My rule of thumb for throwing things out will be the following:
- Have I used the item in the past year? If not and it's not very special, out it goes.
- Can I quickly find a similar material online? If that's true, I don't need hard copies.
- Do the materials work? If not, again, out they go. For example, I have a huge container of linking blocks, but they don't link well. Instead, I'll use sugar cubes next year. I won't throw these out, but instead, put them in a common area in case another teacher wants them.
We can't hold on to all materials from the past. Instead, just like at home, there's a need to review and update your teaching collection regularly.