loud, much better speaker than the echo dots that I have." β€”Zach

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99.

    19. Use a ~fancy~ lunch box so bringing your lunch will actually be something you enjoy and look forward to.

    Promising review: "I loved this lunch box a lot. I looks great, has two additional boxes inside to help carry a variety of food, and a fork and knife attached on the outside!! It's an awesome lunch box. I even purchased a second one in green!!! The seals are good and don't leak. I would recommend to anyone who would like a fashionable lunch box." β€”Akshatha

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95 (available in six colors).

    20. Put all your secrets into a password book, and you won't have to spend 10 minutes resetting your password every time you forget it.

    Promising review: "This is a must for anyone with many many passwords! Got two of them, one for me, one for my boyfriend. Now if we don't misplace the book, ha ha!" β€”Teresa1106

    Get it from Amazon for $5.48.

    21. Store all your papers in document organizers so you can find the assignment when the teacher asks for it.

    Promising review: "The folder is very nice quality, fits lots of papers, and the colors are very nice. It's perfect for my papers at school, and I have many of them for my different subjects. I recommend them! Cute, good quality, and sturdy." β€”Lauren De Haan

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in eight colors).

    22. Use a lap desk when you're working or studying in bed so you can be more productive and (hopefully) not fall asleep.

    Promising review: "This is really useful. I got this for my laptop right before it died, but I have been using it to do homework in bed. That has been really nice to be comfortable with a hard surface to write on for school things. It probably would be really nice for a laptop too." β€”Brinkbabe9`

    Get it from Amazon for $19.29 (available in six colors).

    23. Download a budgeting app to help you get all your money in order. It tracks what you spend and how you spend it so you can save more this year.

    Get it from the Apple Store for free or Google Play for free.

    Time to rock the new year!


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / Via BuzzFeed