One of my de-cluttering goals for this year is to work my way through the boxes of professional journals and magazines I’ve saved because “there’s an article I want to read.” Some of these boxes go back to 2001! (I’m not going to mention the 1984 box with Year 1 of MacWorld. No. Not going to talk about that. Stop asking.) For each magazine issue, I decide whether
- the article is no longer interesting. In that case, the issue immediately goes in the recycle bin.
- the article is still interesting, but not potentially useful. If the article isn’t fodder for an article or blog post of my own, I read it immediately and recycle the whole issue.
- the article will be useful for something I want to write. If so, I clip and file it, and recycle the rest of the magazine.
So far, most of the articles are still interesting, so it’s taking longer than I expected to get through the pile of boxes. A few of these articles may end up mentioned in short blog posts, under the tag “OldReads,” but only about 10% of the articles are still useful for longer articles I plan to write—my writing goals have changed a lot in the last few years—so I’m not adding much to my overflowing file cabinets. Even the more personal stuff (travel destinations, etc.) is less likely to wind up in a file drawer these days, since I’m no longer in proper physical condition for whitewater rafting, hiking the Andes, or crawling through extensive cave systems.
All in all, my de-cluttering progress is steady, if slower than I’d like.