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Cleaning out


Senior Member
I'm still in the endless process of sorting, cleaning, clearing, and purging school items. The other day I came across some photos of different classes that I had saved. I want to pitch them, but I'm not there just yet. I know I have other stuff like that from school - not sure how this small batch got separated from the rest. Some things have been so easy to part with. Others, not so much.

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
It is tough…

I am starting year four of retirement. I brought home enough children’s books to fill three shelves of a small bookcase. Some are signed, but I have no one I know who would appreciate them. I left the vast bulk of my classroom library in my classroom. I just discovered a little free library at my favorite beach that only wants children’s books in it. I am sure I can find sone that need a new home. I am there…


Senior Member
I’m 5 years into retirement and didn’t bring much home. Well, except for a full bookcase of books for grandkids. (I left several hundred books in my room.)

But those class photos….I can’t part with them. And, weirdly, there is one year I don’t have a picture.

Everything else either got melded into my own desk supplies or tossed.


Senior Member
clearing out

I purged last winter after year 2 of retirement. But I decided I would keep one large plastic tote. Everything I wanted to save had to fit. It helped that many photos, for example were repeats. So easy to toss some. I also had multiple teacher yearbooks, pictures, etc. I'll someday go through it again and probably be able to narrow down even more. It felt good to recollect and save the special cards and letters from families. Love that part! Good luck!


Senior Member
I like this idea

But I decided I would keep one large plastic tote. Everything I wanted to save had to fit
That might be a good intermediary step for me. I have plenty of totes, so I wouldn't have to buy anything new. Thanks for the idea!!


Senior Member
When I retired 6 years ago I brought 5 books for children home. I left everything else for the brand new teacher who was replacing me. She wanted everything in my room, so I didn't have to pack anything.


Senior Member
added issues

Honestly I have no way of really disposing of all of my stuff that doesn't require more work than saving it.

I'm so tired of hauling "stuff" in my CRV to either the provisional dump or the high school on weekends where we take our trash. Trash is a very big problem where I live and no one wants to haul anything off for you even for $200 dollars plus dump fees. Finding a U-haul truck is also near impossible. A truck is almost a necessity where I live.


Senior Member

I retired in May, 2020. If it had been a normal year, I would have invited everyone at school to come in and take. That didn't happen. I took alot of things home. It has been sitting in my garage. There were 2 new starting teachers going into first grade at 2 different schools. I know both of them and am excited for their new journey. I messaged both of them and they both came over one morning and went through everything. They took books, chairs, literacy games, bulletin board things and more. They were thrilled as I was. They gave new life and excitement with my things. What they didn't take, I had our local ARC come by and they took everything else. (I had also redone my kitchen and had houseware things to get rid of too.) I originally planned on a garage sale, but that became too overwhelming. You can always ask your old school if there is a new teacher starting out. It was important for me to finally let go!

Beach Glass

Senior Member
School Stuff

I did save the class photos and the middle school yearbooks, along with some favorite books, the office supplies that I had purchased with my own money, and some personal effects. Total stash = 2 copy paper boxes.

When my MIL passed away last October, we came across 3 rather bulky file folders from her teaching days. She was a first grade teacher for 34 years, starting in 1955. OH. MY. GOSH!!! It was an absolute comedy going through the accumulation! LOLLOLLOL Pay stubs from that era, teacher evaluations that consisted of "check the box" and ONE page. And one item on that checklist that sticks out is "attractive bulletin boards." LOLLOL

She also had a letter of reprimand! :eek::eek: It related to reaming out a substitute secretary because the secretary had thrown out the tissue we used to put behind ditto masters. (Guess secretaries did teachers' copying back then?!) And the last paragraph indicated that MIL showed no remorse OR apology for this secretary!

Just seeing the paperwork (pay stubs, evaluations, contractual issues) was a step back in history for teachers.

She also saved everything from the teachers' strike they had back in 1980. She was the chief negotiator for the teachers' association, and it is still on the books as the longest teachers' strike in the state of AZ. They picketed, they locked up teacher materials and lesson plans in cupboards, they marched. It got pretty tense. There is a photo of her sitting at the picket line knitting a sweater! LOL

So, be careful what you toss! You might be able to entertain future generations!