Earthworms Casting: Moving Stuff

By Jean Ponzi

Facing a major office move, I saw opportunity for a personal unpack.

I framed the task as a Study (anecdotal) from the (subjective) Research Question: How do I deal with moving Stuff? toward Hypothesizing: How can I move my strengths into activity where I, frankly, suck?

How I normally deal with Stuff: acquisitive in a curated way; hopeful for eventual circulation; pretty much dead-ass disbursal avoidance. Where my modus operandi is clearly stuck, how to get some Motion in the ole’ M.O.?

I do love Stuff. Vintage, fine, handcrafted, made by someone I know, nature-related, funky, fun. I always enjoy a good Stuff-cruise, but acquire way less than I used to. Blessed (?!?) with an abundance of Stuff, I get very picky at the take-home point, and I know I need a Circular grow-and-change. I can’t cop out into a dumpster when Life’s chips are down. Circularity-pressure, like gravity, grows in Green force over time.

For my Office-Stuff Move Study, I sought to ID transferrable strengths.

I am deeply adept at Moving: ideas, logistics of projects, words. What kinds of moves are these? Mostly internal. Mental, though fueled by feelings. They are physical moves rarely, or not until far along in their process. Not that I’m over-thinking, but . . . How to re-tool my process to work well in the physical realm of Stuff – in accord with Time?

I had a real deadline. Others would be moving into what has been my space, needing cleaning crew coordination. This was not just about me.

I consulted an expert, who knows me well. My friend Gemma, who lives in Vermont, runs a fabulous re-sale store that generates 100% support for her community’s Hospice, where patients and families get care 100% free. Her skills have made her Experienced Goods a circulatory paragon. What, I asked, are her cardinal rules for dealing in a healthy way with Stuff?

#1 FOCUS in a category or place, for a limited time


#3 Stay REFRESHED and hydrated

#4 Plan an appealing NEXT MOVE for your work

This was excellent advice! On every day of my moving, I invested a couple late-afternoon hours with: desktop standing files and flotsam on a table; fun stuff on a cabinet top and my drawer of Organizational Partner files: books and my Festoons Cabinet. You get the idea.

I mixed up moving physical items and mass-quantity info, hauled around at an easy pace, drank gallons of water (getting breaks to bop across the building to pee), and almost never sat down. No music, with people working nearby, but me my Stuff were – dancing!

Though I did not hold and ponder (GACK!), I will confess to moments of Joy.

The day I cleared out my Completed Project file drawers, I touched nearly three decades of accomplishments. Spanning two centuries! Dang, Jean, I thought, you have done good work. And piled them neatly into (many boxes for) Recycling.

I brought very little home, respecting limits for my eco-logical new status as Field Staff. Another motivation to MOVE, not just re-shuffle, paying attention along the way.

Phase 1: Move Out of Office of my study is complete. Phase 2: Move Into Field Space is in progress now. I’m pleased to share preliminary findings, my hypothesis so far:

Movement is Key to Moving Stuff.

Jean Ponzi moves Green conversations and ideas around on her show Earthworms, from KDHX St. Louis Independent Media. Pick it up at www.kdhx.org in the podcasts section.