Monday, May 24, 2010

Anti-Hoarding Day

I proclaim today Anti-Hoarding Day.

Last night, I was lying in bed thinking about the piles of magazines scattered throughout my room and decided to do something about it. I mean, two years ago I didn't even know Prevention magazine existed, but now it is so important that I can't just pitch the 10 or 12 issues I haven't even cracked open.

That article about hoarding that I mentioned earlier discussed this:

“The second most frequent motive for saving is a fear of losing important information. Many hoarders describe themselves as information junkies who save newspapers, magazines, brochures, and other information-laden papers. They keep stacks of newspapers and magazines so that when they have time, they will be able to read and digest all the useful information they imagine to be there. Each newspaper contains a wealth of opportunities, and discarding it means losing those opportunities. For such people, having the information near at hand seems crucial, whereas knowing that the information also exists on the Internet or in a library does little to help them get rid of their out-of-date papers. Hoarders are often intelligent and curious people for whom the physical presence of information is almost an addiction.” (The article is located at the link above.)

That scared the hell out of me. So from now on new rule: When the next issue of a magazine comes in, the previous issue goes out. No questions. End of story.

This is not a small problem at my house. I subscribe to the following magazines, in the order in which they are most likely to be read:

TV Guide
The Week
Vegetarian Times
Men's Health
Science Illustrated
National Geographic
and, of course, Parade magazine in the newspaper

The girls also get:

Nintendo Power
Fun On-line Games
American Girl
various publications from the American Psychology Assn

I used to subscribe to Mental Floss and Psychology Today, but I didn't renew the subscriptions because I just wasn't getting to them. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I threw out the issues I haven't yet read!

Magazines have become a huge problem for me. I find myself aggressively reading through magazines, trying to “catch up” with my piles, at the expense of reading the books I actually want to read. (Yes, I have piles of those, too.)

So today I shall purge. And feel good about it.

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