So far, in organizing our paper clutter we have gathered all our important papers and put them together in an easy to access binder. Today, we are going to deal with something a little less important, but still manages to clutter up our homes – magazines and catalogs.
The easiest way to purge your home of magazines is to go digital and cancel your paper subscriptions. Many magazines now come with digital versions that you can download each month for the same cost as your normal paper subscription (if not cheaper).
However, if you are like me, you might prefer the paper copy. I am a little old-fashioned and I like to be able to thumb through the pages. To me, it just isn’t the same to look at magazines on an e-reader.
How to Purge and Organize Magazines
The first thing you want to do is track down all the magazines and catalogs and place them into one big pile. (Set aside the catalogs for right now.)
Sort all your magazines by title, placing like with like. Recycle any magazines you know you will not ever read. If it is a subscription you know you are no longer interested in, take the time, right now, to cancel your subscription. (Yes, you may lose a little money, but it is worth it in the long run for your peace of mind and not allowing clutter back into your home.)
The only magazine I keep I keep in it’s entirety when finished reading is Martha Stewart Living magazine. It has too many great articles for me to pull out the ones I want to keep. However, for all other magazines, as I am reading them, I pull out any recipes or articles that I want to keep and file them. (Later in the series, I will be sharing both how to create a recipe binder and magazine binder with you.) You could also access many of the articles online and save them with Pinterest or your bookmarking tool.
Next, for each pile of magazines you would like to keep, sort each pile by date with the newest magazines on the bottom and the oldest on top. Recycle any magazines over two months old. If you haven’t read them yet, you probably never will.
If you simply cannot bear to part with your older magazines, place them in a bag or box. Put a date on the outside of which you think you will reasonably be able to get through them. Once the date comes, any magazine you haven’t read goes right to the recycling! Yes, this can be painful since you spent money on each magazine. However, it is also a powerful reminder of how much time you have in your life at this stage to do a leisure activity such as reading magazines.
Now you need to find a place to store current magazines. Choose a convenient place near where you will actually read them. This may be a basket by the couch, in the bathroom where you take a bath each night, or like me, in my nightstand next to my bed.
I am currently down to 4 magazine subscriptions.This gives me one week to read each magazine per month. I know I don’t have time to read any more than that (even though I would like to). If I decide I want a new subscription, then I either have to wait for a subscription to be finished or I need to cancel one.
How to Purge and Organize Catalogs
As for catalogs, we are going to do a similar process as we did for magazines. Sort all of your catalogs into piles categorized by stores. Only keep the current issue. All the rest need to be recycled.
If there are catalogs in your pile you are no longer interested in (or never signed up for in the first place), remove yourself from the mailing list. You can often go directly to the website of the store you want to be removed from. You can also sign up for catalogchoice.org. You can easily unsubscribe from hundreds of catalogs on this one site. Save the catalogs you want to unsubscribe from so you have access to customer numbers or tracking numbers. After you have unsubscribed, recycle them.
Place all your catalogs in one location. This could be in the same place you store your magazines, or some place else that makes sense. We have a basket I purchased from Pick Your Plum, hanging on the wall in our bathroom for all catalogs.
When the new issue comes in, I immediately put it in the basket and pull out the older issue to be recycled. To cut down on clutter, you can also flip through the catalog and recycle it right away. However, if you often find yourself just tossing the catalog, think about unsubscribing. Most of the information found in catalogs can easily be found online on the company’s website.
Checklist for organizing magazines and catalogs:
- Gather all magazines or catalogs.
- Sort them into piles by title.
- Recycle all but the most current issues.
- Unsubscribe from any you are no longer interested in and/or go digital where you can.
- Store them in a convenient location where you are likely to read them.
- Purge old issues immediately as new issues come in the mail.
How do you store magazines and catalogs?