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Student Life

Smart Space-Saving Kitchen Organization Tips For Student Living

July 26, 2021

Whether you’re moving into your first off-campus apartment or returning to student dorms this year, being smart about space is a common skill students need to hone in their college years. Student accommodation is not known for being spacious or filled with storage facilities – particularly in the kitchen. However, if you’re a cooking aficionado, want to save money in college, or simply can’t bear to have dining hall meals for the school year, there is a way to overcome the challenge of smaller cooking spaces and still have your kitchen essentials – being smart about your kitchen storage. By getting creative and investing in space-saving essentials, your student kitchen can be an oasis of culinary adventures (or late-night snacking), without the clutter and mess.

Invest In Go-To Multipurpose Cookware

Versatility is key in small kitchens. Investing in a few high-quality pans that you can use for multiple recipes and cooking styles will see you through your college years, and if you’re lucky, even into your first apartment. The trick to choosing multipurpose cookware is to look at the reviews and the versatility. Does it come with a cover and enough depth to make a casserole as well as soup? Some pans now come with a removable handle, which is handy for stacking them and saving shelf space.

Utilize Your Cabinet Doors As Well As Cabinets 

An over-the-door organizer is cheap and great for using up that often-forgotten space behind your cabinet doors. From holding your makeshift spice rack at college to storing your cutting board or cleaning essentials, kitchen cabinet organizers are ideal for small spaces, and help you see what you have at all times – essential for those living on a college budget. You can also get one for as little as $14 (The Simple Houseware Kitchenwrap Organizer Rack) as seen in New York Magazine’s list of Best Kitchen Cabinet Organizers On Amazon.

Another useful hack: small cabinet organizers can also be handy for keeping your  fridge tidy and fresh. Use smaller baskets or cabinet organizers to organize your condiments, juices and vegetables into different sections. You can also get creative with it and organize your fridge according to meal ideas (breakfast/lunches/dinners) or according to food groups (meat/fruit/vegetables).

Magnetic Kitchen Wall Storage

Another great idea for organizing your kitchen in student accommodation is to use your kitchen shelves for double duty. One way to do this is to use a shelf for handing your pans or cups as well as storing pantry items. With the help of magnetic wall storage hooks and shelves, you can easily create a double-duty kitchen shelf without the hassle of DIY. This is a great idea to add extra storage if you have open shelving in your kitchen, and banish clutter.

Recycle And Rethink Your Old Jars

With a bit of warm water and dishwasher soap, most jar labels easily peel off, leaving you with well-designed, clear glass canisters. Fill them up with your pantry staples like rice, pasta and cereals. You can even make your own spice jars with smaller versions. Best of all, they cost little to nothing to do. You can even ask your family or friends to save you their jars if you want. When organized on a shelf, it helps you to easily see what you have, and still looks stylish.

Living in student accommodation can mean you’re short on space, but you can approach the problem creatively. With a few clever space-saving hacks and inventive gadgets, you can make your student kitchen an organized and well-stocked oasis of culinary adventures.

Student Life

Bullet Journaling to Help You Get Organized

April 22, 2021

A recent survey done by Greenfield Online found that 47% of students felt they didn’t have good enough organizational skills to succeed at college. 54% felt that if they had been better organized, they would have ultimately achieved a higher grade. The fact is that your organizational skills can have a direct impact on your success.

This is why it’s important to find a system that works for you. Bullet journaling is ideal for this because it follows your own system and is all kept in one single notebook. You can use your bullet journal (BuJo) to brainstorm, make to-do lists, create timetables and schedules, and set yourself reminders. This will help you get your college work done and achieve the grade that you deserve

What is bullet journaling? 

The bullet journal was first developed by the designer Ryder Carroll. It is a unique method of organization using a journal containing dots rather than lines. Since the method was brought to the public in 2013, it has gained a big following on social media, and has also had a successful Kickstarter campaign. All you need is a pen and notebook. The main features of a bullet journal are:

  • A table of contents or index
  • Rapid logging – using simple symbols to help organize your tasks
  • Logs – your to-do lists, including timescales
  • Collections -your ideas, organized in a logical way
  • Migration – an efficient way of updating your lists and tasks, moving forward items still to do

Keeping logs

Your logs are one of the most effective ways of organizing your college work. Making these lists is an easy way to get your priorities straight and manage your time every day. If you get into this practice and make it a habit, new and more complex tasks won’t seem so overwhelming. This will be easier if you keep a tidy workspace around you. Being organized promotes a positive mind set, and will help your mental wellbeing to be free from clutter. To help you keep track and get organized, bullet journaling involves using rapid logging symbols to help you keep track of what you have done and what you are still to achieve.

These symbols are:

  • Task
  • Note

     X    Completed

     >   Migrated

     <   Scheduled

     ⭘ Event

For each task you have listed in your log, marking it with a symbol will help you to keep track. When you migrate tasks to a new to-do list, you can decide whether they are still a priority, or whether to simply remove them from your journal completely. 

Building Collections

The collections in your bullet journal will make up most of your notebook. These are your thoughts and ideas, and can be on any subject you choose. Many people keep track of sleep patterns, fitness, phases of the moon, poetry ideas, restaurants to try, or books to read. Having a section for keeping track of your student finances could be extremely useful too. You may find it helpful to make a collection for each subject that you are studying. You might want to list research you are undertaking, or papers that you are intending to read. You can also have a collection simply for brainstorming, using it as a creative outlet – an effective type of personal therapy to help you focus your ideas and give them clarity. 

Bullet journaling is an organized but personal way to keep track of your life. As a student, your journal can be a valuable tool in helping you to get your work done and stay focussed throughout the school year. 

Career Health Other

How to Effectively Juggle Work-Study and College

June 3, 2019

Whether you’re a freshman stepping on to campus or a senior getting ready to walk the stage at graduation, balancing work-study and academics is definitely a tough act. As these are the two biggest time commitments for any college students, it can seem almost impossible at times to match working a job and studying for a test. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few times to help relieve the stress!

1. Stay organized and think ahead with your money

The key to having effective organization skills is to use every resource you can to keep track of your day-to-day. In terms of time management, calendars and planners are always great ways to stay on top of both your work-study and school work. Tons of online calendars and apps can help too, and can even send push notifications with reminders and more.

For financial organization, try out different online banks that offer different benefits that can help you pay off your tuition while you work-study, or if you’re a senior, can help pay off your loans once you graduate.

There are so many different options out there to use, so don’t be afraid to experiment with something until you find one that fits your workflow and lifestyle. Everyone is undoubtedly different, but a little organization can go quite a long way!

2. Find a job you like

Although this can sometimes be out of your control, if you are able to choose a job that you’ll actually like and enjoy spending time at, it can be a nice stress reliever from your school work. In fact, in some cases, it can serve as something to look forward to in your day or week to give you that little break you may need in between class and homework.

Try finding something that interests you, that will help you in your career path, or something that will get you out and socializing with others. Whether it’s working at the library, swiping cards at the campus gym, or becoming an assistant or intern in your related major, these can all be great ways to get a work-study job you’ll actually desire.

3. Separate work time and school time

One of the most important parts of balancing your commitments might actually be separating your time allocated to each. If you know the time you have to work every week is the same, it will be relatively easy to plan time for your academics. If this changes every week however, it can get trickier and might need a little more coordination on your end.

Being sure to separate these will be important though, especially so you can be mentally focused on each task. While at work, try to enjoy your shift. Socialize with others, work hard and try not to think about your other obligations. Reversely, while studying or doing homework, focus solely on that and completing it to your best abilities.

By focusing on one task at a time, it can not only prevent becoming overwhelmed but also increase productivity. Remember these tips from GradGuard when the stress begins to creep in. You’ve got this!

Other Student Life

11 Useful Apps for College Students

March 12, 2019

Going to college will change your life forever, but it can be difficult to keep up with that change without a helping hand. From staying on top of your schoolwork to remembering to cook and clean and finding ways to balance your time, it’s a delicate balancing act that takes work to get right. Luckily, we’ve pulled together this list of eleven of the best apps to help you out.

Dropbox:Chances are that you’ve already heard of Dropbox. It allows you to store your files in the cloud, to access them from any device and even keeps backups of older versions.

Wunderlist:Wunderlist is a cloud-based to-do list app that does it all. You can create multiple different lists and organise them into folders, and you can also create shared to-do lists for multiple people.

Evernote:Evernote is arguably the most powerful note-taking app on the planet, which makes it perfect for jotting down information in lectures. You can back the notes up to the cloud and access them on any device, too.

Exam Countdown Lite: This free tracker app allows you to input the dates of each of your exams and to view real-time countdowns. You can also ccustomize the colors and icons for different subjects to make it easy to tell them apart.

Forest: Forest aims to help you to focus on a single task, whether that’s reading or revising. When you boot it up, it allows you to grow a virtual forest by not touching your phone, and you can even spend in-app tokens to plant trees in the real world.

TED: TED’s mobile app makes it easy to browse and view the latest talks, with over 3,000 on-demand videos on all sorts of subjects. That makes it a great app to squeeze some extra learning into those inevitable dead spots in your day.

Google Drive/Docs: Google Drive and Google Docs go hand-in-hand and can be a great way to store and share documents. It’s also perfect for group projects because multiple users can work on the same document at the same time. with an essay? is great for double checking your spelling and grammar, although it’s not as good as working with a professional. One alternative if you’re looking for the human touch is to go for Ggrade Miners instead.

Chegg Books: Chegg Books is an app that allows you to search for and to rent textbooks and other study materials to save you money. For some people, it pays for itself – after all, you can always rent out some books of your own.

RealCalc Scientific Calculator: If you’re studying a science or mathematics based degree then this is the app for you. There’s no need to carry a bulky physical calculator around when this free app is on hand with all of the functionality still on offer.

iStudiez Pro0: This app comes in at $2.99, but it’s worth the money because it allows you to track homework, grades, and assignments and to ssynchronize it across different devices. It’ll send reminders, too.

Now that GradGuard has provided you with which apps to use, the next step is to get downloading and to familiarize yourself with their interfaces. Remember that not all of these apps will be perfect for you, and that’s okay. Your challenge is to find out which apps work best for you and to make them a part of your daily routine. Good luck.

BIO: Lauren Adley is a writer and editor at AustralianWritings. She is dedicated to her family, work and friends. She is keen on reading, playing the guitar and traveling. She is interested in educational, marketing and blogging issues. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

Health Other

3 Organization Tips to Help You Conquer the Semester

January 15, 2019

You tell yourself the same thing every time, “I’m going to stay organized and not procrastinate this semester.” For most of us, this attitude only lasts for a couple of weeks, and then we spend the rest of the school year pulling all-nighters and drinking copious amounts of caffeine so that we don’t get behind in our studies. It’s a vicious and ruthless cycle, but it can be stopped.

Here are three organization tips to help you dominate the semester.

Find a Planner That Works For You

A planner is a must if you want to succeed in college. But, not all of us went through high school (or even some years of college) using one. You must find a planner that you can use daily. Some individuals may prefer to use a physical planner, and some may choose a digital one. Each has pros and cons, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other. If you’ve never used a planner before, try using both to see which one works better for you.

Once you’ve found a planner you enjoy, make sure to use it every day. Using your planner daily will not be easy for some folks, but you can develop a lifelong daily/weekly planning habit if you stick with it.

Organize the Small Things

Often, the small things make a big difference, especially in college. When students organize every aspect of their lives, they are ready to take on any challenge they may face.

Some small things to organize include:

  • Your personal items: It’s important that you give each item a home. Are your hygiene products running amok? Get a shower caddy. Having a hard time finding room in the closet for your shoes? Install a shoe rack.
  • School supplies: Organizing your school supplies is a must for your college success. In fact, forgetting important supplies is a common test-taking mistake many students make. (Make sure to avoid all of these test day mishaps while you’re at it). It’s crucial to always have pens, pencils, and notebooks in your school bag.
  • Your pantry and refrigerator: Sick of wasting an unnecessary amount of money on fast food? Organize your food items. This will help you consume what you already have and assist you in purchasing grocery items that you actually need.

Schedule Your Time Wisely

Prioritizing your time is the secret sauce to your college success. However, this is definitely easier said than done. College students are spread thin between busy class schedules, assignments, work, social activities, and hobbies. It’s no wonder why they don’t sleep that much.

The best thing you can do is study and work on your class projects every day. Procrastination is a killer. It’s easy to get behind, and everything else in your life will start to suffer when you do.

Try to break up large tasks into small pieces. This will help you avoid burnout and can help your grades improve. Additionally, try to block out time in your planner for when you want to accomplish a task. For example, you can set a two-hour block for meditation and/or exercise every day. You know your schedule the best, so make sure to prioritize and organize your time efficiently.

Developing organization skills will not only help you have a good semester, but it can also help you have a higher quality of life. Work hard to create daily and weekly planning sessions to optimize your life. If you can learn how to organize, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Remember to check out GradGuard weekly for all of your Tuesday Tips and college hacks!

Brandon Jarman is a senior at Brigham Young University studying public relations and business management. When he’s not studying, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching his favorite sports teams.

Adulting Other

Fresh Ideas to Help Students Get Organized

May 1, 2018

While it is true that students have different habits in place to stay productive, these habits are learned behavior. Often times students have trouble organizing their lives with the whirlwind of changes that accompany college. With practice, organization and productivity will become a second nature. 

Creating a solid foundation of skills in college is the stepping stone to a successful career post-graduation. We’ve outlined some core principles below to help you get started, however, there is so much more to learn. We urge you to visit this website for more information. The tools you’ll learn will change your life.

Motivated by Mobile

We love our mobile phones. We use them to keep in touch with everyone we know. We take selfies and record funny moments to share. Keep in mind that your cell phone, not only a toy, it is a tool. It is one of the most advanced tools of the century.  Time to nail your newfound productiveness with the help of these apps:

  •   Wunderlist
    •    Wunderlist lets you effortlessly enter reminders, dates, projects, study time, work, and more.
  •   Trello
    •  This is another free app that is very useful for any project. The layout allows you to see the entire project. Place photos of things you will need and drag them around the screen to give you a step-by-step visual board.
  •  Be Focused
    • This free app is your time management partner. Set up blocks of time to do particular duties. This app will keep you focused and will track the time according to how you customized it.
  •  Apple’s iTunes University
    • This is home to a library of curriculum course material from many top universities and colleges.
  • Exam Vocabulary Builder
    • This is an app to improve English vocabulary. More than 6-million people use this for advancement or for language proficiency.

There are many more. Click here for the top 15.

Create a Dedicated Workstation

As simple as it may sound, dedicating a specific place to a workstation is an important feature for productivity. It does not have to be elaborate; a small desk with drawers for your files and a shelf for books will do just fine. This space should be solely used for work in order to create a habitual mental environment. Eventually, you will be mentally trained to focus on your work when you are seated at your workstation. 

Unclutter and Coordinate

Your backpack rides along with you to each class, each study session, and often even to after-class activities. By the end of the week, your backpack is bursting at the seams with notes, assignments, and that granola bar you thought you were going to have for a snack on Monday. Dump it! Every Saturday, empty your backpack and get rid of what you don’t need. Check supplies that you will need for the upcoming week and be ready.

An unnecessary stressor for many is often the amount of energy spent getting ready to study. Be smart. Purchase colored folders and categorize them by class. If you have projects, use a colored, plastic crate to keep them together.

As you grow in your organization skills, you will find which of your study habits are simply the way you have always behaved, which serve you and make you a better student. By cutting away at the useless habits and incorporating new ways of thinking, you will become more effective, less stressed, and increasingly more focused. Once you remove the cluttered mentality, you will find more time to do what needs to be done.

Remember: your world must be customized for you. What works for you may not work for others. Some people can stand the sound of coffee machines and distant chatter while others can listen to music and retain the information they are learning. Or maybe you just need the quiet calm of a library. You will discover what works for you by trial and error.

As you enter the midterm season, have the tools at hand that work for you. Make this a banner semester filled with flourishing productivity and a less stress. Speaking of less stress, did you know that GradGuard is always dedicated to helping students make their lives easier? Upon uncluttering your life and getting yourself organized, be sure that all of your valuable assets are protected with renter’s insurance.  Learn more about what they offer and why you should have renter’s insurance by visiting our website today.

Other Student Life

9 Tips to Start a Successful New Semester

August 25, 2016
Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Semester Off Right

It’s that time of year! Whether you’re a returning student just starting to get back into the swing of dealing with a structured schedule, or an incoming freshman trying to start your college experience off on the right foot, it’s important to take steps to set yourself up for success this semester.

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