The Rag Man

Confessions of a Professional Organizer, Chapter Six

In today’s Brattleboro Reformer a column was published by a local centenarian, recalling his boyhood memories. These occasional stories are a precious reminder that, although life may have been simpler in some ways, it provided many challenges which would overwhelm us today.

When I imagine life 100 years ago, I imagine less stuff. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Yet Mr. Patrick writes about the Rag Man driving through town calling, “Cash paid for rags.”  He continues, “You would certainly be surprised at what and how much these men collected [and] what these men bought for little money, because they would take just about anything, so it was a good chance to get rid of unwanted metal, furniture, clothing.”

How much easier it would be for all of us with too much stuff if we knew that once a week the Rag Man would stop by for anything we didn’t need and ~ Whoo-hoo! ~ pay us for it! As it often takes me as much time to responsibly dispose of what I’ve culled as it takes to do the culling, I’d make good use of his services.

Until someone locally opens a Rag Man business, I’ll continue checking to see what consignment and thrift stores I’ll be near in my weekly travels and make regular trips to recycling (and its take-it-or-leave-it table). Of course, life gets in the way and stuff builds up, but containing it in one place out of sight helps. And in order to avoid Oos-Oom (Out of sight, Out of mind), I make a note in my calendar to check the Out-of-here closet.

I hope to reach the point, somewhere in the not-too-distant future, when what I have is what I need and use and love. And until that time, where’s that Rag Man?