What kind of memories do you need to keep? Or, more specifically, what kind of mementoes?
That’s a question I have had to grapple with lately, as our move as a newspaper staff to a much smaller, much updated locale saw an immense amount of purging going on in the old location.
Honestly, my co-workers were very good about me, outwardly understanding, and even though I know they were cursing me under their breath and letting loose with heavy sighs every time they found another nook (or cranny) piled with my boxes, they were gracious. There’s nothing like having to move to force you to take a look at yourself.
Is there a good reason for me to have boxed up papers from my desk when I went on vacation in 2017 and wrote ‘Do Not Trash’ across it? Maybe. If I had looked at it in the years since 2017, it would have made sense to keep those papers in the first place. But of course, the box has not been opened since then.
And unfortunately, one look in my office tells the story; there are a lot of boxes like that.
Stuff that, week to week, piles up on my desk and though it should be A) filed; B) trashed; or C) passed on to the person that needs it, instead it seems to continue to generate more piles.
Piles that eventually get tossed in a box or a bag with my full intention to deal with it later that day.
Somehow, later that day becomes later that week, and then maybe one day next week, and then next month, when I have the time.
Problem is, there never seems to be the time. So, in conjunction with our move to the new spot, I have a dumpster to fill – probably more than once – and the ability to start fresh in a new office is enticing. The goal there, of course, is to really make a change. It’s possible, it just needs to be first and foremost in my mind. Deal with today’s stuff today and take care of it before today’s stuff becomes an entire month’s worth, or more, of stuff.
At the end of it all, there will be some significant, meaningful items to carry with me to the new location. Some special photos, a couple of awards, those unique things that will make my office in the new building feel like home.
In the old building, I have rotated through a few different offices, occupying this latest one for several years, enough time to have the piles closing in around me.
With everyone pitching in, it seems like the rest of the office has been moved without me. I helped the tiniest bit but the powers that be assigned me to my office and suggested there was plenty to do there and they had plenty of help for all the other heavy lifting that was going on.
Even as I write this column – on a rainy, windy, bomb cyclone sort of day – my co-workers, spouses, some co-workers of spouses and assorted adult children of co-workers have all pitched in to move the big stuff from Point A to Point B.
My new desk arrived and is already at the new office. My hand-me-down but basically new chair is also over there. We will still be in our South Third Avenue location for basic operations until all the necessary computer/internet/phone connections are up and ready to go, but that is coming quickly as well.
Some of the old desks here were just too big, bulky and/or old and the decision was made that, if we chose, we could order a new desk.
Mine doesn’t have drawers and I took that little step intentionally. Nowhere to jam stuff into to get it off my desk top. New year, new location, new desk, new mindset.
If anything at all, this move – and I have made a few in my life, cross country being one of them – has made me realize what I don’t want to do when we all get to our fresh new office space.
Clutter will no longer be my middle name.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a box from 2017 to purge.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.