I had a meeting this afternoon but it got cancelled, which freed up an hour or so for me. So I set out to start something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: clean out some of the junk in my closet.
Being the technology resource teacher in the computer lab meant that I inherited a lot of old tech from whoever came before. Not only that, but people will “return” outdated or broken items to me all the time, even if I have nowhere to store them and never distributed them to begin with. Now, I think that’s a vestigial habit from previous school culture, where the technology resource teacher really would inventory tech items, store them over the summer, and then redistribute them once school started up in the fall. But it hasn’t been that way for many years.
What has really happened is that people don’t know what to do with broken or outdated tech that they don’t use anymore, and it winds up in my room because, well, the space it takes up in their classrooms is better used another way. I don’t blame them at all for that! But the end result is that I have to make room for half a dozen digital cameras that no one has used in years since we started using smartphones; clickers that are used for maybe two weeks out of the entire year; things of that nature. Frankly, I wanted to excavate partially out of curiosity: what would be the oldest, most random thing I would find?
Plus, I wanted to make room in the closet to hang my winter coat when the time comes. (If it ever comes. Weird warm October!)
Those are some of the befores. The left photo is the closet/cabinet, and the right is some of the shelves built into the wall.
I actually tackled the shelves first. I had that purple curtain up, and I used it to hide the mess behind. But see those little plastic shelves upon the shelves? The space inside was not being used particularly well. My first order of business was to reorganize those to contain items. One for remote controls, another for the adapters that let us project from our old Macs. Many of these items were redundant. I threw away obviously broken things and unnecessary packaging, to get items to fit in. But I held on to most items; that’s a sorting job for another time. My primary goal today was to make space.
After I condensed a bit, I straightened up the rest of those shelves. I devoted one entire shelf exclusively to my personal items: the plastic unit is now filled with K-cups and snack bars, my coffee cup and water cup sharing space next door. This was mostly to prevent my personal items from creeping into other areas. If it doesn’t fit on the one shelf, it should probably stay in my pockets or my bag!
My shelves look so much better now that I left the curtain pinned back; I no longer need to hide my shame. Bonus, I had room now for items from a whole other shelf that I didn’t mean to clear out. But things fit, and I wanted them there, so I put them there! This shelf is close to my desk, so anything here is within easy reach of me during the rare moments I actually sit. So yeah, I want all the clipboards within arm’s reach!
Then, I attacked the closet. Well, the left side of it, at least. I pulled all these large items out of the space where I hope to hang my coat, including those gosh darn clickers.
I found new homes for items such as the clickers. Since they’re used, but used infrequently, I didn’t mind putting the clickers somewhere reachable but out of the way. I’m short so it’s not like I effectively use high spaces anyway. Bye clickers! Out of eye level, out of mind!
Check out how I re-homed my laminator on this shelf now too, since I freed up room. I no longer use it with the same frequency as I did at the beginning of the year, so it no longer needs to live within easy reach on my desk. Also not on my desk? My phone. Let’s just say I prefer email. This is still a work in progress, though. I need to find a charging solution for those iPad minis at the bottom. And the My Little Ponies will probably move soon; I need those card tubs on the daily, so Twilight Sparkle better stay out of my way!
Anyway, I think the oldest piece of tech is actually an accessory: a tripod meant for supporting a camcorder, labeled new as of the ’05/’06 school year. I wonder if I could repurpose it to work with a Swivl.
So, did I at least make some space in the closet?
Though not much. But still, hopefully enough to hang up a winter coat, which will be considerably bigger than that cardigan. But also red.
I will continue to work on the right side of the closet later, probably eliminating packaging without tossing the actual items inside. But we don’t need boxes labeled with names of teachers who now teach in other buildings, right? Probably not. Probably.
But hey, if anyone ever needs a document camera, I’ve still got it.