Accidental Minimalist

So the past few weeks have been one wild ride! After an unfortunate classroom disaster over winter break, my classroom has been rebuilt and ready for learning!

The previous version of the room was an explosion of color, posters, materials, supplies, and “stuff” accumulated over the past 13 years. These are two of the walls…

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Needless to say, everything is gone. I mean really gone. The surprising thing I have learned is that I own way too much stuff. Of course, what teacher doesn’t? There are supplies and materials that are a must for teachers to teach and students to learn, but when I look at pictures of my old room, I am actually a little overwhelmed! Which, in turn, makes me think of my students. I’m sure many found it overwhelming and were just too kind and polite to ever let me know. The second thing I have learned is that life is too short not to count everything, good or bad, as joy and the people (and students) in your life make it all worthwhile.

Well, this coming Monday my students and I move “back home” to our room. This day has long been anticipated. We are all excited!

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As you can see this room is a blank slate. Tile floor instead of carpet. Clean white walls and a soothing blue accent wall replace the ugly wanna be pink cabinets. The best part is that I am actually HAPPY I am starting all over. It gives me a fresh perspective about what I will bring back into the classroom. If it does not serve a purpose for teaching and learning, I will be thinking twice about whether it is necessary.

It is exciting to have a clean slate. There is a lot of educational things to replace but even that will be an adventure in resourcefulness and creativity to keep things to a “minimum” but not have a classroom that is too sterile. That is just as bad as having a room that is overwhelming. I also plan to “cozy” it up a bit with soothing, neutral curtains, a few family pictures and such but keeping it minimal of course.

It is amazing how I now realize how much we own that we don’t even know we have! This, of course, has my brain working overtime. As far as my classroom, I can get creative in classroom organization, storage, and a soothing, neutral decor theme.  In contrast, could I take on this same mindset at home? Do we really need all the “stuff” that lines are shelves, fills our closets and spills out of our drawers? No. We certainly do not.

I am inspired to take one room at a time and really pare down and purge things we are holding onto for no real reason other than we bought it or it was given to us. I’m wondering, no, I’m hopeful that I will be able to make the tough decisions and follow through to the end. The next few months will be interesting and exciting.

 

 

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