Letting the "stuff" go!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by applecore, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Jul 29, 2015

    Shelves piled with stuffed animals, frog statues, flower vases piled above my cupboards are a sign that this teacher needed to purge/clean.

    So, I did.

    I've kept a few sentimental and personalized items from students and their families, but for the 22 stuffed animals, 5 decorated glass vases, 1 set of broken plastic mariachi shakers, 1 frog jewelry box, 3 "You're the Best Teacher Ever" signs, Still wrapped chocolate roses (I know, I just couldn't eat them. But save them for 3 years? Why not?), and the list goes on.....

    I'm letting them go!

    Anyone else cleaning (purging)?
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    This past year, I scanned or photographed presents and my "love notes" and used those files as my screen saver. It got rid of clutter and the kids liked seeing their pictures on the screen.
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I love pandas. A lot. My classroom was full of pandas... you could not look anywhere and not see something panda... lol. So when I was offered my admin position in May, I knew I would have to tone it down. I started giving away almost all of my pandas except for a few prize pieces. It felt... wonderful! My kids were SO excited to get panda souvenirs of our time together. <3 My new office will still have (a lot of) pandas, but nothing like my classroom. :)
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    One of the very first things I learned my first year teaching is that teachers are hoarders!!!! Every new classroom I come in to I have to toss loads of junk. And then even I start saving random things like "oh maybe I'll need that". And of course never need it ever.

    This year I only brought home two small boxes of supplies and "love-you" notes from the kids. *High fives self*
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I left my classroom in 2009 and still have boxes in my garage. Hard to let go.
     
  7. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I used to save everything!!
    And then I started leaving the hand made notes at school instead of taking them home. I put them all in a box I never looked in so I'd forget about it.
    I purposely left them in my classroom at my last school so whoever takes over my room will find a box with tons of notes from the kids addressed to me... :D
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm tackling my "hoard"; went down to the basement and was ruthless. 4 boxes to donate, 2 garbage bags stuffed full, and a couple of huge stacks of recycling (over a metre total)!
     
  9. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Glad to know I'm not alone in my hoarding. LOL

    I definitely love the scanning idea! Especially if I remember to do that for Valentine's Day cards. Great idea for my computer background screen saver!
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    My mom was just helping reorganize my kitchen and was like "Why do you have so many random coffee cups and a Betty Boop glass?"

    I DON'T KNOW. MAKE IT STOP. :lol:
     
  11. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    This is real in my house too. :lol:
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I love this!
     
  13. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Jul 31, 2015

    This! After four years at the school, I decided to clean out the book closet. It was a two-year process because I did a section at a time. Things I tossed (and people asked me why I needed to get rid of them)-workbooks (most of them were half-used), student files (papers and projects) from over a decade ago, review copies of books that we decided against, and classroom sets of books that should have been surplussed.

    Seriously, there were three sets of grammar books in there. That does not include the grammar books we are currently using.

    What I found behind all the junk-hardcover classroom sets of Frankenstein and To Kill a Mockingbird that no one seemed to know we even had.

    I am guilty of hanging on to stuff the kids make me. I teach middle school and high school but they still draw me pictures or write notes to me. I generally hang up all the pictures and at the end of the year, I take them down and shove them in the empty bottom drawer of my file cabinet.
     
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm happy to brag I'm not a hoarder, though I tend toward clutter I'm much better than I was. I follow the rule of getting rid of one thing a day and extended it to the classroom. It keeps stuff down. While I think I'll convert to the scanning kid notes idea, before I've let them be displayed on my desk and personal wall and... tossed them when summer came (is that awful? I love them but I don't keep them forever)
     
  15. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    (When we donate to our local thrift stores, we get a state tax deduction. It's a win-win!)


    So...I loaded up the trunk of my car with the boxes and boxes of "stuff" from my classroom and drove down to the local thrift store.

    The sweet clerk was very kind in helping me unload everything.

    After he giggled a few times while he was writing up a receipt for me, I felt the need to explain that these came from my classroom.

    Clerk: "Oh, so you retired?"

    Me, snort laughing: "Uhm, no, I just cleaned and organized my classroom."


    Clean classroom and a nice tax deduction. :D
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    We also get a tax deduction that I never use! Every time I unload at the thrift store they offer a receipt and I never take it. I ought to.
     
  17. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 1, 2015

    It's definitely worth getting a receipt for nonprofit companies like most thrift stores out there.

    We itemize the potential resale cost of each item and with the receipt as proof of donation, we get up to $300 off our Idaho state taxes. It's a good thing. :D
     
  18. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    I hate clutter, so I am pretty good about getting rid of things. I love the idea of scanning and making a background out of student art/notes though! I am sentimental--contrary to what some people say to me, because of my ability to get rid of things "so easily."

    If it is a gift that I can use or some item that I might could find a use for in the future (like receipt paper rolls)...that is where my clutter comes from.
     
  19. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

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    Aug 1, 2015

    Oh my, the teacher I'm replacing was a HOARDER. I have cabinets and cubbies and filing cabinets FULL OF THINGS. I cleaned out an entire filing cabinet today with nothing but printed worksheets and coloring pages. AN ENTIRE FILING CABINET. I tossed it all. I have cassette tapes of books, like Aladdin and Bernstein Bears. Those are going to get donated... maybe someone will have a tape player (I don't).

    She was so bad that there was a broken kitchen timer in the classroom. My para came in yesterday to help me organize and she said the teacher refused to toss it, even though it didn't work. The teacher said, "Let Olivecoffee decide what to do with it." I said, "Throw it in the trash!"

    We did donate a ton of stuff to the Goodwill. Tons of toys.
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I will start itemizing and collecting receipts, then. I either give to Deseret Industries (I believe you have those in Idaho or at least used to) or this local youth - sponsoring organization and they both offer receipts.
     
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oh, wow! I may have kept the coloring pages but old worksheets (shudder)

    I worked a few years back with an older teacher who loved her old cassettes. Meanwhile I scoff at the "old-fashioned" CD player I inherited.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    When teachers leave a room, they should clear out all their own stuff. I hate cleaning out for someone else and it isn't fair to expect that.
     
  23. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I'm so glad you'll be able to do this!

    Yes, there are a few Deseret Industries as well as Idaho Youth Ranch stores. I haven't been to a DI in ages! I normally have just been to the IYR because they're the closest.

    Happy donating!
     
  24. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    It would sure make things easier, wouldn't it? Teachers are required to take their personal belongings, but that's it in our district.
     
  25. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I've been on a mission to live a more simplistic life and have wondered if the same approach would work in the classroom. I have two really great books on decluttering, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" and "The Joy of Less." Both books have helped me rethink what I really need. I had student taught and subbed for a teacher who's classroom was filled to the brim. Every corner, cabinet, and surface was cluttered. You couldn't open a door without stuff falling out all over the place. And she had a classroom of animals (mice, snakes, other reptiles, ect...). Kids loved it, however I know I couldn't work well in such an environment.
     
  26. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Thank you for sharing those book titles! I've never heard of either, and will have to check into those.

    After 7 years of working in my classroom in the state that it was in, not nearly as exotic as the one you described, I decided I would learn to let go of what wasn't important and focus on what is important. I think animals and me in the same classroom would not work out so well. One of us would have to go.

    A little zen going a long way!
     
  27. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I moved classrooms after 17 years in the same room.

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    I'm super organized, but that just means it doesn't look like I have nearly as much crap as I really do. I hoard paper . . . books, handouts. Heck, I had lesson plans for 12th grade English from 1993. I haven't taught 12th grade in 20 years. They were even purple mimeograph copies. I also got rid of filmstrips and cassette tapes. It was like a time capsule in my room.
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    A time capsule ... Too funny!
     
  29. kaitydid

    kaitydid Rookie

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    This sounds similar to the teacher I'm replacing. She left behind a ton of blank worksheets that I don't know what to do with, a bunch of containers and organizers that aren't useful, and all of her posters and bulletin board stuff that I have zero desire to use. The teacher across the hall from me told me that she tried to convince to her to throw things out, but she refused. I think she (a retired teacher) wanted to help me (a new teacher) out, but I think our teaching styles are too different for me to find most of her stuff useful. :/

    They really should. One thing I've learned is no one wants your stuff more than you do. It's frustrating to know that I have to clean up someone else's stuff in addition to everything else I need to do.
     
  30. MissBee06

    MissBee06 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2015

    When I left my classroom I of course took all of my things home, but I also tried to be very particular about what was left behind. I tried to look at what was there and think if it could be useful, like really useful to anyone coming in, or would they be ticked off that I left it there. But now I'm wondering if I still left too much behind!
     
  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I think I'm greedy.

    When I left my first room (I'm on my second room), I took ALL MY BOOKS (because my library came out of my pocket) and took the opportunity to clear out filing cabinets. I was proud of myself. I think there was some rule about 80$ on school money--above, item costing such belongs to the school.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    When I left the school for good, I put a notice on here and a couple came with a truck and filled it up. They planned to have a party at their school and let other teachers there share in the goodies. It made me feel good.
     
  33. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Last year, I took 5 big boxes of books in to the school--2 went to the library and 3 to our Book Room (which houses our Guided Reading and Literature Circle sets). I'm still a several years from retirement, but all of that "stuff" might as well be used.
     
  34. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2015

    I'm not a hoarder nor sentimental. I do lot feel bad in the least throwing away those pictures drawn for me at the end of the year. I know I'll get more next year. I do have one drawing framed sitting on my desk from one of my first students but that's the only picture I have ever saved. Too much stuff stresses me out so I am constantly de-junking and throwing stuff out.
     
  35. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 5, 2015

    I cleaned out 2 tall file cabinets today.

    Yes, I'm still cleaning----I need to make room for incoming worksheets and packets we start out with each year.

    I'm am officially a worksheet hoarder. Ugh.

    I now have a whole file cabinet empty....and a HUGE box of papers to go to recycling.

    Well, the recycling company will be happy to see me. :)
     
  36. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2015

    I went in to school yesterday to get my room ready....hahahahhahahahahahha....Spent over four hours of my life going through ONE file cabinet. Filled a couple of recycle boxes. And still sooooo much more to do. sigh. Ah well...

    At home I have been doing the same. It feels really good to drop stuff off at goodwill. It also feels good to throw away trash. Because I need to face it: A lot of it IS trash. Just because those pants from the 80's still fit doesn't mean I should EVER wear them. Seriously. And some of the books on my classroom shelves - Not ever going to be read by my students. Really. Just dump.
     
  37. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    And don't even get me started on what I call "art supplies"....sigh
     

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