Have you ever stood in the middle of a messy room and felt exhausted just looking at it? Me too! I can be exhausted by clutter!
I used to work with a lady who had so much stuff in her classroom, there was literally nowhere to put student work down to mark it. Every surface was covered with books, papers and resources of one type or another.
After returning from maternity leave I worked for a short time with the students in her room. It was really difficult to do. I finished every day feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. The students were lovely, there was nothing about the job that was more difficult than I was used to, it was simply the clutter. I felt squashed, squeezed, literally unable to breathe.
Looking back, I shudder to think what impact this must have had upon the students. It certainly affected me.
There was so much in the class and storeroom that the teacher literally did not know what she had. She was a lovely lady and a great teacher but she simply could not walk past any new teaching resource, craft supply or workbook without buying it.
I remember a significant moment when she spent quite a bit of money purchasing a new teacher resource book. When she went into her storeroom to put it away, she discovered she already had exactly the same book sitting in there. She had gone and bought it again because she had absolutely no idea what she did or did not have.
Since this was early on in my teaching career, I decided then and there that I would be very selective about the resources I purchased for my class. Quite apart from the fact that everything I bought would be taking money out of my personal pocket, I only wanted good quality resources I would actually use. This is a case where less is definitely more.
Part of my plan for managing clutter is to reduce the amount I actually bring in to my life. This is where I start.