I know because at least once a year I have to force myself to winnow through stacks of books, papers, and future projects so that my husband can't say he's the neat one. We all need goals.
I considered tackling the dreaded bookshelf in my bedroom that I've taken over with double stacked knitting books, discontinued magazines ("But, they're collector's items!"), tattered catalogs from the days before internet shopping, and ripped out pages of home ideas- many from before I had children... or a home.
There's the Pottery Barn, from something like 2000, that is coveted by many. Yes, I said covet. I have three years worth of Domino (yay) and a few completely perfect Anthropologie's from 2004-2006. By completely perfect I mean that there is not one stinker of an item in them. Speaking of perfection, isn't Rowan Magazine just beautiful? My favorite is Number 36 from Autumn of 2004. I literally feel six years younger as I turn the dog-eared pages. It's the same with JCrew. I have one of their older winter catalogs simply for the brightly colored sweater and scarf combinations. No matter how cliche the catalog is, I feel twenty when I look through those.
This is not just indiscriminate hoarding. There's two notebooks of ripped Cottage Living/ Living/ Better Homes magazine pages that I've saved ten years waiting for things like our now finished bathroom remodel, for which they were actually used. I regularly use a picture from Lucky every time I get my hair cut. My stylist laughs at my ancient page preserved under a plastic sheet protector.
What about the image of a lilac colored ballerina sweater from an Anthropologie that was so beautiful, but so expensive, it inspired me to learn to knit. I've made several things inspired by their catalogs, including the Sugar Plum Fairy necklaces from a few years back, and liked mine better. I have endless food and garden ideas, and when I try them, my family always loves it. The design of our garden is similar to one I saved from a Mother Earth News. That, my dear, is useful clippings.
So, there is a practical purpose to all of this collecting. But even if there wasn't what's wrong with being sentimental about the things you once loved. I mean, it's not like people have to weave through a maze of stacked paper products all through my house, it's just a shelf or two... and a basket... and under the bed.
It doesn't hurt to save them, since my magazine buying days ended with a growing family's budget and a high speed internet subscription.
This post got me thinking.
I never did finish cleaning that shelf.