Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Box and a Binder

That is my goal-just one box and binder for each month. I have spent the past few weeks going through 20 years of teaching materials. I have so many files that I bought filing cabinets for my house to store them.
So I have been taking a drawer a day and going through all the files and deciding what I should keep.
I can honestly say that most of the contents in these files are being recycled. They contained copies of Totline song lyrics and tear-outs from the Mailbox magazines and books of worksheets, as well as, many duplicate copies of the same worksheet. Lots of packets of ideas with rusty staples. I am keeping maybe 1 or 2 things from each file. I am donating most of the older teaching books I have purchased and not looking back.
So now I am keeping monthly binders with plastic sleeves for the papers I actually use and a monthly box for the centers I use each week. 

Why get rid of all my teaching materials? I can find better things and ideas to use from blogs, Pinterest, making it digitally, or at Teachers Pay Teachers. I can organize all these ideas and materials digitally. Most of the things I have been holding on to are not things that I would use in my classroom ever again. I think the Common Core standards have given me a clear focus, my school district pacing guide provides me with a time frame and having a new reading series has helped, too. All of these have given me the confidence to let go of these materials and keep just what is needed.

It has made me realize that I have spent a lot of money on things that I really did not need. I don't plan on visiting the Dollar Tree anymore and I plan to stay away from the dollar area at Target. Oh, the temptations-somebody hold me back! I do not need any seasonal boxes or cute decorations to use as game pieces that can be used just for that holiday.

Anyone else downsizing their "stuff"?


  1. I'm not really downsizing as I am reorganizing. This year was crazy and I have so many things in binders that I forgot what I had sometimes. So I plan on getting plastic containers and organizing by month. I'm moving to a new school next year and depending on what space I have in the room, I'd like to get on of those metal racks to store everything on. But I agree, that finding and organizing things digitally saves a lot of space and time ;)


  2. Since I am moving to 5th, I went through all my files and there were so many things I had to toss out!!! Best of luck!!

    Kimberlee @ iTeach 5th

  3. I am doing the same thing! I got some great containers from Costco and I am using one for each month to store monthly stations. I am going through my monthly boxes and doing just what you talked about-keeping very little paper copies and putting the in the big zip bags from Really Good Stuff. I want to be able to keep most of my stuff at school instead of constantly carting books and boxes back and forth each month!! After almost 25 years of teaching it is getting ridiculous the amount of stuff I have collected! :0

  4. I have been working on downsizing for the past 3 years! I want to keep stuff digital (unless I am using in the current year). Takes up less space!


  5. I am picking up a contract to, today, to begin my first teaching job (1st grade) and I feel that I have no idea where to begin. What do I need? etc. I'm going to look at the classroom next week and create a list, I guess, but I already have some boards going on Pinterest. Any advice?

  6. I just wrote a post on procrastination. My school is moving and I had to bring ALL of my stuff home. It needs to be organized!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. That's so funny! I have been in the teaching biz 20 years as well and ever since school ended a few weeks ago, I have been purging my stuff as well. It so great to get rid of so much stuff! Nice to know I am not alone in the world!


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