Having been in the same office for at least 10 years, I moved my office this week to another floor. Moving is always a time to take stock of what you have and to decide what is not coming with you. Here are some of the things I examined this week
- A run of a journal since 1990 (plus runs of other journals and magazines)
- Books used in my MA and PsyD degrees and books bought a long time ago
- Folders of papers, notes, and articles read during seminary years and PsyD years
- Stacks of articles I intend to read
- Folders from the first years I taught some of my current courses
- Contracts from previous years
- Paper clips (of all sizes and shapes and colors)
- Empty 3 ring binders
- Floppy disks (the 3.5 in kind)
- Cassette tapes of talks I did in the 90s
- Cassette tape player
- VHS clips I used when I first started teaching
Okay, you can get the picture that I am one to file (sort of!) but not throw. You never know when that book, “Correlative Neuroanatomy” might come in handy. Or that book on Buddhism I read during a social psych class. I have all the research articles I read during Sally Schwer Canning’s Child Psychotherapy class (loved it but did she make us work!) so I could write a lit review about parent training programs. I found my first paper written during my doctoral program with Stan Jones red pen marks from cover to back page (best writing help I ever got!). I even had 3 floppy copies of my dissertation AND all of the raw empirical data in a box.
After ditching 3 large barrels worth of stuff (cassette tapes, contracts, files and files from old courses, magazines, books no one should read), donating books and journals to others, I’m contemplating why I kept this stuff in the first place.
Why do we keep things we never use?