Tuesday, March 21, 2017

21 of 31: Spring Cleaning on Spring Break...What???

I've put off cleaning and decluttering my small home office for far too long. Stacks of books spill over the edges of the two book shelves outlined in dust. You can no longer tell the color of the desk due to the therapeutic coloring books, gel pens, markers, old CDs, mail, bills, taxes forms, thank you cards, desk dictionary, pen caddy and desk organizer, framed photos, printer, computer, and stapler covering its surface entirely. Who even listens to CDs anymore?

The casualties of my dirty office lay on the floor shrouded in dust bunnies with their six stiff legs pointed toward the ceiling frozen in their salute. I mentally add calling Linda the Bug Lady to my spring break to-do list.

Black framed degrees hang smartly on the grey wall reminding me that I should have the intelligence and wherewithal to keep this space tidy. My floating book shelves no longer look like they are floating since there are books stacked up the wall underneath them resembling more of a leaning tower of books than the uber-cool wall decor they should.

The purge begins. I shred at least a year's worth of old bills, credit card applications, and standardized test data. Only in a teacher's home office will you find binders of old data, meeting notes, and handouts from workshops and faculty meetings long past. Some circa 2003. I empty the shredder 8 times filling two huge plastic bags with tiny bits of paper. I certainly could make some guinea pigs or hamsters happy playing in all this shredded paper. At least I have single stream recycling.

Next, I attack the book shelves. I grab the teacher totes I've collected from various conferences and begin filling them with books that will find a new home in my classroom, books I want to offer to my curriculum coordinator, and books that will be donated to Goodwill in hopes of finding a home where they do more than collect dust. At last, I slip on my dusting glove and begin swiping the black shelves until the last dust mote is removed. I once again have floating book shelves giving the room a rather stylish look.

I turn to confront my desk. The desk I no longer use. I suck in a deep breath and hop to it. Before I know it another hour and a half has ticked by and I am beginning to see signs of progress. Just a bit more shuffling, stacking, pitching, and wiping and I can see the faux blond wood grain smile its greeting.

Now vacuuming and then wiping the wooden floor with my microfiber dust cloth. I still am grossed out by the amount of dirt I get up AFTER I vacuum. I look at the clock and realize that I have been at this for nearly 5 hours and the room is only 9' x 9'. Thank goodness I don't have a huge sprawling office!

The very last touch is wiping down the wall next to the fish tank to erase some drip marks and then dusting the baseboards. I thought about draining and cleaning the fish tank for like a split second, but quickly moved that to the summer break to-do list.  What's nine more weeks?

Deep sigh of satisfaction as I look around this small room and realize that I wish I would have taken a before and after picture to prove just how productive I've been!

Okay, now on to the bathroom.  Grrrr!!!


  1. Well done! I am impressed by your fortitude! The line I enjoyed the most was the part about your degrees reminding you that you should have the ability to keep your office clean...I must say, I think the more degrees you hold, the LESS likely one is able to keep things clean!

  2. I am jealous of this focused time! This kind of cleaning is invigorating (maybe because it is also very rare at my house ;-) What I am most impressed with is that you "empty the shredder 8 times" - in other words, you did not get caught up in reading the papers, going to memory lane, getting off task. Very impressive!