I’ve dishoarded my bookshelves.

I put piles of books, folders and files on the floor and puzzled wondering why on earth I’d collected and kept all that stuff…

Ok, I’ll keep the books. I’m aware it’s a bit old-fashioned to keep books on open shelves, but I find it comforting. There are some from my childhood, worn and yellow-paged. Dumas, Verne, Mayne Reid, Belayev, etc… Modern editions are scarce – I’ve hardly bought any since I got an e-reader about 8 years ago.

My hunch is you can’t get enough of textbooks or dictionaries of all kinds, so no surprise I own so many after 20 years of teaching, but what about files and folders, most of which I haven’t opened for nearly four years?!!! I’ve been keeping them merely in memory of hours of work spent on creating them.

Well, it’s time I got rid of:
— Scripts of extra-curricular plays, games and festivals
— Tones of handouts on grammar and vocabulary
— Flashcards, bingos, role-play cards
— Lesson plans
— Exam cards
— Articles and compilations of articles on methodology
— Envelopes with pictures, letters and phonetic symbols
— Reports, formal assessment sheets, administrative papers

My whole life before online. Something was quite easy to discard. Something I took time to flip through, saved one copy of each. It made me smile to remember making tests from scratch, bit by bit, carving exercises from old books and magazines, compiling them, sticking to a piece of paper in the right order, writing by hand what couldn’t be cut out. Then I would go to the bookshop to make photocopies for the whole class…

I eventually decided to keep the folder with open lesson plans, just couldn’t make myself ditch them. Exam training materials, which I’ve been collecting for 12 years, occupied two shelves. What I particularly enjoyed was going through my CAE/CPE writings – decent work, by the way!

So, the shelves’ve been cleaned, the books arranged, the files and folders packed in the boxes. There’re now even empty spaces to hoard in the future 😉. Now it’s a turn for my desk to get unloaded – three drawers cluttered with useless everything…

How about you? Do you tend to hoard or throw unnecessary things away?


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