Blogs for All! (Taking the Hoard out of Hoarding)

I am a hoarder.

Not an “A&E” type hoarder where you can’t even walk through my house because of the garbage and cats; more a collector of stuff. I have my favourite sweater, essays and books from high school in my office. I have French textbooks that I keep in case I ever teach French again. I have a folder full of thank you cards that I never look at as I had once planned. I have pre-Jack and post Jack clothes. I have so many clothes in fact, I fill a huge chest of drawers all to myself. I also keep knick-knacks. If you gave me something at some point, chances are I still have it. Watching the show Hoarders really helped me find out where the need to “keep” comes from: I want to keep the memory attached to the item.

If you have read my blog before you know that I collect ideas too. I read and reread books. On my nightstand now I have four books going. One is a self-help, one a mystery, a non-fiction and a corny teenage romance. I like to collect opinions. Much to the chagrin of the people I love, I am continuously seeking advice and opinions. I guess I like to have the opportunity to hear another perspective.

Keeping all this in mind, I’m sure you’ll understand a niggling fear that came to me during my pregnancy. Here comes a third person to add to the accumulation of STUFF. How will I edit his clothes when he grows out of them? Or the pictures and writing he creates as he progresses? Surely, I will be able to part with most of his stuff as he moves to different stages in his life. Guess what? Once a hoarder, always a hoarder!

Now as a teacher, I am inclined to keep rather than purge. Add to that a little man creating paintings, sketches and word art (okay at 17 months it is really just scribbling at this point) and I seem doomed to live a life suffocating in STUFF!

Enter George Couros aka SuperPrincipal. He is a Technogeek/Principal with a mission. George introduced our schools to the idea of blogging and blog-folios. He asked us to start blogging with our classes and later assigned the students personal blogs. The idea behind this initiative is that each student is able, with guidance from their teacher, to store both draft and showcase work in a digital form. This can then follow them throughout their academic career and become a portfolio they can share with others.

I jumped in with both feet. What you are reading is my personal blog. I also maintain a class blog and help my students with their posts. What an awesome way to collect without the mess of a big collection.

HOLD UP!

Yesterday, it occurred to me that I could take the hoard out of my house. I took my baby’s first piece of artwork and created his own blog. Yep, my baby has a blog! Now does that mean I am going to throw out all his beautiful pictures that will inevitably come home? Nope. But should they get lost or ruined, I won’t weep. I will just log on to www.jackdallinger.wordpress.com and there will be pictures, dates and reflections to help my memory! George also put an app on my iPhone (Soundcloud) that will record Jack’s reading (when he gets there) and his babbling and I will be able to easily put voice clips on his blog.  I remember hearing a record (yes you read that right!) of my dad and his sister at Christmas performing for their gifts. I was amazed. I can’t wait for Jack to have that same experience.

Some might think it is overkill or maybe even over sharing, but I am thrilled that we started Jack’s blog so early.

I guess this means I’m becoming a digital hoarder.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. George Couros
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:02:15

    I love it! I think that is such a fantastic idea and imagine when Jack hits school? That is SUCH a cool idea. LOVE IT!

    Reply

  2. Kyle
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:11:51

    You’d think if a 17-month old could have a blog, so could I. Maybe it’s time to start. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply

    • Melissa Everitt-Dallinger
      Feb 02, 2011 @ 09:08:02

      Well Kyle,
      He certainly has a lot of help! But yes, blogging, once you get into the groove, is easy and awesome. Set a little goal such as one post per month and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll be craving blog time! Good luck and thank you for reading!

      Reply

  3. Amanda
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:33:52

    I hoard papers. Birthday cards, love notes from my husband, thank you cards from friends, party invites, mail. I am an emotional hoarder. I literally hoard emotions and memories. When we moved last spring I managed to purge many “things” I no longer needed, yet I still brought along at least three boxes of papers I labelled “Amanda’s Memorabilia”, but upon further examination, very few items in the boxes are actually things that I would cry over if I lost. Many of the box contents are cheap, ornament type gifts that someone dear to me gave me as a gift. The memories associated with the gift is what I want to box up and keep forever, yet the only time I look through the boxes is when I have to reorganize.
    I have two over-flowing baskets of mail (some unopened), and I declutter my office by moving the mail to a secondary location, which of course will one day end up in “Amanda’s Memorabilla” box four (I still have the original papers for my student loan deposits in my freshman year at University). I hate opening mail, mostly because it calls for action (a bill) and if I don’t act immediately, I forget to later AND end up feeling guilty about not acting. If I ever won the big bucks, I wouldn’t hire a personal chef. I would hire a personal secretary to pay my bills, make my budget, and file all my memories.

    Reply

  4. Lesley Cameron
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:45:36

    Melissa! What a great blog post! I feel like I could have written this post! I am a hoarder too and keep things “just in case” for when I “might need it again”!! I love the idea of Jack having a blog. Maybe I need to get my kids going with one. I have boxes and boxes of Colby’s “stuff”, drawings, crafts, favourite things from when he was a baby. And now Jenna’s “stuff” too!

    Great job, keep it up! I love reading your blog!

    Lesley

    Reply

    • Melissa Everitt-Dallinger
      Feb 02, 2011 @ 09:04:00

      Hi Lesley,
      Do you feel like part of being a teacher is being a good hoarder? lol. I’m so excited to have Jack’s blog up as it feels like it will be easier to maintain than scrapbooking. Good luck with your “stuff” and thanks for the encouragement.

      Reply

  5. Amma
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 09:33:36

    I love to read your blogs, you are such a gifted writer:-) I think if Jack has a blog, then Amma should have one. And I am thinking I need to have a domain as well to make sure I am fully present in this world. Hmmm sounds like another project for you and I.

    BTW, I started scanning all of my documents so I can keep electronic files and get rid of the papers. And my bank now provides storage space for my Epost bills so I can keep them for a year and then hit the magic “delete” button. I am amazed at what a difference it makes in my home paper management!

    Remember, the first step is acknowledging you are a hoarder! lol

    Reply

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