I am not a fan of change.

When I got my first job out of college, I held on to it for four years, even when they cut my hours and generally made it clear that I was not going to be there long term.

My second full-time job was in a town I had barely ever heard of. I left my house two hours before my appointment, and made it to the front of the Coulter Press building on Clinton's Church Street in about a half hour. I ended up spending the rest of the time driving around the area, looking at the Wachusett Reservoir, the Old Stone Church and other sites around the region.

I was hired to be the editor of The Banner, then the sister paper of The Item, in January 1987. I sat in a West Boylston office for nine months before being moved to the home office, in that Church Street building, to oversee the weeklies.

While I was hired by Coulter Press, I was the first non-Coulter employee hired (the company had recently been purchased by the Worcester T&G, which in turn was bought by Chronicle Publishing), but I came into a newspaper company firmly rooted in nearly a century of history. I edited columns from Bill Coulter and guest taught at his journalism class at Northeastern University.

I became the managing editor of Coulter Press in 1989, the same title I hold today. While my office is now on the first floor, rather than the second, I have spent most of my adult life working in this building.

I met my husband here - and we sometimes forget not everyone knows we are married since we don't share a last name.

I worked at the Daily Item from 1989 to 1996, when the Daily Item became The Item, published weekly. As much as I hated change, I made the decision to take a layoff and see what else was out there. For four years, I was a freelance journalist and editor, working for a national construction newspaper, and most of the newspapers around this area.

After four years, when it came to jobs, I realized that what was out there was ... here. In 2000, when Gary Hutner returned to the paper after his own journey away, this time as publisher, he somehow talked me into returning.

Now, 19 years later, I found myself packing up years of papers, books and mementos for a move to a new office in Worcester.

The idea of moving out of this Church Street office was not an easy decision. The building was drafty, moldy and dank. It was bitter cold in the winter, stifling hot in the summer. It made odd noises at the most inopportune times. I always blamed Clarence the ghost. The plaster is crumbling. Last week, the weeds growing outside the building finally succeeded in overcoming the aging windows to begin growing inside the building.

But it has been home.

One of the books I packed was a gift from Dick Harding. He wrote about being stressed. He needed a cover photo of the most stressed-looking place he knew. He came in while I was on vacation and took a photo of my desk. For the record, I use the same battered McDonald's cup to hold my paper clips that I did when the photo was taken.

I found thank you notes from a summer class at Clinton Elementary School; they came in with Jannine Ingano and I helped them create their own newspaper. I found other examples of newspapers I created over the years with Cub Scouts and Brownies.

I still have five large signs, decorated with Dr. Seuss characters, hanging around the newsroom. They were from times I read at Clinton Elementary School for Community Reading Day. I have a copy of a story I wrote when the Museum of Russian Icons opened, with a hand-written note from Gordon Lankton: "You are really good at what you do!" Hanging next to it is a similar note he wrote after I published a story on his next adventure, the Gallery of African Art. All these pieces will eventually make their way somewhere - whether it is my home or my new cubicle in Worcester.

I carefully packed several smaller notes of thanks I had gotten over the years from readers after stories I wrote. I kept each one, taped precariously to the brick wall near my desk. They are now in a box under the desk in my home office.

Since the company announced the Item was moving to Worcester, closing the Clinton office, I have had so many readers stop in, call, email or post on Facebook that they hate change.

Me too.

Which is why I plan to keep The Item the same as it has been throughout my long career here. I hope that the only people who notice a difference are the people who stop at that office on Church Street, Clinton.

I will still be out in the community, covering events and meetings. I will be answering your emails and liking your posts on Facebook. I will be retweeting.

But first, I need to find places for all those boxes because each contains precious memories I cannot bear to part with.

Jan Gottesman is managing editor of The Item. She can STILL be reached at clintonitem@yahoo.com.