So most folks have heard of the 40 days of Lent. Most of us on social media have run across #40bagsin40days – a massive decluttering — or ‘de-crapifying’ challenge.
Well, I have my own classroom take on this.
Like most teachers, my room has a fixed shape and a fixed volume. It is not, sadly, a TARDIS. (Whovians feel my pain).
I’m taking 40 school days and purging one recycling box of paper resources and one garbage can of crap from my classroom every day.
Last week, on Monday, I tackled my dead plant corner. Oh the shame. Took 5 minutes and made a very visible improvement.
On Tuesday I tackled my back sink area. I filled a bin with coffee mugs (mostly TMP – ‘Tacky Music Paraphernalia’), cutlery, boxes of tea etc., and donated them to the staff room. It took 7 minutes.
On Wednesday I sorted one pile on my teacher table. Half of it landed in a bin to be shredded, some was handed back to eager students (whoops…. Must have forgotten to hand those quizzes back…), and everything else in the pile was recycled. It took 11 minutes total.
Thursday was monumental. I opened a filing cabinet drawer I haven’t opened all year, and dumped it directly in the trash. After all, if I haven’t used it in the past 8 months, it’s not relevant now. This took 48 seconds. I had a kid time me.
Friday was cathartic too. I took an entire shelf of curriculum supports for courses (and grades) I will never again teach, and chucked ’em. 15 seconds flat.
Insert satisfied smile here.
It’s very easy to tackle one pile, or shelf, or drawer, each day. At the end of 40 days you’ll be more organized, less discombobulated, and have more space to work with.
And giving up clutter is much easier than giving up chocolate.
So I challenge you. Whether at home, or at school, chuck one bag a day for 40 days (take weekends off too!) If it stresses you out, toss a small bag of stuff. If you feel inspired, get a few giant contractor-sized garbage bags.
But cut the Crap, and the stress, from your teaching space.