During the school year I become the crazy bag lady. On any given day, you might find me toting back and forth to school a million items in various totes and bags. My arms are always so full of bags, people seem to constantly take pity on me, by helping me open the doors, or they just stare at me, wondering how my 5’2″ frame can possibly hold that many bags without tipping over. Oh the joys of a traveling teacher!
So, what I am carrying around?
First, I take my lunch bag and water bottle, my laptop/work bag, my purse, my pump (when I was nursing) my winter coat and boots for recess duty, perhaps a folio of artwork to put up at a local business, and sometimes a hot mug of coffee will top it off in one hand as I enter the building and my keys dangling tediously from the other hand to open the door. Yikes! At one point I even purchased a little metal cart to haul things back and forth, but looked like such a dork rolling that thing around, and found it was a hassle to set up, and wasn’t worth my time. What’s a girl to do?
I made it my mission the last few months of school to carry LESS BAGGAGE (literally) back and forth to school. With a baby to drop off (meaning now I am also brining a diaper bag, bottles, etc, with me in the mornings) it was simplify or bust.
How to Avoid Becoming a Crazy Bag Lady
#1. Leave Your Purse Behind
I left my purse at home (and just brought my wallet, keys, and phone along) One blogger showed here how she simplified her purse situation, and I just love this idea and plan to implement it next year.
#2. Don’t Take Work Home
I left my laptop and any school work in my classroom from night to night (except on the days I was traveling). I found even when I brought the work home, I never got around to doing it anyway. It was a waste of energy. I just use my time at work more efficiently now.
#3. Pack Lunches in Bulk
As far as lunch goes, some days I would bring my lunch, or I would bring 2 days worth of lunch with me to school, keep it in the fridge, and not have to bring my lunch tote home every single day. I also know teachers who keep 5 cans of soup, 5 yogurts, and 5 granola bars at school so their lunch is packed for the whole week. This is so smart!
#4. Have Doubles of Everything
I kept a set of winter gear (Scarves, hats, gloves) at booth schools for recess duty. Plus, I would keep an extra pair of shoes at each school so in the winter when I wear boots back and forth, I didn’t have that horrible feeling of forgetting my shoes and having to wear my hot and clunky boots (fashion emergency!) all day long while I teach.
This left me carrying only 2 things each day: My phone and keys in my pocket, and my lunch bag on some of the days.
The traveling days I just accepted I would have at least one more bag.
I can honestly say these simple changes really helped lower my stress level considerably. As art teachers, we always have a lot of “stuff” that comes with a lot of “baggage” :) No pun intended. The more we kick the clutter in our lives, the more mentally clear we will be so we can function at our highest level in the classroom. (And it saves our aching backs, too!)
What are you toting back and forth to work?
Any other tricks to minimize what you bring in and out of school every day?