Friday, August 9, 2019

Coloured Pencils

I can't believe I put DD's name on every  pencil she took to 1st Grade.
As she goes up to 6th grade, we have finally come to the end of some of them.
Where did that eternal (well nine weeks)  summer holiday go? We only have three weeks left! How did that happen? In my defense, my teaching assignments never really ended.

The grande finale involved a surprise intensive course last week. I taught for six hours a day, spent my evenings  grading and preparing the next day, forgot about the diet completely (there's only so much intensity you can take without pizza for supper, and cold for lunch the next day) and I let DD watch tv all day and half the night (whilst eating said pizza). And of course there was no blogging. But we got through it and the extra money will be welcome.

On Thursday afternoon it finished. I came home to an apartment in a state of chaos, and not clean. Overflowing laundry baskets and no food in the fridge, freezer or cupboards. It was time to take back control, big time!

On Thursday evening I reorganized DD's bedroom. I'd already culled a load of books the last time I did a big sort out about two years ago. Since then her bedroom has degenerated into low-grade tidy and less tidy mode. There was lots of confusion as to what each drawer was designated for and a mish-mash of 'stuff' in a number of storage boxes.

All the books went onto the bed and I did a real Conmari on DD's behalf. Some books were siphoned off for my school library, some to pass on to friends with younger grandchildren (yes I am that age), others to my teaching resources, and a few to throw away. (Yes you can throw away books.) It's strange how books that we absolutely had to keep only a couple of years ago, don't interest us at all now.

The storage boxes now contain 1. Lego (because it's just too expensive to give away), 2. Art supplies, and 3. empty to be decided. The games are all in the living room sideboard. Also culled - we no longer need "Who Am I?" or 300 piece jigsaw puzzles. DD's clothes were already organized so nothing to do there.

The big problem area is years of accumulated colouring pencils and felt tip pens. We never throw them out, of course, and every year there are new sets received as gifts or just to start off the academic year with pristine supplies. There are now boxes and numerous pencil cases filled with perfectly good coloured pencils but just not in sets.

I take one pencil case-full for teaching and I regularly top it up from the supply of orphan pencils. Sometimes you get a pencil that won't sharpen because the lead is broken all the way through. Those do get chucked. And very occasionally a pencil will be absolutely finished down to the quick. These are also lovingly chucked into the bin.

I had to get the room tidy as one of DD's friends turned up for an impromptu sleep-over. This turned out to be an amazing incentive not to just leave half of it for the next day. There's one pile of colours, school supplies and artwork left to sort out but I told DD she'd have to do that herself over the weekend.


  1. I had a couple of enormous art boxes for years and years containing everything you can think of, and the mountain of glitter and glue and pens and markers just kept increasing... Eventually it was clear that my eldest had grown out of the art phase and the younger two were not interested or able to make the most of them. SO I'm afraid they all got ditched apart from a few items that I can use for paperwork like highlighters.

    Hope you're finding the decluttering satisfying x

    1. I am finding it satisfying but I don' understand why or how it never ends. Tomorrow we are going to tackle those pens and pencils together. Did I mention the big box of stickers?

  2. I'm not a crafter and yet I still seem to keep finding things like pens, coloured pencils, stickers, paper clips and all kinds of odds & ends. I find all those "little things" harder to deal with than the big objects - they just seem to accumulate all on their own!

  3. I seem to be having trouble commenting on some posts today - no idea why!
    I'm not a crafter but I still seem to accumulate a lot of little things like pens, pencils, stickers, notepads etc. I find them much harder to deal with than larger items as they just seem to accumulate all on their own!

    1. I think maybe you were trying to comment while my computer was updating? Who knows. Anyway, thanks for not giving up. I totally agree with you. It's the little bits of stuff that have no designated home that are the hardest.

  4. We have very little craft stuff now, I kept it for years, often keeping it for something special so as not to 'waste it'. Of course the boys are hardly interested in it all now so ended up giving most of it away.

    1. I think some of our colouring pencils have had babies while we weren't looking.