My mother has OCD. If she ever reads this post I will be in hot water. She cleans for enjoyment. She is always claiming that she is never organized and as a result she never gets things done. And she has more crap than anyone I know. Yesterday I was at her house and I started to hyperventilate then left having a panic attack seeing all of the mountains of accumulated stuff that would never go anywhere. I knew I had to go home and save myself from becoming this person.
I began reading the book later in the afternoon, went to bed, then woke up in a panic attack after having dreams of my childhood and my mom's stuff. I had to take action.
Fortunately I was on Marie's path already of starting with categories and had begun with the closet. I woke up and went back in with a vengeance. She says to look at your belongings and if they don't bring you joy, then you discard. I took a long hard look at my clothes and tossed another whole pile of non-joy fulfilling garments.
I am happy that I am going back in the classroom this year but not having a "classroom" to maintain. When I cleaned out my 3rd grade classroom to move to my current office (closet really) I couldn't believe all the stuff I had accumulated in only four years. And what to do with all of it? I had a box of 1000 tongue depressors! Do you just throw those away? And the yarn and Popsicle stick stash was even worse. I know teachers who have been in the same classrooms for 15 years and I think they avoid retirement just to avoid cleaning out their cupboards.
Also, going digital has changed a lot of my philosophy of what I really need in the classroom. I think "paperless" classroom and that makes me think "clutterless" classroom. I want more room for my students to move around and collaborate, work on projects, and be hands on. They can't do that if my classroom is filled with decorative junk. Also, a blank green screen bulletin board will serve a much bigger purpose than one with an elaborate tree and a random heading.
I can now fit all my clothes in my allotted closet space. I know what I have and choosing what to wear will be easier come fall. I can't wait to get the rest of my life in order and get down to the business of teaching.