network as a toy closet

The weather in the midwest has just recently taken a dip into the cold ranges with plenty of wind added in. Walking to my car for lunch this afternoon found me thinking about analogy for how networks are planned and built.
Think of a child’s toy closet. At some point, the closet does not have much in it, maybe just whatever the parent puts in there, most likely some child-related paraphenelia like cribs, strollers, and other things not very interesting to children but necessary for initial childcare. But as the child grows up and time moves on, things are acquired and put away. Maybe some new toy franchise comes along and over the course of 2 years the child builds up a nice collection of toys which then get shoved into the closet wherever they can fit. One weekend a television ad book-ended by a favorite cartoon prompts a new impulse purchase later that day for some rather unwieldy toy aircraft that gets pushed into the closet as well. Perhaps a series of books and shoes get piled in there. No child truly likes shoes and clothes, so they tend to get thrown in with even less regard then normal, falling on the floor of the closet or across various toys.
This slow building of toys and items fitted into various nooks and crannies and sometimes just plain thrown in eventually make finding the good toys a little more difficult. In fact, some toys may end up forgotten about for years, sitting in a dark corner along with a few unwanted guests: shells of crickets and other insects. And when a wanted toy is needed, rummaging through the mess to pull it out while hoping the mountain of everything else doesn’t topple out on top of it can be a harrowing experience. And we all know that the subsequent shifting of items will mean placing it back in the closet later will find it in a new place tomorrow. If other junk does fall out, chances are it is all just pushed on back inside in whatever fashion it can fit.
This may eventually mean that friends who stay the night can get away with snatching a toy without anyone knowing it. Or may perhaps wreak havoc with pulling our precariously perched parcels only to topple mounds of others.
And what about those toys received over Christmas and birthdays that are sometimes unwanted and unasked for. The useless junk that accumulates due to what other people thought you might make use of, or trendy toys from years past.
Ask any parent how the image of a child’s toy closet left uncleaned for 4 years makes them feel.
The only way to combat the closet trash mess is with regular cleaning. Take everything out, and put it all back while culling the unwanted.
Networks are similar. Over time, they can become completely unwieldy entities with lost applications lingering in dark corners, unwanted guests never detected, a mish-mash of interconnected parts that depend on each other to avoid falling over into a mess when in fact each can stand on their own if but for a little bit of planning. And how can you truly plan for the future when there is no clue on what the next hot toy will be, or the next ad that is seen on television with that inpulse “must have this now” item?