One of the chores I am facing now that I have decided to retire after 43 years of teaching, is to get rid of excess "stuff". That not only includes all those files with loads of papers that I have saved, but also books: both trade books and professional books. When you are a teacher, I think you are just naturally a "keeper". You just never know when you might need a book, a lesson, or some information from a conference. So, you keep it all...filed away on one of many bookshelves.
My first attack was with the bookshelves. I went through them and made piles: keep/give away. I know I should give away more than I put in that pile, but I will continue to purge as the retirement day gets closer. I then put the give away pile into two piles: primary and upper. I have a box of each now. I will give them to some starting teacher who will love them and share them and allow the kiddos to read and read and read them.
The next attack for today was the boxes of papers: some in files, some not! There were curriculum maps, curriculum guides, ISTEP prep lessons, all of which are way out of date, especially with the CCSS coming on our doorsteps. I found student writing. I found old mini lesson plans. I found transparancies of graphic organizers. I even found an obituary for my mom's cousin...how did that get in there?
I have many more hours of sorting and organizing to do, but it was rewarding to get started today. When I am done, I will have a space for my future writing/reading time! I have dreams about how it is going to look when I am done with all this sorting!