Friday, February 24, 2017

How to Declutter, SLP Style

Do you have boxes and boxes of speech materials piled up in the back of a closet in your house?  Or maybe shelves piled so high that you worry for your safety when sitting under them?  Perhaps its the junk drawer(s) that you have to open two inches, then slide your hand in to push the stuff inside down, so that you can continue opening the drawer?  It's not your fault! You're an SLP, and SLPs are naturally innovative and thrifty - constantly finding new uses for old objects. I'm guilty of keeping things way too long.  I'm sure my coworkers or husband have heard me say things like, "I know this puzzle doesn't have all the pieces, but I can totally turn that into a language lesson on the word "missing!" or "Well, I might eventually need a half of a piece of blue construction paper that already has a circle cut out of it."  But, if you're like me and are feeling overwhelmed with items in your office or personal space here are a few tips on decluttering.

-If you haven't used it in the past year, donate it or chuck it!

-If it's broken and you won't be able to fix it in the next 48 hours, toss it!

-If it's not appropriate for the population you are working with, sell it!

-If it's a test that is outdated, get rid of it and replace it!

-If it's a piece to a game or toy that you can't locate, out it goes!

-If it's got a coat of dust on it, you don't need it!

-If it has a questionable stain, bye!

-Cassettes or VHS videos when you don't actually have a tape player or VHS machine, Good Will it!

-If you still have grad school text books for topics you do not work with (i.e. you work in a special needs autism preschool, and you have shelves stocked up with text books on geriatric dysphagia), donate it to a local college or library!

-Would it fall into the category of scrap paper aka it's less than half the size of a sheet of paper? Out it goes!

-Is it a kind of electronic or a device that requires a special battery or cord to charge, and you've lost that battery/cord?  Get rid of it!  Don't kid yourself with thinking you'll take the time to search the depths of the internet for a replacement. 

*There are a few exceptions that should be noted when deciding whether or not to get rid of something, such as was it given to you by a special person or if you have a sneaking suspicion that it doesn't actually belong to you and maybe you forgot to return it to a coworker three years ago during that snow storm.  

Good luck decluttering!!

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