“Set yourself free from being overrun by your possessions"- Chris KousountidIs
I built the concept of the “TakeMeImFREE.com” network for my own needs- to help me give up unwanted belongings to other seekers while reaching out those that have things that I might need. To my surprise, a growing population of you out there may also have the same needs and issues. This is why looking at my home office (located in my multi-use basement) with a new set of eyes reinforces my belief in rebuilding my space, my life and the kind of stuff that I need to keep- or give away.
The term “home office” did not exist in my parents’ day- and is a term that (by now) most families recognize as a must-have. With today’s widespread use of the home computer, high-speed internet access and online banking, a home office is where all domestic transactions and financials are managed. Also, with the current American trend of the home-based business, the home office is a major investment in the entrepreneur’s daily business operations.
At the dawn of a new business model, I hired a manager to bring structure to my soon-to-launch company. He came well-recommended by some colleagues who gained great business momentum from his strategic management work. I invited him down to my basement/office to review my books and my computer-- but he was taken aback by the level of clutter and disarray that lay before him. I’m not sure if it was the broken down drum set, the big teddy bear collection, the moldy 75 gallon aquarium or the used luggage I bought from Ebay that he wanted to comment first, but wiggling our way through all these ‘treasures’ to get to the computer was when I realized how this space sorely needed some new LOVE. He also introduced me to a term that has become one of the focal points of the ‘TakeMeImFREE’ promotional campaign- FENG SHUI, or the art of living spaces.
With little hesitation, the manager proceeded to scribble some notes on his pad and later proposed what he calls ‘priority one’. This involved organizing a fully-functional home office which includes a new desk, working furniture, a dedicated work computer and a neat office setting where you can easily find everything.
If I am to pioneer the American clutter bug to clean up their lives, I need to pay my dues and perform the same make-over. Listening to the corruptive voices that say “don’t throw this out, it’s still good” needs to take a back seat to the vision of order that was sorely lacking in this basement for years.
HUNTING 101: THE FREE DESK
“FREE” is my favorite word. Anyone can BUY. Anyone can remodel. But hunting for treasures out there is as much the adventure as it is a cost-effective reality. In the case of a desk, it is the one single piece of furniture that the ‘driver-operator’ must have a hand-in-glove fit for the many long hours of work ahead.
There’s no end to the types of desks out there. They come in all styles, colors, shapes and sizes- making the hunt for the perfect one a true time-consuming challenge. Finding one is even more limiting- where you may need to compromise your demands to what is FREE.
If beggars can’t (in fact) be choosers, having the internet at your fingertips gives you the modern advantage of local and world wide searches for ALL things. Plus, with the aid of digital photo technology, I am able to see their giveaways without having to spend $2.99 per gallon of gas and avoiding the discomfort of rejecting them if it’s not what I’m looking for.
After I donated much of what is in the basement to make room for my office, I performed a week’s worth of web-surfing and I narrowed down my search to someone 3 towns away who wanted to part with a gorgeous desk for $20. I came down, did my measurements and found it was definitely the right one for me. But as for the $20.00; I had to ask the owner, “Is that a price you put in it just so you can get something? Look, Jim- it’s clear that you just want to get rid of it to make some room and I’m doing you the favor. Let me just have it! It’s not like you’ve got a line of people outside your house waiting for a $20 desk. Besides, it cost me $20 in gas just to come down here to relieve you of this thing!”
He knew that if he kicked me out to save his ego, he’s still going to be stuck with this space eater instead of giving it away to someone who needs it now. But when he got the idea that putting a price tag on everything greatly slows down the moving of unwanted belongings- whereas giving away is a healthy and faster option, he not only GAVE up the desk but proceeded to introduce me to his entire garage full of absolutely FREE stuff.
After a heartfelt handshake and some laughs, we parted joviantly while I made him say those magical words.... “Take them, they’re FREE!”
This is the day that we both made a new friend.
Copyright (c) 2009- All Rights Reserved. This article "Feng Shui Your Life"- by Chris Kousountidis and edited by Leonard M. Goetz is an excerpt from the TakeMeImFREE.com newsletter- "GATHERINGS" - published quarterly by EcoSmart News.