My favorite organizing magazines

In my column a few weeks ago on, I wrote about my favorite organizing and productivity books. A reader responded and asked me if I could write a column about my favorite organizing magazines. I felt a little weird writing about non-Real Simple magazines over there, so I thought I would address the question here on Unclutterer.

Magazines are pesky creatures since they can quickly become clutter. They contain great information, though, so the trick is to process them immediately when they arrive. (Remember, I pull out all of the articles, scan them, and then toss the magazine into the recycling bin.) I subscribe to many magazines for work and these are the ones that repeatedly give me organizing inspiration:

1. Real Simple
More than two million subscribers join me in my love affair with this Time, Inc., publication. The pictures are beautiful, the suggestions practical, and I always learn something from reading it. Under the direction of editor Kristin van Ogtrop the magazine has found its voice and strength.

2. Martha Stewart Living
Martha Stewart is the queen of all things related to the home. She and her staff produce a magazine full of advice that often leaves me in awe. The content ranges from the extremely practical to the truly decadent. Every issue offers inspiration for how to keep your home in tip-top shape.

3. Ready Made
If you’ve never seen this gem of a magazine, you’re missing out on one of the best in the business. Ready Made is all about using what you already own or can easily obtain to create solutions to meet your needs. Without contest, it’s the hipster’s choice in organizing magazines. Published six times a year, it’s also my husband’s favorite on this list.

4. Organize
Organize is the newest member of the organizing magazine world. It has a board of professional organizers who serve as advisers to help guide its content and contribute in other ways to the publication. The fewest advertisements of the four magazines listed here, and, as a result, is a bit more expensive. I’ve found it to be a quality addition to the genre. (UPDATE: Organize is in flux and may not be continuing. Subscription information has been removed from this article as a result.)

The first three magazines listed here have special rates for Unclutterer readers. So, if you’ve been thinking about picking up a subscription to one of these, clicking on the links above should land you a decent deal. I also want to add that we do NOT receive any sort of a kickback if you subscribe to any of these three. If you want to subscribe, that’s cool. If you don’t, that’s cool, too. I just wanted to let you know about the deals.

What magazines inspire you? Are there magazines you wouldn’t necessarily consider home or organizing themed that often have great anti-clutter articles in them? Let us know about your favorites!

62 Comments for “My favorite organizing magazines”

  1. posted by jocelyn on

    It occurred to me that I’ve romanticized my college days when (I thought) everything I owned fit in the hatchback of my ’91 mustang. I realized I actually owned a LOT more than that; it was just at my parents’ house where I didn’t have to think about it.

    But then when I was 22, newly graduated, newly married, and moving far away, I decided I was going to completely clean out my parents’ house of all my stuff -a kind of symbolic cutting of strings.

    I carried it around for three years before finally letting it all go. “Many of us started out in our first home the same way. We have many things from our childhood room, furniture handed down from family, dishes and decorations from our last apartment or college dorm. We try our best to make it all work together. But sooner or later it no longer satisfies us. We feel the urge to create a home environment that reflects who we are as individuals, a couple or as a family. We no longer need things from our childhood bedrooms; we want our homes to be ours, not leftovers from the past. But where do you begin?” (p.75 That Military House…)

    I think this demographic of twenty-somethings could have a whole magazine (Real Simple Apartment?) -like Blueprint, but with focus and relevance* (not just lifestyle porn about being 23 with a six figure income and a stylish pad in some New York city neighborhood I’ll never see):

    Advice on how to let go of your childhood things; how to set up your first home; how to give those hand-me-downs a more pulled together look until you can replace them; having your parents (or older siblings) visit; dealing with the relatives who can’t seem to realize you’re not still 13; managing your friendships when you are all trying to transition to Real Adulthood and some of you are making it faster than others (the strain in The Devil Wears Prada between Anne Hathaway’s character and her friend/boyfriend; this tension reminds me of the tension 6th grade girls who have been friends since kindergarten experience when some of them suddenly become interested in boys and dating and some are not there yet.)


  2. posted by Traci on

    I just tried to subscribe to Organize, and they are no longer accepting subscriptions! How can this be?! I’ve never heard of a publication doing this! I’m disapointed.

  3. posted by jocelyn on

    Oh hey! Someone’s made a little indoor compost thing!

  4. posted by The Blog Planet - 7 Home Organization Tips to Organize Your Closets and Produce More Space on

    [...] My favorite organizing magazines | Unclutterer [...]

  5. posted by gordy on

    Thanks. I saw ReadyMade at a store and was going to buy an issue but it was expensive. Just checked the site you listed and got a subscription for one year for just a bit more than one issue cover price! One reason I stopped subscription to RealSimple was the excesssive amount of advertising. I want to learn how to simplify and minimalize, not consume more.

  6. posted by Divine Bird Jenny on

    As a fiber artist and generally crafty person, I gobble up the Studios special issues of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. They started last year and now there are five issues out. You read vignettes about artisans of all disciplines and see pictures of how they’ve organized their studio spaces. Sometimes you see people who have whole outbuildings dedicated to their work, while others work in the corner of a small guest room or under the stairs. It’s fascinating, and it’s great for people like me who might need to look at lots of different craft storage solutions. The core message is that even in a seemingly cluttered space, there CAN be a system that both keeps things organized AND inspires creativity.

    I just ordered the back issues I was missing, and I have re-read each one several times already. As I move into a new condo (the first place my husband and I have ever owned), the suggestions and ideas are invaluable for us to set up my new space.

  7. posted by Lynn on

    Adding my own thumbs-up to Divine Bird Jenny’s comment on Cloth-Paper-Scissors’s “Studios” issues. Truly inspiring eye-candy for this knitter/quilter/artist.

    I have never made a bad meal from a “Real Simple” recipe; they are good about publishing errata. My two oldest daughters are now subscribers, and I pass my copies on to another daughter.

  8. posted by Kaz in Oz on

    Oh no! Please don’t tell me there are more issues of Studios out there! I’ve spent all morning pouring over the one I found in our newsagent earlier today, but at $18 (australian) I was hoping it was only a one-off! I love it and am still trying to work out how to organise my quilting crafting space without resorting to new furniture and storage bits.

  9. posted by Divine Bird Jenny on

    @Kaz: I might be able to help you; email me and we’ll talk. :)

  10. posted by Bernice Janssen on

    I tried to subscribe to ReadyMade Magazine only to find that they will not accept subscriptions on the link you provided to Canadian addresses. Anything else I can try?

  11. posted by crayoneater on

    don’t subscribe to ReadyMade! I was a loyal subscriber from the 1st issue. it was an inspiring magazine. then, recently, the parent company they were acquired by dumped the entire staff and moved production to Iowa.

    if I had any hope it was destroyed by the crushingly bad Iowa-produced volume. which featured a long editor’s note about how you didn’t have to be located in Berkeley to be a vibrant publication, and then belly-flopped on cement.

    order back-issues on eBay. the only mags available today that seem to come close to ReadMade are Craft and Maker, which are PROHIBITIVELY expensive, and often geared towards someone with an engineering degree and more resources than the average American.

  12. posted by Danielle on

    FYI – Organize magazine is no longer.

Comments are closed.