I've spent the last few months cleaning out my basement. We have a sizable crawl space (though I can stand upright in it) under the dining room. We use it for storage. One side houses our Christmas stuff and my Mom's stuff. The other side houses all of our stuff, including all of my work toys and resources and the many boxes of clothes waiting for Connor to fit into them (a friend handed down her sons clothes to us - we won't have to buy him clothes again for the next 3 years or so....literally)
I am trying to get the crawl space into a more organized, easy to access what I need area, which includes my files. I had 8 portable file box for my educational resources plus a giant plastic file box for personal files.
Before Christmas I went through all my resources and freecycled anything that wasn't useful for Kindergarten. I had a lot of stuff that was more appropriate for preschoolers as well as for older kids. Task one complete - 8 file boxes downsized to one file cabinet.
Then I went through my personal files.
When I had my home daycare I had paperwork for everything. I felt keeping a paper trail of everything was good business sense as well as security for both me and the parents. Also, on the chance of being audited - I kept all my financial records for the daycare and will so for 7 years.
But when I was cleaning out the files I thought it was time to purge my daycare files. This meant my handbook. My enrolment package. My schedule. My menu. My brand new, beautifully designed, custom made by Amanda logo. 7 years of hard work, in the recycling bin.
It was a little sad. It really was the end of an era. I'm not saying I miss doing home daycare - I don't but for a while it was nice to have something that was all my doing. I was proud of my daycare and I think it was a good place.
For a nanosecond I debated offering my services as a consultant to those wanting to open a home daycare - just so that I wouldn't have to scrap all that paperwork - the reflection of my hard work but then I thought harder about it. Sure the paperwork reflected what I did but a better reflection is the kids that were here. I'm still in touch with a few of the parents of kids who passed through here and they are great kids. And their parents were happy with the care they had while they were here and with what their kids learned. And I think the simple fact that the parents still keep in touch with me says it all.
Still - I hate to be recycling all that useful paperwork....