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Tiny Office Living

 Tiny
homes, with an average of less than 500 square feet of living space, have
become a trend. Living a minimalist lifestyle with only things that “spark joy,”
thanks to a popular Netflix show, has also become trendy. As an itinerant, I
mastered this minimalist, tiny-home style long before it was in vogue. The key
is to maximize your available space (mine is approximately 80 square feet) and
minimize possessions in a way that would make that popular organizing guru proud.
Below is a guide to my Tiny Car Office.
 



1.    
This Tiny Car Office boasts a spacious snack
cabinet which includes room not only for snacks to enjoy while on the road, but
also storage for utensils, napkins, reusable straws and condiments for the days
when you will also be eating lunch in your car. Never worry about forgetting to
grab chopsticks with your take-out sushi, there’s plenty of storage space for a
few pairs right here!
2.    
As an itinerant, my students must be able to see
my face in order to speech read along with using their listening skills. This office
includes a styling station with everything one would need for the optimal
up-do. Hair ties, bobby pins, and headbands are easily accessible for those
mornings when you’re running late and need to let your hair dry in the car
before putting it up. In a pinch, a pair of sunglasses doubles as a headband in
this multi-use accessory station.
3.    
As a bonus, this tiny space also includes a hair
dryer which when set on high, sends a blast of warm air to help quickly dry
your hair on the road.
4.    
You may think that you have to make sacrifices
to live in a Tiny Car Office, but think again! You can have a complete home
office with sticky note bulletin board reminders, pen and pencil storage, an
electronics charging station, and convenient phone mount which will allow for
Skyping, voice dictation, GPS access and so much more!
5.    
In addition, an audiological center is packed
nicely into this pouch and fits neatly in the front seat while still allowing
room for bags and other materials. All your troubleshooting tools will be ready
to go as you head into the schools.
6.    
As we all know, it can be challenging to find
time to exercise. You’ll have no excuses with your very own Tiny Car Office gym!
The low ceilings allow for controlled, isometric movements which really concentrate
working the small muscle groups. My physical therapist would be happy to see
that I incorporate my shoulder exercises throughout the day.
7.    
The roomy center console is the perfect place to
store all of your hygiene needs. Nobody likes a teacher with coffee breath! Mouth
wash, gum, and mints are right within reach with this handy storage space!
There’s also room for bandaids, deodorant and hand wipes for those messy meals
that are eaten on the road.
8.    
Most people view this as simply the back of a
seat, however, it also doubles as a coat rack for those rainy or snowy New
England days!
9.    
How many times have you chosen a pair of shoes to
wear in the morning only to regret it later in the day when your feet are tired
and blistered? Tiny Car Office features ample shoe storage so that you will
always have options to change your shoes during the day.
10. Snow?
Rain? No problem! All your weather needs are readily available right here
whether you need an umbrella, a snow scraper, or even a small shovel to clear
that winter weather away! Did you get to a school only to find out your student
is not there? In the winter, snowshoe storage means that you can take a quick
walk in the fresh air while you wait for your next student.
11. Finally,
the largest storage section of our Tiny Car Office. Files are neatly organized
in these bins for easy access. Frequently used assessments, books, and teaching
materials are also organized and right where you need them.
12. Schools
don’t always have the specific materials we need. Art supplies, dry erase
boards, toys and manipulatives are all stored in this crate system.
13. Do
you need to stop at the grocery store on your way home? Maybe you forgot an
item you need for a session and need to run into the dollar store quickly to
pick up a new one. Reusable shopping bags have their own storage on the side
for those last minute shopping trips.
14. Again
with the exercise! As a triathlete and marathon runner, fitness is important to
me and I’ll never make an excuse to skip a workout! However, especially in the
winter when it gets dark early, it can be hard to fit in a long run when I’m at
schools late. This closet of workout clothes and space for running shoes means
that wherever I am, I can stop, quickly change and get in a run before heading
home.
Mastering the art of working from a Tiny Car
Office means never having to sacrifice while out on the road. You too can have
it all! Now, who’s ready to join me in this trendy movement? J

Hear Me Out

Hear Me Out is produced by Mainstream Services at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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About the Hear Me Out Blog

Itinerant teachers of the deaf (TOD) provide direct services to children with hearing loss in mainstream schools, consultation to their teachers, and professional development to school staff. Itinerant TODs travel to a child’s neighborhood school to provide one-on-one educational support, foster listening and spoken language development, and help children build social and self-advocacy skills. They also act as a liaison between the family and their mainstream school. Hear Me Out provides a unique forum for these special teachers to share their experiences as they grow as professionals.

Hear Me Out is produced by Mainstream Services at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

Hear Me Out Blog

About the Author

Heather Stinson (CAGS, MED, S/LP-A) received her master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College in 2006 and a graduate certificate in Children, Families, and Schools (with a concentration in research methodology) from the University of Massachusetts in 2012. In addition to her many years of experience working with children with hearing loss who communicate using listening and spoken language, Heather has also worked as a preschool classroom teacher.

Heather has presented both locally and nationally on issues related to mainstreaming students with hearing loss and is a contributing author to Odyssey magazine. Heather currently works as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Clarke Mainstream Services, a program of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

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