Wednesday, July 20, 2011


 As I was setting up my classroom, I was trying to declutter and decide which stuff to keep and which stuff to chunk.  When it comes to budgeting my space I don't always do a very good job. I tend to fill it with things, whether they are necessary or not.

You see when I first started teaching, I had NOTHING (okay I had 24 desks, but that is it).  As a teacher, I thought you had to have a lot of stuff to be good… so I went on a hunt for stuff.  I looked through retired teachers old things, poured through old abandon supply closets, and picked through other teachers's trash.  Success was getting a lot of stuff, but the problem is did I really need any of it? By the time I had been teaching for a year and a half, I had so many things in the classroom, and we were about to move to New Orleans.  My choice here is quite embarrassing, I insisted that I had to take everything with me.  Poor Andrew, and his parents helped me lug  a classroom full of junk from Augusta to New Orleans.  Problem is the classroom here was already filled with junk (I use this term loosely, some of the stuff I really neededJ).  Part of my battle last year was that I just had to many things in my room, it was cluttered, not organized and homey.  So yesterday I went in to set up the room, and successfully threw away and gave away a lot of things that I did not need.  Surprisingly, I felt SOOOOO much better.  

Who knew less stuff meant more peace?

But how do you decide what stuff to keep and what stuff to get rid of?  
Here were my guidelines:

  1. First go in with this mentality:  If you have not used it in a year, two tops, you do not need to keep it!
  2. Go in with three boxes/bags labeled as follows:
    • Throw away (or recycle if you can J)- This is for anything that you not only do not need, but you are pretty sure no one else is going to need either.

    • Give away- This is for anything that still has some use,  but you do not need to keep it.  This stuff can be taken to Goodwill, a friend, a swap shop, etc.

    • Move to another location- meaning when I am cleaning out my classroom, I make a basket of stuff that needs to go home and vis versa.  This also works with in your house. For example if you are cleaning out your office there will be things that need to go to other rooms in the house, instead of walking to wherever those things go, accumulate a pile and put them away all at once.
  3. Last, go with your gut:  The more you think about something, the more likely you are to keep it.   You will start to think of unlikely scenarios that could occur 5 years from now where you could possibly need whatever it is you should really throw away.

So try it… somewhere small first maybe a closet or desk.  Experience how freeing it is to get rid of things that you do not need!


  1. I've had to do this because of moving into the cottage. It truly is so freeing :)

  2. So true! I'm a fifth grade teacher and I feel guilty throwing things away because I started out with nothing as well. Even though I'm in my fifth year of teaching, I've accumulated quite a bit of resources, some I don't think I'll ever use!