Sunday, February 1, 2015

Magazines: love them enough to let them go!

Maintaining order in dining room /kitchen
The kitchen/dining room decluttering project has been finished since the middle of January, and we’re maintaining order in those areas. That doesn't mean that nothing is happening on the decluttering front. I’m now working on the unglamorous end-of-task left over from December: cleaning out my magazines. For some reason, I have quite an emotional attachment to magazines. Magazines present colorful, wonderful views into worlds of orderly, lovely, even glamorous homes. Magazines present amazing vistas of exotic places. Magazines offer instruction on any number of subjects along with projects to make from those instructions. Magazines offer appealing images to cut out and use in art projects. Magazines represent a whole world of knowledge and entertainment. I love magazines.
Most of my magazine stash

I have a stack of various home dec. and regional interest magazines to cut up. And I have collections of magazines that I can’t bear to cut up: Art Quilt, American Quilter, Quilting Arts, Bead and Button, Beadwork, Sew Stylish, Fiber Arts, Interweave Knitting, Interweave Crochet, Needle Arts, Needle Pointers, and of course, my biggest collection, Threads magazine. Even though I have the electronic version of Threads, I can’t seem to part with my collection of the paper version going back to the initial issue. Even though the electronic version is searchable and I can access the information quickly, I still like looking through the paper versions and finding articles that I want to hold in my hand, re-read, and learn from.

Magazines represent possibilities. I could possibly make some of the wonderful projects in those magazines; I could possibly use the images as inspiration for my own designs. I could, but the reality is that I haven’t. Some of these magazines have been sitting neglected in my hall closet and other places in my home for years. Some of them I forgot I had until starting this process of decluttering. Some of them I do periodically look at and use (specifically Threads and Needle Arts), but that’s a small exception. 

This pattern of collecting magazines for all the possibilities they offer is long-standing. My mother did the same to the point that magazines and newspapers took over her home: she made paths through her stacks of magazines and newspapers in every room so she could move through. She knew that there were story ideas in there just waiting for her to get them and use them. She never did.

It’s time I got real. Though I love my magazines and the possibilities they represent, I can let go of most of them. I can decide to let go of living in day-dreams and in the future. I can Choose what I really want to do with my life now.
One large stack of magazines reduced to a few clippings!

Fortunately, I belong to several groups where I can share the magazines that I have let go. Someone else will be able to find just the right project in one of these magazines. It makes me happy to know that others will take some of these magazines and use them and enjoy them and pass them on. Theses lovely treasures will now be shared not hoarded. I feel lighter already!

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