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Getting Rid of Clutter
Old 12-26-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Well my husband decided to get rid of years of teacher clutter I have accumulated in the garage. He took boxes and boxes of stuff and placed them where my car should be parked (his car is still in there). I cannot drive my car into the garage until I get rid of most of the stuff in those boxes. The problem is that I feel I will need something in the future and will not have it. He keeps telling me that if I have not touched the stuff in over a year I may not need it. I have folders, binders, paper, supplies, books, stamp, and many different resources from the schools where I have worked at.

I'm having a difficult time sorting and making sure that what I"m keeping is something I will use. I will be giving some of it to other teachers at my school so I know it will be used.

I know it's for the best, but I still cannot get over it.

Help me cope.


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stuff
Old 12-26-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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Your husband must not be a teacher. He sees it as just old stuff, while we know that it is important. As for not needing it if you have not used it in a year I say HA! I saved old string I got that would be used to make furniture for several years before I came across a kite project. It worked wonderfully as kite string and 40 kids who had never flown a kite got to build one and fly it in the school yard.

Can you store it at school somewhere? You never know when you might need it.
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Worksheets and lessons
Old 12-26-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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could be scanned and saved for future use.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I agree with trying to get a lot of it into electronic documents. Also, is this stuff you used a lot when you were teaching, or stuff you had and didn't do a lot with? Paper could be used currently, as could supplies, books, and stamps.

Could you agree to saving a few boxes of it, nicely organized and labeled for easy access?
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me too
Old 12-26-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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I have 2 storage units and I just collect more stuff. I know I won't use it but I keep it anyway. After 36 years, I have a lot of stuff. problem is now that I can't always find it. any suggestions for me also? Hope my husband doesn't put stuff in where my car sits. That's cruel! He just retired and I know it won't be long before he is in my treasures. good luck and start sorting...that's my Christmas vacation to-do list. yuck


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Try this...
Old 12-26-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Do you know this "rule of thumb"? If you haven't used it in more than a year, let it go...no matter how fabulous it is.

Another idea: if you think a colleague might use it, give it away. then you may be able to "borrow" it if you ever need it. But be prepared for that colleague to decide to let it go as well.

Good luck. It is hard, but in the end it is a great feeling to be rid of clutter.
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OOOOH. Pet peeve.
Old 12-26-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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I HATE, HATE, HATE it when someone else decides that "I" need to do something on their timetable. If my husband decided what I would do with my Christmas break, and moved stuff into my parking place in order to force my hand, you can bet it would sit there until hell froze over (or until I felt like doing it)

And if I got home before him, I might even park in his spot. It depends on how mad I really am. I would certainly let him know I was not happy and he better never do that again.

You're being a lot nicer about this than I would be.
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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I usually get rid of things that I haven't used for at least a year. I figure if I haven't used it in the past year, chances are I won't use it or I won't remember that I have it.

I keep this in mind when I am cleaning out my clothes and things around the house as well.

I've almost never thought back and wished I had something that I had thrown out.
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teacher stuff
Old 12-26-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Teacher stuff is a problem.. but you know, I'm realizing that although it is hard to part with stuff, nowadays you can probably find something just as good out there on the net somewhere... I mean, why bother saving some old rock cycle transparencies, when now you can find some kind of free animated powerpoint or video clip or something that will do the trick just as well and probably better?

I did get rid of quite a bit of stuff recently. I sold some things and gave away others on craigslist. I brought some to school and put int in the "give away" bin. Some of the things were things I could have possibly used again some day... but the space is more precious to me now.

I know its' hard... but for me, the thing that is forcing me to finally let go is to make room for the stuff I REALLY want to keep and for the new baby we are expecting.
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My name is Trish
Old 12-26-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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and I'm an orginizational bulemic. I binge on things I think I need, and then I purge stuff I haven't used in forever. My husband is a pack rat, so he would never do this to me. I would, however, love to do it to him.


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That
Old 12-26-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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makes me mad! Maybe you should move something on his side of the garage that HE needs to do!
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Whoa- I would not be a happy camper!
Old 12-26-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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I agree that you are being very gracious about this. Maybe you can pile the boxes in the middle of the garage and take care of them one at a time. I need to be in the right frame of mind to do a good purge or else I keep too much (I wait for just the right time of month, and then I can do a super "b*tch cleaning!")

Last edited by MrsJ; 12-26-2009 at 07:51 PM..
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Here is my experience in dealing with
Old 12-26-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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teacher clutter.

I taught K 1 year and first for 16 years. Last year I was reassigned from 1st grade to a 5th grade intervention teacher. It was a not a move that I requested or wanted.

I purged/decluttered/organized about 4 times between then and now. A part of me took a very long time to realize that I will never have a 1st grade position again simply because I love it so and others aren't real crazy about me being happy. I just don't know how else to say it.

This past week I have been going through my stuff for the last time because of this move. When I was going through the last of my strictly 1st grade things, I cried. Again.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have done it once, at the most twice, and been done with it.

If you really want to organize your teacher things, then be ruthless. You've received excellent advice.

Quote:
If you haven't used it in more than a year, let it go...no matter how fabulous it is.
(Italics mine)

and
Quote:
I'm realizing that although it is hard to part with stuff, nowadays you can probably find something just as good out there on the net
.

Pitch it, give it to a deserving newbie, or sell it whatever is easiest.

With whatever remains, organize it up the wazoo, so that you won't have to wonder if you ever find yourself in this situation again.

Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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You should just drive right into the pile and park your car. Problem Solved.
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Question...
Old 12-26-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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Is everything stored neatly, carefully, and with some semblance of order? Or is everything a mish-mash thrown into boxes, bags, etc.? The way you store things is a huge indicator of how much you really care about it and need it. My school "junk" is thrown in a box without a lot of care, whereas my son's baby items that I hope to reuse with our next baby (if any) are carefully wrapped, labeled, and saved in a very sanitary fashion so they're not ruined.

Ask yourself: If this is really so important, why haven't I touched it in a year? Do I even know what is in all of these boxes?

Here's what I do: I take all of my school stuff that I haven't used at the end of the year and make two piles- 1 pile is for my colleagues to go through who may want it, the other pile goes into a prize box for students for the following year. Professional books that I no longer refer to or forgot I even had I donate to the staff resource library.

The things you're holding onto are things your students could benefit from right now. Can you pass some of those out to them?

I invested in small plastic baskets and borrowed a friend's label maker. I have a little basket for paper clips, tape, and other office supplies that I always need and use. They're stored in my classroom.

While I wouldn't do what your husband did, I understand being frustrated with living around your spouse's stuff that is either in the way and taking up to much space and/or is an eyesore due to the disorganization. I have to maintain a neat, clean home and garage. I'm not a neat freak by any means, but I can't stand tripping over things or watching useless, unused items take up space that don't have a function. Want them? Fine, take care of them and properly store them. I do not store my school items at home and in turn, my husband does not store his electronics at home either. It took us a while to save enough for them, but my husband bought industrial shelving for one wall and large plastic bins from Home Depot as a storage solution. We divided the bins between us and set aside a few for outgrown baby clothes, toys, etc. Whatever didn't fit had to go, period. And yes, there was a time limit, but it was mutually agreed on.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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OH, I'm almost in the same boat. I promised my DH that I would go through my stuff this winter. I have stuff from when I taught 26 years ago. I don't think I'll ever go back to preschool, so it's time to part with that. But.......

It's going to be hard, but I agree that most can be found on the net and if not I will find something similar if I need it.

What do I do with it all though? Give it away? Gosh that's a lot of money gone down the drain!
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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do you know everything that is there? is it REALLY all stuff you will use?

here is my suggestion. take 10 minutes of each of your day to start a sort. on the first day, take three empty boxes and label one "keep", one "give away", and one "throw away". pull out 10 things that you do not want anymore and sort them into the "give away" or "throw away" box. Then find 10 things that you definitely want to keep for the future and put them in the "keep" box.

if you do this for a few minutes each day, you will have 50% less stuff and you can do it in just a few minutes. then, you can place your "keep" boxes in a pile so you can thoroughly go through them over the summer. or, maybe it will be a small enough pile to take to school to store.

p.s., i LOVE the idea of just driving right into the pile
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Drive right over it!

I would be very upset if my DH did that to me. He knows better. That being said I've learned to purge every other year. I changed grades a few times, purged; changed rooms, purged.

Always offered stuff to other teachers and much was taken to my surprise. Heck some stuff was so old that I found dittoes and books so old they no longer had correct information! Yup, I've been teaching since creation began.

I say organize and purge on your time. Tell hubby to hang on and it will get done. I dare you to get home one day and park in his spot! I love that idea.

Good luck!
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we all have teacher clutter...
Old 12-30-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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This 24 year veteran knows how you feel. I have 6 shelves and at least 20 boxes of teaching materials. I try to go through several boxes every break and purge stuff. But, some of the teaching books are just too expensive to throw away or give away. I keep hoping to get back to 1st grade (21 years of 1st grade materials).

So, just keep going through your stuff and purge what you can. Good Will has gotten some of the children's books. But, if your stuff is like mine it is very expensive and priceless to primary teachers (collections of S. Murphy math books and Brandley's science books and more).

Keep the treasures you have. You may need the books and bulletin board materials one day.
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Quick! Send me your address and I will be right over! Only kidding, I've got enough of my own stuff- although I did purge earlier this fall and it was great because it opened up all kinds of room in my classroom closet!

Honestly, the day my husband would do that is the day I would go through his stuff in the garage! Good luck on what you decided to do... but how close is your nearest storage unit?
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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Let it go. If you haven't used it by now, you probably won't. Besides if you want anything you can get it here at PT or on the internet sites for what you need.
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I can so relate!
Old 12-30-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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I've also "taught since creation" and have so much "junk." (AKA "precious treasures!") Fortunately, my principal (who is not at all a hoarder) is tolerant and lets me store it upstairs at school. I would never have room for it all at home or even in my classroom.

Truthfully, I should do a major purge right now. I would say that much of the paper type things I've stored probably could be accessed on the internet when I need them. "Hands-on-material" is definitely useful (and expensive to replace). You can probably pick and choose what is useful to you. I don't know about you, but at this point I have more ideas than I could ever hope to implement.

Sounds like you have a good attitude! I'll have to say that vents like this one make me glad I'm single!! Yet I imagine you know your life will be better off without some of this "stuff."
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Trade
Old 12-30-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Trade his clothes and closet items for your teacher clutter. Use his closet to sort your boxes! Then put his bins in his parking place...teachers just collect stuff! My poor husband tolerates my 'trading bins' pretty well... Any good teacher has baggage...
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wow I must be good teacher! the baggage!
Old 12-31-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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I feel lamaestra's pain. I have so much baggage that gets shifted from the house to under the house according to the grades I am teaching. I have been teaching for 35 years and while for the first eight I was on grade 2 since then I have taught every grade from prep( our first year of full time school) to grade eight. While I have kept up with the new teaching waves and philosopies and pedagogies I still have some favourite books from way back that I just can not let go because of the memories and nostalgia. I have been trying to be ruthless and get rid of stuff but it is just replaced with more especially in this technological age with so much great stuff to down load. My husband says to chuck it all but he is really very tolerant. Sorry this seems to have become my vent too. I am numeracy coordinator at my school that involves me teaching all classes in the primary as well as being a class teacher and when I have an intern my principal usually has me teaching any grade that may not have a teacher!

Sally
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:32 AM
 
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Purge! I am in my third year teaching. I sorted through all the "precious material" left in the hallway by other purging teachers. I found great treasures that I took to my room.

Most of that "stuff" I have since purged myself. It might be great stuff - but most of it is outdated, not easy to use/store, or not relevant to standards that are being taught right now. It is in the hallway for a reason! NOt to say I didn't get some great deals from the hall - but most of it was trash.

In this day of easy come - we need to learn to be more "easy-go." I took over a room from a teacher who had taught for 30 years and left suddenly. OMG! The stuff that was stored in that room. Yikes - it took me ages cleaning out the "precious" crap. Hardly any of it was relavent - and alot of the cool stuff that was put together for projects and whatnot would have been too time consuming for anyone not knowing exactly what it was for to use.... Throw stuff away. You only think you need it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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Yikes!! Not sure what I would do if someone did that to me, but I do need that type of a push. I taught middle math for 20 years and have tons and I mean tons of stuff that I am afraid to get rid of. It has been 10 years now since I taught middle school and I still think I might need it that stuff again. During the 10 years that I have been teaching Upper Elementary, I have collected tons and tons of stuff for this age group and my extra room is filled with boxes and boxes. It may be in boxes but it is not organized. My goal during break was to start going through that stuff and seriously getting rid of a lot, but it is now count down time for school to start and I have not even opened one box!
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I feel your dilemma
Old 12-31-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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My husband doesnt understand why half our storage closet is filled with teaching stuff nor why I have to hold onto it. If he knew how much money was invested in those boxes, he might feel differently? I don't have any words of advice, but I did pull some things to give to a former student teacher who took a job and had nothing. That felt good...maybe if you know who you are giving things to, it might make it easier?
Good luck! (and remember spriing is coming soon, and your car will do just fine outside the garage )
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Twenty years
Old 12-31-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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from now you will feel differently....
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Purge it!
Old 12-31-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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I find that with the new technology I have now, I am not using as many of my squirreled away materials. My problem is, when I get too much, I can't find what I need. When I left the last county in which I taught, I left a lot of my teaching materials behind. Every now and then I miss something, but on the whole, I have enjoyed having new things.So, purge it. If it's in your garage, your not using it anyway.
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Clutter or Not?
Old 01-01-2010, 04:20 AM
 
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Just because you haven't used it in a year, doesn't mean you won't use it in the future! You never know what the future will hold for you...

I lost 2/3 of my books and my bottom filing drawers to Katrina. My life was flipped upside down and I am now teaching little ones again (after 10 years in the upper grades). I have a 4-drawer filing cabinet in my garage and I keep everything in that; one drawer for LA, one for math, one for science and one for soc. st. Art supplies and that sort of thing can be ditched- they are easily replaced.

I would go through everything and file those things that are not outdated (ie: I got rid of my card catalog worksheets!). You will most likely find that a lot of stuff is no longer needed.
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