A Clutter Free Space is a Clutter Free Mind

Tips for setting up an effective study space

With the end of summer and the cool nip in the air telling us fall is just around the corner, school season is in full swing. Whether you have a school student or a college student living in your household, there are some common things that can be done to create an effective study space. Why would you take the time to create a study space?

Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of a study they conducted in the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that relates directly to uncluttered and organized living. They found that when your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.

Are you convinced? Taking time to set up an effective study space for your student will have numerous positive effects.

When it comes to many people that I work with, whether they are a student or a busy parent, external clutter affects the ability to think clearly. Try these six tips to help your student create an environment for studying and learning.

  1. Consider the individual needs of the student.  Does your student function better in a quiet, isolated area or does your student involve you or other family members during study time?
  2. Either way, try to set up an area dedicated to studying. A bedroom might work better for a student who needs isolation while a spot in the kitchen or dining room might work better for a student who asks for your help often.
  3. If possible, try choosing a spot with lots of natural light to help keep the student alert and involved. If natural light is not available, make sure there are lamps or other bright sources of lighting.
  4. Minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn off televisions, phones, or other electronic devices not being used for studying. That will help the student to realize that when they are in the particular study space, they are there to study.
  5. Consider what types of supplies that your student uses on a regular basis. Do they need post it notes, scissors, tape, etc.? Keep these often-used items in a box or drawer in the study area to minimize the distractions of finding what you need.
  6. Finally, try to personalize the space for your student. A favorite poster or plant can bring some warmth to the space and help to prevent the student from looking at studying as an onerous task.

A successful space set up for a student is all about being individualized, prepared and conducive for their mind to be focused on the task at hand. For additional help and guidance please sign up for my monthly e-newsletter for tips on how to get and stay organized.




Lynne Poulton is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), Level II Hoarding Specialist and Owner of Wholly Organized!® LLC. Lynne partners with people of all ages to address the physical and emotional clutter in their lives to make room for what matters most.



email: lynne@wholly-organized.com