Thursday, 16 February 2017

They Had to Go: Good Bye Old Friends


Back in the days when library books were stamped out with a satisfying click and "kindle" had something to do with starting a campfire, I had a boss who believed very strongly in the power of the tidy work space. The surface of her desk was almost always completely clutter free


and she had a simple, very effective, way of achieving this state of minimalist perfection. She passed on every outstanding task, every query she took by phone, every note of a book she needed to find: all of it, passed on to the juniors. And then she carried out a desk inspection.

I can't help thinking about her almost every time I go to tidy my desk now, here at home: a desk which is often piled to perilous breaking point with stuff I might need in a minute. And I thought about her and that "tidy desk, tidy mind" mantra again when Get It Scrapped asked me to contribute to their new "Story + Design" on Clutter and White Space.

Clutter? I think I have a story or two. I can't show you the page I made for the class - it turned out to be about piles of books - so I made another one for here and now. And it's about piles of magazines:

Sian F for Get It Scrapped


Maybe you remember this photo from last year? I eventually loaded into the car every copy of Mollie Makes, from issue one, complete with kits, and I took them to the charity shop. And it felt good. But not for long. I still have to deal with the boxes of fashion and interiors magazines. If they would just budge up a bit, I'd have more room for wool. They'll have to go. I know it. But I'm stuck: are they worth taking to the charity shop too? Or is it straight to the recycling centre? Answers on a virtual postcard, please..



16 comments:

Barbara Eads said...

Or you could "kindle" the whole works!! I certainly have my problems---which I prefer to refer to as "stockpile issues," but magazines are not one of them. I always thumb through and tear out what I want to read or keep. At least that reduces the bulk!

Patio Postcards said...

Interesting thoughts & interesting page to match. I like your recalling story of your former boss lady. Clutter for me equals chaos but that's just me. I keep my found collection of Simple Scrapbooks magazines in tact but all the rest I took out what I found scrapliftable & then tossed into recycle. Good luck deciding & then following through.

Karen said...

I save just two periodicals: Upper Case and Flow. The rest get read, articles to keep torn out and put in a notebook, and then to the recycling bin. I do have a back log of magazines to read. I save them to read on road trips! Love the page, and especially love that you think to scrap these topics.

Ladkyis said...

I read and pass on to the granddaughter who scraps. I am 70 now and I look at things with the "can I do this in my lifetime" point of view. I once culled the VHS tapes we had collected by working out that is we watched tapes for 8 hours a day every day it would take something like a year and a half to watch them all. I knew for a fact that we never would watch most of them ever again and it was just the hoarding instinct.
Now I am doing it with all things. If I can't guarantee to use it in the next year then out it goes - whatever it is.

Jennifer Shaw said...

A great page and a great topic. LOL about your boss. I say bring the magazines to the charity shop. There could be someone out there that is looking for these older issues and will be thrilled to have them. I love the idea of books and magazines going on to a second life. I've always been one who avoids clutter. It makes my mind feel a bit crazy. LOL I've left my "collecting" days behind and am really enjoying minimalism and the empty open spaces that come with it. I'm very intentional about that I bring into my home now. Having said that, some of my 70's pieces are still my most treasured possessions.

Karen said...

Do you have Freegle or Freecycle? I have Prima magazine and once myself and Mum has read it and we have torn out the odd knitting pattern or recipe I put them once I have a large bag of them on Freegle. I always get lots of people wanting them so I usually have to draw a name out of the hat for them. Same if I put craft magazines up as our local charity shop won't take them.

Beautiful layout - I love the colours you have used

KraftyKaren x

Susan said...

First, love the layout. Second, I have quite the stack of magazines and I really need to do something with them. They are all pretty current so I will probably go through them, rip out the articles, recipes, etc. that I want to keep and then recycle the rest. Oh and third...my scrap desk (otherwise known as the dining room table) is a disaster.

Theresa said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has this dilemma. My vast magazine collection gets culled every few years. Most get flicked through, and items torn out before going in the recycling, but I have in the past forwarded some to people I think will appreciate them - craft mags to crafty friends, my UK interior mags to an Anglophile now living back in the US. Depending on the type and weight of paper, some can be used as, or in the making of, junk journals, or in mixed media. But the truth is, there will always be new magazines that take up valuable space on my shelves - I just can't resist, and some are just too beautiful to part with!! Good luck on whittling them down. Theresa

Lizzy Hill said...

I adore your page....just lovely & especially the clustering and white space balance. As for mags, I often buy one or two, to read, from our Op shop....but maybe ask if they want them? Sounds like you've got a BIG lot to move!! Be a shame to recycle....maybe a school or kindy could use them for the children to cut up???? That sounds awful....but anyways, just a thought!!!

alexa said...

Such bright and perky colours - those pinks and soft blues are very nice with the black and white ... As for your subject mstter - wishing I wasn't in the same boat. I have a shelf full of Simple Things magazines which I keep thinking I'll read again (but probably won't). I'm going to try the charity shops myself. Even if they sell each one for ten pence, there'll be somebody glad of one, probably. There ought to be a magazine crossing group, like there is for books!

Melissa said...

Lovely page! I really enjoyed the memory of the tidy boss. I only have two stacks of magazines currently - Uppercase, which I'll keep and peruse for INSPIRATION; older scrapbooking magazines, which I go through from time to time & snip anything of interest before putting the remainder in the recycling bin.

Any other magazines I pick up (especially while traveling) are read through, then thumbed through with an occasional item snipped out, then straight to the recycling bin.

Maggie said...

A friend of mine when she helped in a charity shop said give all clothes because there is always a rag value. I don't know if the same applies to magazines for recycling but you could take one in and ask.
i did once used to think that librarians were rather scary beings as a child and student. My preconceptions have been blown away by meeting you virtually but your colleague...... She reminds me of a teacher who used to do desk inspections. I'm afraid her comments were "piggy" as she passed me. I don't think I have improved.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I've still got a stack of those early Mollie Makes mags. Really must follow your lead. Thanks to your IG post, I've blogged about Clutter and White Space today.

Sandra said...

As you know, I'm on a major declutter and I had a similar problem with magazines. So I asked our charity shop on a recent visit and she very kindly asked if I wouldn't mind putting them out for recycling lol

Susanne said...

I have managed to recycle magazines fairly regularly. I store most of the decorating and general interest ones in my office on the shelf under my wide format printer. About 2 years each of 3 different magazines will stack nicely there, any more and they begin to slide perilously forward blocking the floor space in front of the closet that I need to get into every single day. So I can't have that. Even scrapbooking magazines have been tossed once they were 3 or 4 years old. So that's the general rule. Yet I hold onto 4 old tea magazines, all of the Scrap 365 issues, an old Better Homes and Gardens publication on white Christmas, and a couple of magazines on French Country decorating. All have been flipped through once or twice and are otherwise in pristine condition. I might feel better about saying adieu if I could take them to a charity shop, but ours around here generally won't accept magazines, and even give you a funny look about paperback books. All of which means, that you and I are not the only ones with this dilemma.

Ruth said...

I have periods where I save every magazine that passes through my hands, and I have periods where I purge them ruthlessly. Currently, I am 'saving' Simple Things, and Scrapbook and Cards Today ...

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