Finding school supplies that meet your needs while staying on a budget can be frustrating and daunting. As someone who dreads the unknowns the new school year may bring, customizing my school supplies helps me feel like I have control over my organizational abilities. Throughout middle school and high school, finding different techniques that work for you can take a lot of trial and error, so to help solve this problem, I’ve compiled some suggestions that not only allowed me to personalize my school supplies, but also helped me save money — through the use of sticky notes. Sticky notes are best known for taking notes and they may seem simple; however, they are versatile when it comes to creating DIY school supplies and study strategies to get you through the year.
1. A homemade calendar
Calendars help me keep all my activities and their respective schedules in one place, which prevents me from planning too much. It also allows me to plan ahead if I know I have a busy week. Many stores carry calendars that are too big, don’t have enough room for certain days, or have colors that don’t match your theme. Websites that let you customize your calendar sometimes cost more than all of your other school supplies combined. If you want a cheap solution, use sticky notes to customize colors, size, and designs.
At the beginning of the year, I always expect to fill my calendar when I have an assignment due or I have a club that day; however, by the time it is October, I forget that I even have a calendar. I’ve found that the more you like your calendar, the more encouraging it is to use it. Each month you can easily change colors, add new designs or even try a new format while saving money on a sustainable solution.
2. Storage for stationary
Coming home to a desk cluttered with erasers, pencils, paper clips, and loose paper can keep you from being productive. When you’re sitting at a desk, you’re more likely to finish your homework in less time with the best quality than sitting in bed finishing your homework with the worst quality while wasting time. Sticky Notes will help you keep your workspace clean when you need to study for an important exam. You can buy a stack of post-its of any size or color and cut a square in the middle of the stack. The colorful stack will have a hole to store all your stationery.
My favorite aspects of this hack are that you can control the thickness of the border, the amount of space the stack takes up on your desktop, the colors, as well as the use of the leftover cut-out post-its to create your calendar of DIY (hack #1). Keeping a theme in my school supplies, whether it’s a certain font, color, or graphic, helps me feel organized, thus minimizing the stress of missing an assignment or forgetting to do a task. important. Saving space on your desk with the post-it storage pile will allow you to put a lamp, a pencil sharpener, a snack basket, and have ample space to complete your to-do list.
3. Set Reading Goals
I’ve always struggled to read large amounts of pages in one sitting while trying to remember the characters, plots, and overall theme. Breaking up pages into chunks, whether chapters, number of pages, or paragraphs if they are long, will help you set a more realistic goal. If you set an unrealistic goal, it’s easier to procrastinate and harder to get started.
Sticky Notes let you set goals by marking the page you’ll start from and the page you’ll end on. You can view how many pages you have left with the sticky note taped to the top of the page you’re working towards, which helps prevent procrastination. Because I find it hard to stay motivated to read a book I don’t like, I write either encouraging quotes or an incentive like “Now you can take a 5 minute break from watching youtube videos” . I like to use one color for the start page and another color for the end page so it’s easier to keep track of what I need to accomplish.
4. Make your to-do list fun
You can always make a to-do list on a sticky note; However, if you’re an artist or love decorating your room, you can turn your to-do list into a little chart. If you write each task on a post-it using the colors designated for the tasks due tomorrow, next week, and next month, you can create a creative image that can be deleted when you throw away the post-it task that you finished in a jar. You can encourage yourself to complete all your tasks for this month to motivate yourself when you feel the need to procrastinate. You can count all the crumpled up tasks you’ve completed and give yourself a small prize, whether it’s giving you a message, giving you clothes or food.
5. Be positive about yourself
The morning I have a test, the only thing I care about is reciting the information I need to know and where I can save time to study throughout the day. The sticky notes remind me to put things into perspective and help put me in a positive frame of mind when it’s time to take the test. I’ve overlooked this hack for too long, and wish I’d tried sooner. At the start of the school year, you want to have at least 50 sticky notes on hand with different quotes to boost your confidence. Every time you go to bed, take one of the post-it notes and place it either on your alarm clock, your study guide, your mirror, your cereal box, your milk jug, your lunch box, the dashboard of your car, on your computer, your desk or even the outfit you chose the day before. Even if it’s not related to your test, it could be a compliment to yourself!
6. Interactive Study
Flashcards are great for studying; however, over time they start to get boring and less engaging. Sticky Notes provide a more entertaining study strategy that’s less overwhelming and allows you to visualize what you’re learning. If you take a language and need to study vocabulary, you can play a matching game on the wall without creating permanent damage. If you need to learn different tenses, you can write the conjugation endings on each sticky note and stick them in order on the wall.
As a bilingual person, besides learning two other languages, this hack has made language study fun. If I need to review a certain stack of sticky notes, I know my review won’t be as boring as the flashcards. If you need to study for a contrast comparison essay, you can use your wall to create three columns: Topic One, Similarities, Topic Two. This helps you retain information faster because it’s designed for you to view. You can save space on your desk by using the wall which makes your room less cluttered.