Letting go of ‘baggage’

Home Office BEFORE
Home Office BEFORE

Since November 2015, I have been working weekly to help a client un-clutter and organize his home office. As you can see in the before photo I’ve posted, his office was quite cluttered and in disarray. On the floor throughout the room, there were a number of bags, boxes and suitcases filled with paper documents and cassette tapes of music he’d recorded. Office supplies, printing paper, used and unused envelopes of various sizes, magazines, and reusable bags were also taking up space in the room, making it difficult to get around.

My client’s name is Dick Lourie, a poet and musician living in Somerville, MA. (I have his permission to write about him, and to publish his poem ‘baggage’ on my Clutter Clearer Coach blog – see poem below).  NOTE: Please do not share this post on FACEBOOK

For many years he just was not ready to let go. I asked Dick what it was that motivated him to be ready. He told me he had reached the point where he couldn’t do the things that were important to him. He was not creating new poetry or music, he could not sort his mail, he had no place to store his musical instruments, etc . His office space was in a gridlock. Also, he and his wife would be downsizing and moving in a few years and wanted to clear things out. But now he is ready, and he’s doing a fine job of it.

Since we began the un-cluttering process, Dick has recycled many trash bags of paper stuff, thrown out a lot of unusable items he’d saved, sorted and downsized his many cassette tapes, and worked on organizing his office supplies and his files. At times, this has not been easy for him to do.  I am so proud of him, as is his wife. He has very creative ideas for setting up his office to the best advantage; where to store his musical instruments, buying two new file cabinets to replace the large broken one, and a stand up desk for his laptop. Together, Dick and I will continue to get his office organized, and then move on to stuff in the front part of the upstairs hallway, and finally the basement.

Home Office in PROCESS
Home Office IN PROCESS

Are you a person with a thousand containers? Do you stuff your clutter everywhere to keep past memories safe? Perhaps it’s time for you to allow yourself to be ready to let go of some or all of that stuff you hold on to. Take the step, the risk, the challenge, and start today. And, let me know how it goes.

‘baggage’ by Dick Lourie

(from his book Ghost Radio, published in 1998 by Hanging Loose Press)

when I think of myself in my mother’s
body I imagine some kind of bag
with me inside it    when my friends tease me
it’s often about my suitcases    brief-
cases     shopping bags     shoulder bags     gym bags
milk crates     back packs     and instrument cases

I’m the man of a thousand containers
born from the child with his baggage always
packed to travel between divorced parents
famous for my car’s back seat      my basement

my study     the clutter I try to stuff
everywhere so I can just have it
with me and not be forced to choose what of
my past it might be safe to throw away

stop me before I pack my things again:
bringing them out to the car each morning
on safari to the office     keep me
from showing up at band rehearsal with
my luggage carrier     tape recorder
wireless mike and attachments     extra long
cables     spare amplifier just in case—–
they tell me I’m only the sax player
why do I have more stuff than ten drummers

and why do short weekend trips resemble
diasporas      vast tribal migrations      why
indeed      or as Doctor Kriegsfeld great wise-
ass of therapists used to say “who should
we ask?”     how do you expect me to choose
which parent to keep      what things I won’t need
on my next trip?      I can’t do that–any
more than I could decide to just throw it
all away and climb back into the bag

NOTE: Please do not share this post on FACEBOOK
as Dick Lourie has copyright and ownership of this poem

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