Tidying up the Desk Shelves

Hello World!

So I had a free Sunday and my urge to organize came upon me and I decided to tackle the shelves above my desk. I’m pretty lucky with my apartment. It came with a lot of shelves AND a built in desk next to the kitchen.

I usually try to be organize. The key word there is “try”, but more often than not, I’m in a hurry and I just stuff the shelves with papers and whatever knick-knacks that are out and about; especially when I have company coming and even more so when that company is my mother.

With my selves overflowing with papers that I haven’t read in 5-10 years, I decided to do a purge. I cringe and am a bit embarrassed about making the purge since I’ve been living in this apartment for a little over a year and basically said screw it to the papers and put them on the shelves. That also means I actually just moved boxes of papers that I could have thrown away. I’ve included the photo below.

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Before the Purge

My biggest problem was the what-ifs. I always thought “What if I need that information on Jupiter that I gathered when I was 12 because as I’m nearing 30, I will have to do another project on the plant?” I know. Ridiculous. Especially since I can easily get new information that is not 15 years old on the internet. Hear that Google? But the feeling still remained. “What if I need these meeting notes from three years ago?” It was hard to let them go. However, I Marie Kondo it.

I do recommend her method if you might be feeling you are one box, one book, one piece of paper away from being a hoarder. It’s not giving up everything like the Swedish Death Clean or any other Minimalist approach might suggest. Heavens knows, I still have more things than I truly need, but there is a sense of relief that comes with getting rid of, for a lack of a better term, garbage.

That’s what this purge really was. I wish I could say I donated 3-4 bags to Goodwill. I didn’t. Most of what I got rid of was paper and I just threw them into the recycle bin. All of about 2 garbage bags full. So much that I carried around from apartment to apartment all because I was scare of giving it up. It makes so little sense in the long run and like I said, I was embarrassed about waiting so long to tackle this part of the apartment and I don’t even really know why.

Now I will say, that as I cleaned out several Binders, I found papers I didn’t even know I had. The papers were thrown, but the binders I did keep. If you haven’t read one of my other posts, then you might not realize that I teach High School. Day 1, I tell all my students they will need a binder for my class. They will be able to keep it in the room. However, I do work for a Title-1 school. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means that most of the kids I teach are on Free or Reduce Lunch. They don’t have enough money to buy a binder for my class, much less one for the other 7 seven classes that they take. Sometimes they struggle with the basic necessities. So, I tell them that they may borrow one of mine for the year. I have about twenty binders in my classroom and am about to bring in another 14 for the students for next year.

I honestly don’t keep track of them. If the students really want to take them, or if they come to me asking for another one for a teacher who doesn’t have a supply, I freely grab another one for them to take. They appreciate it and it gives them a little bit more of a chance to be organized and to succeed.

One of these days, I’ll have to do a post about my classroom closet. That might make some people cringe and run away in horror and I’m not exaggerating, it’s pretty bad. Regardless, the supplies I keep are for the kids so I always try to make sure that I am well stock.

Back to Cleaning. So I manage to get rid of a lot of papers and binders that were really just taking up space. It was kind of funny once I finished. I barely had enough to keep by books standing since I had gotten rid of so much! I even had space to move my sewing machine in! That was a huge plus for me. I had been thinking about moving it over, however, there had been no space. Now there was plenty and I could probably fit in more stuff. I’m trying not to, but I probably will eventually. I do know myself after all.

Another thing I noted, was the sheer number of notebooks I had that only had a handful of clean pages left. I ripped out those pages and then threw the rest away. I was holding on to so many useless papers that I wondered why I didn’t start this before.

I also like the fact that I did not need to turn my apartment upside down to get this all done. It took maybe two hours. If that, to empty out the shelves and then go through the material. It was not hard, but it was tedious. I would look at something and realize that it was from when I was in middle school! Why did I one: still have it  and two: why wasn’t it at my parent’s house!

This meant that I deliberately took it from my parents house, brought it into my apartment and then put it on the shelf for years! It’s hard to believe. However, I did. The final results are below.

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After the Purge. * Note the giant white box is my sewing machine.

I’m grateful I did the clean. When I finish I entered a little high of “what else can I clean?” and immediately did another load of laundry and some of the dishes. The high wore off by the fifth dish. I do hate doing dishes.

Regardless, it’s the first step in cleaning my shelves and it’s a few less things that I now own and need to worry about with my next move. I might one day go through the books, and eventually convince myself that yes, I really don’t need or even really want that Complete Babylonian Dictionary. However, that day is not today.

I hope that you all have enjoyed my post. If you have decided to start decluttering parts of your life and would like to share, I’d love to hear about. Leave me a comment about what you’ve all managed to get done!

Bye