You know those giant teacher bags that are overflowing with papers, notebooks, and who knows what else? The ones that weigh a million pounds and make a serious dent in your shoulder?
I used to have one. Actually, I had three. Luke used to affectionately (I think) call me “the bag lady.”
Then one year I made it my mission to be gone with the giant teacher bags. So I went all Spring Cleaning Style up on it – purged, sorted, and consolidated – until I finally emerged and found my way to one sassy leather bag that now holds all my coaching stuff, minus the shoulder dent.
Because I have less stuff in my bag, I have less stuff on my mind. And less stuff equals less stress, which feels gooood.
How about you? Do you have a giant teacher bag?
If not, then where is all your stuff hiding?…Because I know it’s somewhere.
In this post, I’ll share the five most common places where it all tends to accumulate and some ideas for how to get all Spring Cleaning Style up on it. Let’s get started.
1. Your Teacher Bag
I can just hear you shouting at me all the reasons why you need all the stuff in your giant teacher bag. While there may be certain days when you really do need to pack a ton of stuff with you, I’m going to present the argument that for the large majority of days during the school year, there really are only a few essential items you should be packing along in your bag:
- One file folder (for catching loose papers)
- One pen and one highlighter (a few more only if you have space)
- Computer charger (only one charger allowed!)
- Essential Beauty Stuff: one chapstick/lipstick, small hand lotion, gum/breath freshener
That’s it! If you have more than this, it’s time to purge, sort, and consolidate. For some more ideas on how to organize your bag, check out this post.
2. Your Paper Files
Does your filing cabinet look like…
Back in the day I used to have a giant four drawer filing cabinet in which I stored every lesson, extra photocopy, and holiday craft project I had. When it got to the point where I had to pull and yank just to get the drawer open, I knew it was time to…you got it! – purge, sort, and consolidate. I worked my way down to a two drawer filing cabinet, then when I transitioned to coaching, I was able to say see-ya to even more paper stuff, and I now have one nice and tidy filing box. It sits quietly in the corner of my coaching office, and is reserved for only my most needed and used paper items.
3. Your Car
Yes, your car! Seriously. If you get into your car in the morning only to be greeted by crumpled up papers, empty cups, a pile of school books and who knows what else, the likelihood of a pleasant, stress free ride to school goes way down.
Instead, let’s do this. Take your car in for a good carwash this weekend, and clean out all the stuff inside.
Then on Monday morning, open up your back car door and put your one teaching bag inside. Then grab your water or coffee and place it in the gunk free cup holder. Fire up a good podcast or an audiobook for some learning on the way to school, smile, and you’re off to a great day!
4. Your Digital Files
OK. Now depending on how deep your black hole of randomly named computer files, downloads, and photos is, this could take a while. But don’t get discouraged. The most important step is to start.
This will be my big Spring cleaning project for the year. I’ve let things go a bit too long, and it’s time to shape em’ back up.
For some strategies on how to tackle your digital files, check out this post.
5. Your Desk
If you’re not careful, your desk can get really bad. Eeek! Check out this post for some ideas on how to keep yours nice, neat, and organized.
Alright, now it’s time for me to give you a gentle nudge (or maybe push) to choose one area to go all Spring Cleaning Style on.
Decluttering and doing a bit of organizing in your coaching life, will go a long way towards saving you time and energy in the long run. Which will be well worth it.
Love organizing and want more? Or maybe you don’t love it so much, but know you might need to learn more? Here are a few books to check out. I’m listening to the second one on Audible right now, and it’s awesome.
Happy Organizing, and I’ll talk to you soon!