I am 3 days away from moving from Pennsylvania to Florida. I’m not quite packed, but I’m almost there. Turns out packing a 3 bedroom house is much more work than packing an apartment. Anyway, as I sit here surrounded by moving boxes and packing tape, I am faced with the fact that there is a lot of stuff in my house that I reaalllllyyyy don’t need. When I moved to Philadelphia to start teaching, I fit all my belongings in the back of Zelda, my Mercury Sable. Once I started teaching I acquired books, stuffed animals, workbooks, bulletin board sets, pocket charts, and all manner of other things. And that’s just for work.
So here I am, 3 days from moving to Florida, and I have bags and bags of garbage, bins to move, and boxes of things to donate. And one thing keeps coming to mind. How did this happen?
Honestly, I always thought of myself as a bit of a minimalist. I blame teaching. Teaching has turned me into a pinteresting, crafting, oh-but-I-might-use-that-later crazy lady. I just packed 12 cans of spray paint. Seriously? I don’t have a garage or a basement where I’m moving, so I’m not sure where I’m planning on spray painting, or what, but at least I’ll have color choices.
Anyway. I asked my boyfriend if we could just pack what we wanted and burn the rest down. He politely and patiently informed me that, no, arson was not a viable solution. I should probably find another way to deal with the decrapification process. So. Keep, toss, or donate? Tough questions. Here, inspired by this blog post, I have listed the questions I asked myself when paring down the boxes and boxes of teaching materials retrieved from the basement.
- – Did you inherit it? With the room or from another teacher?
- – Have you used in the last year?
- – Is it part of the curriculum?
- – Does it belong to a curriculum you will teach again?
- – Can it easily or cheaply be replaced?
- – Does it make your room a better learning environment?
- – Does it make your room more attractive?
- – Does it have all the pieces?
- – What condition is it in?
Take the giant Constitution print I have. I have not used it in 3 years. It’s in pretty good shape. It is not part of my curriculum, but I know a Social Studies teacher who might like it. Solved. Give it away. The bulletin boards and units leftover from my stint in Elementary School – give it away. The board games with all their pieces? Keep. The 5 coffee tins that I was absolutely going to spray paint (!!!!) and use as storage? Yeah!! No. They’re in the recycling bin.
So I am hoping for an uncluttered move, an uncluttered apartment, and an uncluttered classroom. We’ll see how it works out.
Update: I moved into my Florida apartment 17 months ago. The box of spray paint cans is still at the top of my front closet, untouched. Something is very wrong with me. Can I blame Pinterest for this one?