For the past month I have been forced to minimalize my computer usage. First it was getting an updated computer and then it was a dying modem. Thus, I have not had an opportunity to post on this site.
I am back up and running. Lovely new computer with all of my old contents rolled over from the former hard drive, and continuous access to the internet. A very frustrating month with sketchy internet and crashing service.
During my Technology fast, I tackled a box of homeschool materials that I had set aside wondering if after six months I would miss anything . . . I was surprised, nothing was wanted.
As I shifted through the box, I found a USA map; we had been using an atlas and a globe, no need for the map. A box of dice and poker-like chips had never been missed, despite my thoughts that we would surely pull them back out for some kind of clever math-game invention. The window wax crayons were definitely not remembered by the kids, and I am so ready to share them with another young family. I loved seeing the kids creative, but washing the windows after seasonal coloring festivals was not an easy task.
In the past when I have sorted a cupboard, I would organize the chaos into “Keep, Donate, or Recycle/Trash.” Homeschooling materials ended up just being “kept” as we would surely be using the items in the future. I had very little minimizing or decluttering in that area of my life. I was managing cookbooks and cooking items with no problem. Sport bags/ballet bags/swim bags were tidy and stored neatly between events. But when it came to homeschooling, I was keeping everything for memory’s sake and in fear that we-might-need-this, even if I hated it the first attempt.
While separating the homeschool items this past year I used an idea I had read on Becoming Minimalist, four step sorting and then boxing up items I was convinced we would need, dating, and storing. If I really needed the item, I could access it, but at the end of six months, the items would move on. I wasn’t so ruthless as to ship the items without peeking back in the box, but oddly, examining the contents, really showed me that what I was holding on to, was not part of the process for organizing our homeschooling.
Nothing was kept. I boxed up the content and set it with the other items for Thrift Store Pick-up. A new box has been started. Everything going in belongs to me; I am not taking or hiding items from the kids or husband. I plan, that in June I will open the box and close it back up to be sent on to the Thrift Store.
One box at a time, I can let go of some of the items in our schoolroom. I hear that this gets easier, but the first box is the hardest.