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Must be Spring…or the clutter here at home just reached critical mass and I can no longer pretend not to notice it.  It’s definitely time to move some things on to lighten my load.

1st and favorite stop:  Goodwill. There’s a donation drop-off spot just blocks away and about once a month, I take a bag of clothes over there on my way to the cafe to meet a friend for coffee. My thinking is that the good stuff I no longer need will find a new owner who will love it too. I have scored some great finds at thrift stores myself: a wetsuit for my son, a trail-a-bike, the purse I am currently using, the hand-knitted afghan now covering my cat-shredded armchair…

2nd stop: Donate books I’ve read to The Friends of the Public Library used book store. I love to give my favorite things to my favorite places to shop, apparently. This spring, I am going to have my son go through his collection of childrens’ books and select some to donate to a used book sale that his school is organizing. Again, it’s a win-win. We move on some books to make room for the new favorites that he will be bringing home from the sale.

3rd favorite stop: Home pick-up! I’ve been stuck with some cans of spray paint, shellac, bug spray and other items we will never use again but can’t dispose of without making a trip to the dump where they have a household hazardous waste drop-off. I was planning such a trip when I discovered that in San Francisco, we have free home pick-up of such materials!  In fact, sfenvironment.org is a great source for disposing of any sort of material that should not end up in the landfill. I was very pleased to call Recology and schedule an appointment with a garbage truck. I love San Francisco!

4th favorite stop is another local perk although it is available in many other places besides San Francisco. Freecycle! SFfreecycle is a yahoogroup where I can offer or even request free items. Unlike my craigslist donation attempts, with Freecycle there’s a minimum of fuss as a grateful, local person is generally happy to come by and relieve me of my PVC piping, miscellaneous stretcher bars, the binding machine I thought I wanted …

I discovered years ago that moving on the old is part of my own process for making room for new projects. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately and feel much lighter and ready to start something for it.

What do you do before you start something new? How do you lighten your load?

Awesome arts administrator Barbara Garber, the City Studio Assistant Director at the San Francisco Art Institute, shared her “Resources for Teaching Artists” with me recently and it’s information worth passing along as I know many artists teach or will think about teaching at some point in their creative careers.

I’ve linked directly to some of the sites noted in her guide.

On Career Development:

College Art Association

The National Art Education Association

The Artist Help Network

Arts Resource Network

Artist’s Professional Toolbox

For Job Listings:

Chronicle for Higher Education

Job Bank

National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

Related Organizations:

Teaching Artist Source

The Association of Teaching Artists

State/Regional Arts Agencies:

Alameda County Office of Education

San Francisco Arts Commission

California Arts Council

California Alliance for Arts Education

Check these out if you are a fan of arts in education as they lead to a wealth of information.  Do you have a resource to add to this list?