a table salt audio story.
Jon Wagner is in a house.
But it’s not Jon’s house. He didn’t buy a single thing in it. Not the piano or the books or the rolls of toilet paper under the bathroom cabinets. But he’s responsible for every single object. In the next two weeks, he must find everything a new home.
There are the easy parts — think of what a mover would do: the dining room table will get hauled into a moving truck. The set of crystal wine glasses will be appraised and sold.
But then there’s the rest. The objects that fill up the cracks of a life: photo albums, holiday decorations, letters, and mementos.
Jon’s clients have hired him to free themselves of their stuff. Sometimes they’re elderly. Other times, they’re hoarders, unable to make sense of what should stay and what should go.
So, Jon and his team (which today is really just him and a guy named Adam) descend. At Integrated Move Management, the two of them will take sometimes as little as two weeks to walk into a house and make it look like nobody ever lived there. They become a trusted third eye in a process that so often needs one — an entity that emerges in this grey zone of not exactly owning but not not owning this house of stuff.
We're going to take a walk through the house, examine some of these things that aren't Jon's, and in the process, figure out how to let things go.
This is an audio experience.
Listen to Part One
"Adam and I will not let anything go anywhere until we see it. We do a full inventory of every single thing in the house."
The Living Room
Listen to Part Two
"You're going to get into that box and spend three hours laughing, crying, and eventually, three hours later, it is still a half a box full of stuff!"
"You're like their therapist. You're gaining their trust. You're working with understanding who they are, what got them to the point they're in with all the stuff they have."
"You know, if you were to get into a box like this, it would be quickly finding out what is in this without spending my whole hours."
Listen to Part Three
"This is sterling silver. Hence the reason we look in everything. I have got boxes and boxes where my client says, "I've been through all of this already, take it to the dump." Like, you've been through it but I haven't been through it!"
It seems counterintuitive. Why would you need somebody else to sort through your most personal objects? But, in Jon and Adam’s line of business, that’s exactly the point. In the weeks of clearing out a house, they give their client one thing: somebody who is not them. Somebody to come to their house, and open every closet, every cabinet, and every drawer.
Jon and Adam? They’re in the business of freedom.