Magazine clutter … you’ve finally met your match.
I said I would try to find ways to clean up the clutter in our homes. I finally got around to a project that has been in the making for years – and I mean years! Magazine clutter. An evil and common culprit of dust and junk in our homes.
I’ve collected many magazines over the years. I don’t really anymore, but I used to pick them up at the grocery all of the time. I’d pick up 2 or 3 while on business trips sitting in the airport. I’d pick one up just because it was the weekend. I didn’t really need a reason. And it was a manageable purchase – something special – even when I didn’t have much money for something special. That never amounted to much magazine clutter.
My career began as a magazine editor, and I loved it. I loved to look at the different layouts, headline treatments, etc., and make a mental note that I should try that someday. Secondly, I loved being inspired by all of the wonderful ideas and beautiful colors that seem to put me in the right mood for that season or holiday. Not to mention all of the tips and tricks for keeping a nice home and at least appearing organized made me feel empowered. This was not an addiction! But, it did get me to a moderate level of magazine clutter.
Since then I’ve had several subscriptions to various magazines that have changed over the years based on my interests. And, yes, that led me to a pretty severe case of magazine clutter. They all have brought me a little joy and inspired me in different ways. And while I sit there loving my latest addition, the piles of the old just sit stuffed in many places throughout the house where they will never be looked at again.
Well, that was my old way.
I decided that in my effort to simplify my life, I needed a way to get rid of the magazine clutter. I sat staring at 2 shelves that were packed with magazines dating back to the early 90s. I never picked them up again once I read them. I kidded myself that I would return to those great Christmas cookie recipes from Martha Stewart. I flat out lied when I told myself I would pick up that Parents magazine that had the brilliant solution for kids back talking their parents. And, even though I really believed I would keep that Real Simple that had all of the stain-removing advice I would ever need and refer to it often, I don’t even remember which one it is now – but it was good!
So, I took all of the magazines off of the shelves and dumped them next to the couch. I spent the next couple of nights thumbing through many of them and tearing out pictures for the girls to do projects with.
Then, I did the craziest thing: I was honest with myself. I was never going to look at the 1997 issue of Southern Living for decorating tips. The painting techniques magazine was not going to be opened. And I have so many dinner recipes, there’s no way I’m going to dig around to find that one I had really wanted to try back in 2001.
Next, I quietly dumped every one of those magazines in a garbage bag, and when I was finished I stood back, studied the 2 cleared shelves and never felt more satisfaction. Finally, the magazine clutter was gone! It was junk and I knew in my heart I would never look at it again.
I cleared 2 magazine holders, 2 more shelves, a drawer and several piles.
Then I kept a small pile of the most recent magazines. I thumbed through those one night looking for tips, ideas, recipes, etc., that I really do want to refer to. I tore them out and put them in a folder or in my recipe box so I could actually use them. Then, I threw away the magazine. Sometimes an entire magazine had just 1 recipe in it, and now it was stored with my other recipes and taking up a lot less space. (This will be especially true when I get them entered into my recipe program on my computer!)
I have one simple basket next to the chair I always sit in. It holds just a few magazines from the last couple of months. The kids and company like to look at them, too! But after a couple of months, it’s in the trash they go! You also can donate the magazines to schools, churches, scouts and other children’s organizations. You also can ask if your local senior center, community center or doctor’s office would like them if they are recent.
There are many ways you could file important articles and interesting tips and ideas without having to keep the magazine clutter. You can put them in a file, write them in a notebook, store them in 1 box, type them in the computer (better yet!) and get rid of the large parts that take so much room away from your living space – and your living.
How have you taken care of your magazine clutter yet? Would love to hear your ideas.