KOEL offices in Oelwein have been under construction this week.  No major changes, just new carpet.  But to get the new carpet in all of the rooms, you must clear out the rooms, the clutter, the things from years gone by and owners of long ago.

Our staff knew this would be a very large task.  After all, you cannot clean out 17 offices, 5 recording studios, a kitchen, a meeting room, 2 storage rooms, a music library, a full hallway of closets and a huge news room in just a few hours.  It takes days, weeks, and even months to clean out over 45 years of clutter.  Of course, you need to go through some of the memorabilia and even talk about the “remember this”….triggers and that slows the process.

The journey began in mid-February.  Emptying desk drawers and file cabinets of things left by previous co-workers.  We uncovered old phone books, photos, station prizes, marketing videos and old sales orders.  Wow, things were different in the 70's and 80’s.

Staff thumbed through the records that were left behind (my favorite was the Batman Soundtrack) and the thousands of CDs that filled our walls.  Most of the CDs had 1 song and it was a song we had never heard of from great artists or artists we had never heard of.  We uncovered a few hundred reels (they look like the old movie reels) full of commercials from the 80s and 90s. Plus, pieces of the reel players.  Someone must have saved them “just in case”.

Reel to Reel

What else did we discover in our journey?  I’m glad you asked.   We found a dead sparrow, about a dozen dead mice and even a few secret storage spaces under the old carpet.  We have had some good laughs and conversations.

Closet stuff

What have I learned from this?  Again, I’m glad you asked.  File cabinets from 20 or 30 years ago are very heavy, even when they are empty; there’s always more work to be done than you honestly think; no matter how much you vacuum, boxelder bugs are everywhere; new carpet really makes a place look fresh and MOST importantly, purge your space every 5 years.  Waiting 20 plus years is just silly.  I honestly never would have guessed we had enough trash and recyclables for 5 dumpsters, 3 trailers and several pick-up loads.  That doesn't include the items we gave to staff or other businesses in need.

Thanks to Randy’s Carpet and Interiors in Cedar Rapids for coming to town.  They have done several of our offices in Iowa and I know I am very pleased with the job their three guys have done at this office.  Thanks to Dolf Construction in Westgate for recycling and repurposing as much as you could in this adventure.  Thanks to the Fayette County Landfill for helping recycle and repurpose things too.  Thanks to our listeners for understanding the construction noises in our broadcasting (at least you know we broadcast live).  Thank you to the KOEL staff for all your hard work and mighty muscles in moving stuff out and back.  And last, but never least, thanks to the families of the KOEL staff for extra hands and understanding of the long hours the last two months or so.

Now, I’m off to put my office back together.  Have a great weekend everyone.

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