You have probably heard of the popular Marie Kondo and her decluttering method, KonMari. She recommends that we "[k]eep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy."
Just like a home, decluttering and simplifying your teaching supplies can also be very rewarding. Start with the "easier" categories and work through each one over time. Then, repeat the process for your digital clutter! Start here:
1. Visual aids (posters, props, anatomy models, etc.):
- Which items are in good condition and used regularly? Keep them!
- Are there some that are looking well past their prime? It may be time to toss them and upgrade to something new.
- Look good but you just don't use them? Consider donating them to someone else.
2. Books (lending library, reference, etc.):
- How current is your collection? Any significantly outdated books or those that are looking beat up, it's time to recycle.
- Which books have not been borrowed or read in years? Clear them out!
- Do you have multiple copies? How many of the same book do you need for a sufficient supply? Pass on the rest.
3. Teaching resources (lesson plans, handouts, rosters/registration forms):
- Is the information still current and useful?
- Do they look up-to-date and professional?
- Is there a simpler way to gather, store or distribute the information?
Once you've worked your way through your physical collection, follow the same system for your digital files. Go through each file and purge items you have not used in the past few years.
In addition, you likely have many supplies that simply need an update. Consider upgrading or replacing resources with a new and improved version.
If you plan to upgrade your resources, check out our collection of fully integrated resources here.
With spring around the corner, it's time to simplify, streamline and get a fresh new look!