Friday, March 31, 2017

Magazines, magazines, magazines

I'm a hoarder.  I confess it.  Magazines have taken over my family room.  I just may need that  recipe for the perfect short ribs (with the bonus recipe for short rib tacos made from the leftovers) or the instructions for cleverly painting floor cloths using cut potatoes and milk paint sometime in the future, so even though I have already read these magazines cover to cover, I feel I must keep them. Something in them might come in handy someday.

I have thought about getting rid of them. Indeed, I have come up with several strategies.  I could cut out all of the recipes and paste them onto paper and put the paper into binders--ridiculous for so many reasons! I could type all of the recipes I think I might want into a database, but life is way too short-- and getting shorter.  I could get a fancy hand-held scanner and scan all of the recipes into the computer, but then I would still have to figure out how to organize them and they would take up loads of web space that I don't have.   I could rip out and put into tidy folders all of the decorating ideas.  But I'm not in need of another project.  I already have a lot of projects (a subject for another time).  And I don't have the shelf or drawer space all of the tidy folders would take up should I actually figure out how to organize all of the ideas.

Periodically in these magazines there is an article about decluttering and I get inspired.  I decide that I will read through the magazines one last time and then get rid of them.  However, there seems to be no such thing as one last time.  I find something I want to try and decide to keep it. And I run out of time--I have a couple hundred of these magazines.   You wouldn't think this would be such a dilemma for someone who works in a library; maybe that's why it's so difficult. Sigh.

Last Sunday, however, I had a break through.  I read, in yet another magazine, the same ideas but put quite differently:  "Make room to breathe."  "Simplify." "Make room for what matters."  The article wasn't referring only to physical clutter but mental and emotional clutter, as well.  I realized that my inability to come to a decision about these magazines was creating a lot of unnecessary stress in my life.  They were taking up space, both physical and mental, that could be used more wisely, to better effect. 

I filled a bag with magazines that I know a friend would like and put it in the car, ready to deliver.  I filled two more bags for recycling.  That was all I had time for but I now have an entire shelf emptied.  What's more, I copied down the urls for the magazines, where they regularly post recipes and ideas.  My husband and I agreed to cancel all our subscriptions.  No magazines come into the house except mindfully and they go out at the end of the month--no matter what!

I'm kind of sad.  I love to hold books and magazines, I like to flip pages.  Magazines can be carted around easily, no power source or internet necessary; I can read them anywhere.  I appreciate their design, how the image and text come together harmoniously.  I will miss them.   But it was time.

I would rather be a collector, mindfully acquiring beloved, useful things, rather than a hoarder.  And I do collect things:  cake stands, vintage linens, antique tea cups and dessert plates…. But these are lovely things that I use to entertain family and friends, that one day will be passed down to a grandchild, niece or nephew.  I also collect books, but again I am now collecting them more mindfully.  Paperback books that I know I won't read again are passed on to new readers quickly, and I'm getting more and more light reading for my Kindle. 

Ummm...while searching online for the image included with this post, I discovered a site that demonstrates how to make collages using magazines....

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