Fact Sheet: Improving Organization

Organization means the arrangement of things in a certain order. Being organized means having a place for everything and knowing where that place is. In school work, it means knowing what the work is, getting that work finished, and turning the work in when it is due. It can also mean keeping your work in an organized way or keeping your supplies organized.

A lot of people with Spina Bifida say they really have to work at organization; it doesn't come easy. Students with Spina Bifida have a lot to keep track of. They must always be problem solving about getting around with a different kind of mobility--wheelchair, walker, or crutches. People without Spina Bifida have an internal alarm that tells them when to use the bathroom, but people with Spina Bifida even have to organize that!

Being organized will make your life more comfortable and less stressed.

Tips for Organizing Your School Life

1. Follow the same routine every day. If you do the same thing every day at the same time, you will develop a pattern. If you forget to do part of the job, it will feel funny and you will be reminded to think about what you may have forgotten. This is helpful in organizing your hygiene habits or developing study habits.

2. Keep your supplies for school together in a backpack. At night when you finish your homework, pack up your backpack with everything you will need for school so the only thing you have to do is pick it up in the morning.

3. Keep your school papers and homework in one place. Some students like to use 8-pocket folders. There is a pocket for each subject and you can keep your homework in the pocket also. When your teacher asks for the homework to be turned in, all your homework will be in one place, but each subject in a different pocket. This is especially useful if you have a duplicate set of books at home and another set at school. Your 8-pocket folder is what you will carry back and forth with all your assignments.

4. Write it down and check it off when complete. Use an assignment book, planner, or "To Do" list. All business executives have a planner and calendar. Take a lesson from them and use one for yourself. Write down your assignments, due dates for projects and homework, and test dates.

5. Anticipate. Get in the habit of thinking ahead or "rehearsing" what you will need for an activity. Hygiene supplies, specific clothes, medicine. Write down what you will need and check the list before you leave for school or activities.

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