Thursday, April 4, 2013

Clean Up Time

clutterIn Take out the trash: get rid of the apps, to do's and activities that clutter your life. from Cool Cat Teacher Blog, Victoria A Davis, Cool Cat Teacher talks about decluttering our lives. She suggests,

“When installing a new app, challenge yourself to always delete one you haven't used lately. Cut the clutter and clear your mind. I always keep one empty spot on the homescreen of my iphone. It makes me feel like I have room for more and it is a signal to myself that I will have margin and leave room for new things in my life…Let's make a commitment today to remove the trash so we can enjoy the circus.”

I've had to do this with my knitting and spinning. Since I've learned to knit and spin yarn, I keep buying yarn and fiber. I decided this year that I was not going to buy any yarn until I used some yarn - one skein must be used for each new skein bought. I am doing the same with my fiber. I must spin one before I buy one. So far, I've stuck to it and actually enjoying what I already have. Some of these are things that I didn't remember having.

I noticed that I do the same thing in the classroom. I collect things and it is hard to get rid of them. After moving to a new classroom, I realized that I had some games with missing pieces or books with missing pages. I needed to get rid of those things. I had many folders full of worksheets that I would no longer use or was so outdated that they were irrelevant. I have no idea why I was saving these things. I had some old history workbooks that were out of date but I had saved them. It was amazing at how much stuff I saved for sentimental reasons. It was time to sort out the outdated, broken, no longer able to use stuff and make room for new things. If I brought something new into the classroom, I would get rid of something I already had. I didn’t have to throw everything away. Instead, I could offer some things to a newer teacher or a church school program.

Then I went on my computer and saw how many files I had that I no longer needed to save! It is amazing how much space they took up. It is not that I needed the space but it is so much easier to find things when there isn’t so much to sort through. Some files were not named properly and were so old that I have no idea why I was saving them. Life is so much easier when I don’t have to sort through so much!

I went through my email inbox and put items I want to save in separate folders. I plan on keeping my inbox down to no more than 10 action items in it. Anything else will be put into a folder.

I went on my Ipad and got rid of some apps that I no longer use. It also gave me more space to put podcasts that I want to listen too. I also organized apps into groups according to use so they would be easier to find. It makes it easier for me to find the things I want too. I decided that if I found a new app, I would try it for a week. If I didn’t use it more than 3 times that week, I would get rid of it.

How do you handle your “clutter” and what advice would you give to others? Please share.

Image: 'the other side of my garage'
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