The urge to purge

Posted on Feb 02 2018 in From the Editor

By Emily Schilling

Emily with trash

It’s amazing what you can accumulate when you’ve spent a career in one building for one employer.

Although during my work day I’m usually buried under piles of files and paper, and lists of things left to do, I must admit I didn’t realize what I had stored in my office and environs. 

But last month was the designated “purge month” for the employees of Indiana Electric Cooperatives, publisher of Electric Consumer. We are moving to a new headquarters in June. And, as those of you who’ve moved before (or done some serious decluttering) know, sometimes what’s in back of the drawers or on top of the cabinets can surprise you. 

For instance, among my discoveries from my 34 years in the same location:

  • Several decades worth of props used in food photos: including four ears of Indian corn, a wicker cornucopia and craft store autumn leaves which were used often in the 1990s.
  • In the same box as the photo props was a lone candy cane. Lesson learned: candy canes still in their plastic wrappers just may stand the test of time!
  • Dozens of three-ring binders scavenged throughout the years when others were discarding them. I thought I could use them someday. Someday never came.
  • White felt fashioned into makeshift beards used when staff members dressed as the seven dwarves one Halloween. Also two pairs of wire frame glasses suitable for use with Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes. 
  • Enough coffee mugs adorned with corporate logos of REMCs and vendors, and miscellaneous tea bags to keep the office staff caffienated for a month — that is, if 5-year-old tea bags are still OK to use.

Amidst the clutter, I’ve found old photos, yellowed past issues, and file folders filled with letters from readers through the years. Who’d have thought that my numerous trips to the dumpster could also lead me down memory lane?

EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Electric Consumer