In three little weeks, I will once again be a resident of Chicago, IL and I am thrilled about it! As many of my readers know, I moved back to my home town of Boise, ID last summer to assist my mom on her journey through breast cancer. Her prognosis is excellent and it’s time to return to Chicago as well as my new role as the Chicago-based Recruiter for Impact Advisors. It is yet again a time of change and, oh lord, a time of moving.
Let’s be real here, moving sucks. It’s expensive and painful. This will be my third cross-country move and on my first trek, all my furniture was damaged and on my second, I had items stolen and didn’t receive my furniture for a full seven days after the promised delivery date. I’ve heard worse stories as well and even though working with movers is awful, doing it all myself sounds like more than I can handle.
Conversely, moving is also a time for cleaning out and reflection. My partner and I recently did the kitchen – refrigerator, freezer and pantry – clean out. Whoa that can get gross and just because it’s canned doesn’t mean it doesn’t expire! I’d also just like to publicly mention that there was a roommate prior to me in the house so I am not (!) responsible for much of this grossness.
Ultimately I was heart-broken over how much food had gone bad and was thrown out. I felt wasteful especially when there are so many others that don’t have what I/we have. I am a big Food Network fan and would encourage you to check out their effort to end childhood hunger. In America’s consumerist culture it’s easy to over-purchase food (think bulk purchasing) or household items that go to waste. I feel grateful for organizations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army that redistribute unwanted goods to those less fortunate. Or, if you live in a big city like Chicago, the sidewalk with a “Free” sign works, too.
I believe reflecting upon wastefulness is applicable to our work environments, too. How much unnecessary printing do you do? How great EMRs can be to reduce paper waste. Even if you aren’t moving like I am, perhaps it’s time for a work station clean-out. If you have unexpired non-perishables that you know you’ll never eat, donate them to a food bank! Same thing goes for all those vendor swag coffee cups that have collected in your bottom drawer. Donate those to a charity organization.
Here’s your challenge readers: I challenge you to “act like you’re moving” and conduct a spring clean-out without (!) adding additional bags to your weekly trash pick-up at work and at home. I imagine you’ll find the extra space freeing and making a donation personally satisfying.