Before the school year began, I spent three hours in my classroom one afternoon, just throwing stuff away.  I filled and emptied the big can outside my classroom three times. I trashed stuff I’d had since the beginning of my career, some of it from over twenty-five years ago, some of it even from my days as a student teacher.  It was stuff that I kept because I thought I might look at it someday but, as it turned out, I hadn’t looked at since.  So out it went.  In addition, I emptied bookcases, drawers, and file cabinets.  

My pride swelled so much at my efforts at minimalism that I went to the beach and kicked sand in the face of people with two umbrellas.  

But lately I’ve been reading Leo Babauta’s The Power of Less and in the chapter called “Simple Filing,” he calls for a one drawer filing system.

One drawer.  That’s it.

Can you imagine a high school English teacher, who often has different levels and typically two or three separate preps, with only one drawer of files?  One drawer for all your worksheets?  Your handouts? Your projects? Your tests? Your quizzes? Only a single drawer for all of the hard copy resources that you rely on, year after year, to keep your classes moving?  

Neither can I.  That’s why I’m going to be so proud of myself when I do it.  TZT