Organizing your Stuff

Tip:

I always thought I was good at organizing until I started going through my "stuff." Boy, do I have a lot of stuff! If you are a teacher, professional developer, or administrator, you probably have paper, books, articles, software, and lots of other "stuff" that you don’t need anymore.

[drawing from Breathing Space ( http://www.breathing-space.com/)]

I started asking myself some questions that you might want to ask yourself:

  • How long do I really need to keep all of these old project files, journals, reference materials?
  • What will happen if I let this file go?
  • Is it available online?

Keep it Simple

  • Clean your desk before you leave the office or classroom.
  • Set up bookshelves for essentials just for you.
  • Be selective about what you keep on your desk and shelves.
  • Use stacking trays for things to read, file, or to give to someone else.

Digitize

  • Go through your scrapbooks to find pictures to digitize.
  • Take inventory and don’t try to save or scan everything.
  • Save pictures on your computer, back up on CDs or upload into online photo albums at sites such as FlickR (www.flickr.com), Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com (opens in new tab)), SnapFish (www.snapfish.com (opens in new tab)) and other photo album sites.
  • Store your files in folders. (I’ll probably do a tip on this later)
  • Save your favorite Websites in your Locker using the WRL builder in My eCoach (www.my-ecoach.com), bookmarks or favorites, the Firefox extension Scrapbook (http://amb.vis.ne.jp/mozilla/scrapbook/), or check out the tip on del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/)

Read

  • Limit your reading material. You cannot read everything and yet retain all the information you read.
  • Throw out the oldest material (read or not) when that space is full. This was really tough for me. I still have journals from the 1990’s. I just know I’ll need them someday!
  • Touch it once and then move on. Use the DRAFT technique:
  • Delegate
  • Read
  • Act
  • File
  • Toss

Stop Buying

  • Think before acquiring more. Ask yourself if you really need this new item or where you will store it.
  • Purge file folders and storage items before adding more things to your limited space.

Next Tip: Renaming Photos