I sat in bed the other night and looked at my growing stack of magazines that occupies an entire corner of the bedroom.
It seems to have grown quickly, but I know the truth, for which I regret but yet do not change. The reality of how a heap of magazines took residency of an entire corner that I must awkwardly vacuum around can be attributed to one of two explanations: 1) I didn’t have the time to sit down and read it as I received it in the mailbox or 2) There’s a lot of great ideas that I’ll want to reference later. Both are lies I tell myself each time the pile grows by every new magazine added.
I’ve got an assortment of magazine titles. The magazines deepest in my pile include “Nebraska Life.” It is truly a quality magazine that uses stories, photos, poetry, recipes and more to depict exactly what the magazine title stands for. I’ve never subscribed, but took them from my mom’s own magazine pile thinking I’d one day read them.
The second deepest titles are that of “The New Yorker.” As someone who had frequently read Andy Borowitz’s satire, I remember taking the bait of the constant pop-up ads on the site, which I recall advertised a deal of 12 editions for only $6 (and a free tote, which I still haven’t received after more than two years). I skimmed these at best, before adding them to the pile.
I also traded my time it took to complete an online survey for a year’s subscription to “Real Simple.”
This is probably my favorite magazine one could find in my stack. I enjoy the organizational tips and home hacks in the magazine, so much so that once finished, they get added to the pile. I don’t crack the spine open again until noticing that the stack has grown again, and I dig toward the bottom. I usually flip through them, try to remember why I saved it, and then inevitably end up throwing it in the recycling, something I should have done months prior.
Much is the case with those magazine-style ads that Hy-Vee produces. From new cocktail concoctions to Charcuterie boards, I swear I can provide an explanation as to why these are in the pile. I know they’re there - somewhere deep in the pile - yet I stick with the tried and true Malibu (rum) diet (preferably Pepsi) and make a far less fancy and expensive snack for when guests visit.
Much like the Hy-Vee ads, I even save those small inserts that you get in the paper frequently. I mostly save them for recipes, but the outcome is much the same. These, along with single pages I’ve begun tearing out of “Real Simple” in lieu of saving an entire magazine, have created an even bigger disorganization and mess of my pile, if you can imagine.
One could look at my pile and assume I didn’t grow up in the digital age - where virtually everything found within the contents of that stack could be found on the internet.
This behavior is actually odd for me, considering my obsession of constantly picking up things around the house, concerned about things being in their place. I guess I could argue that they do have their place - in my bedroom corner.
If I’m being honest, the moment when I should have truly realized it had gone too far and buckled down and faced the pile is when my mom brought a basket to my house.
“I thought this would be perfect for all your magazines,” she told me, sincerely enthusiastic that she found a half-solution to the messy corner she probably looked at and felt embarrassed for me.
Although she had good intentions, she probably further enabled my pack-rat behavior.
But I do find comfort in now being able to look at it and say it’s organized clutter. “Real Simple” should be proud.