Ask Unclutterer: Magazine clutter

Reader Nia submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

My husband and I are both not great at keeping clutter under control, but I am the worse of the two of us. I am especially guilty of magazine clutter. Why am I unable to throw away magazines? It’s seriously painful for me to get rid of them. The only plausible explanation I’ve come up with is that the magazine has done such a good job marketing themselves (all of them have, mind you) that it embodies a lifestyle and not just a pack of paper. By seeing that magazine, I feel like I’m living the lifestyle. I know it sounds silly, but I think this is the truth. Anyway, I don’t want to trash all my magazines, but I need to be able to part with a good chunk of them. Any advice for a magazine hoarder?

I have this problem with Dwell and Atomic Ranch. I don’t know why, but recycling them is difficult for me — even knowing that the majority of their content is available for free online a couple weeks after the magazine hits newsstands. They definitely promote a lifestyle, as much as eye candy and design inspiration.

My way to process magazines has actually changed a little bit in the past year, so I’ll walk you through the process. Also, be sure to check the comments to read how other people also work to keep their magazine clutter under control.

When a magazine or catalog comes to the house, I write its arrival date in large print on the cover with a black Sharpie. If you plan to donate your magazines to a doctor’s office or nursing home after you read them, go ahead and mark out your name and address at this point, too.

I then put the magazine or catalog straight into the magazine holder. If the previous month’s issue is still in the holder, I’ll immediately remove it from the holder and toss it into the recycling bin or donation pile. If I haven’t processed the issue in a month, I’m not going to get to it.

Each morning when I get my cup of coffee, I’ll grab a magazine out of the holder to peruse while I sit and sip on my caffeinated miracle juice. Anything that I might want to read again or sparks my interest, I’ll crease down the top page corner.

On Saturday mornings while my son is taking his nap, I’ll scan the pages with the creased corners and save them as PDFs to my computer’s hard drive. Some of the articles or images I clip are saved to folders for work inspiration, home decor ideas, trips I might one day want to take, etc. I use DEVONthink for my scanned document management. My scanner has optical character recognition (OCR), so any text in the articles is also searchable. (I use Google Desktop for an improved hard drive search.)

If you plan to donate your magazines or catalogs to a group instead of recycle them, you’ll want to use a flatbed scanner instead of a scanner that requires you to rip the pages out to feed through the machine. If you don’t have a scanner, you can wait until the content appears online (usually the first day of the month) and then create a bookmark of the article online and save it to a folder by type (work inspiration, home decor ideas). This is also a good idea if you have limited hard drive space. An add-on like Scrapbook for Firefox allows you to save annotated notes on the bookmarked web pages.

No matter what method you use, you need to get in the habit of never having a magazine or catalog in your home that is more than a month old. It will be difficult in the beginning, but once you see that you can access the information again, your mild anxiety will likely fade.

Thank you, Nia, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column. Good luck!

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

45 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Magazine clutter”

  1. posted by Tom "The Practical Nerd" on

    I do the same thing, but I then put those PDFs into my Evernote account, so I can access the articles anywhere I want, and tag them for better organization!

  2. posted by sara on

    One thing I feel is luxurious is to have a (small!) shelf of magazines in my guest room. I love being a guest and having some interesting reading available to peruse. So if there’s an issue of magazine that seems to have so much good content that I’d be ripping most if it out for my reference file, I’ll send it to the limited shelf in the guest room. Then I have a little more time before I part

    Another idea is to find someone who is sick or recovering in bed who might enjoy a big stack of magazines. When I was recovering from surgery it was wonderful to have some big boxes of easy reading that I had lots of time to read.

    Great suggestion about scanning the articles, one of these days you just might sell me on one of those fancy pants scanners…

  3. posted by Greg on

    We are down to two, my runner’s world and our church magazines. I have finally come to the conclusion if I don’t read my RW this month, it just isn’t going to happen. So out it goes when the new one arrives. We save a couple two or three years worth of our church magazines for reference. When the magazine holder gets full I toss about a years worth.

    Years ago a friend gave us a subscription to National Geographic. I had seen people with huge collections of these beautiful magazines. I did not want to be one of them! He gave us the subscription for a few years. My wife and I later compromised to keep the maps only…!

  4. posted by Melissa on

    Another idea is, find your local art teacher, and see if they can use the magazines for collage. Keep in mind the content of the magazines, though. The teacher can then edit out unwanted content or recycle.

  5. posted by Sassy on

    I’m so impressed with the strong approaches everyone seems to take regarding their magazines. I have a basket on the coffee table where I throw any that I think I might want to read and when it gets full, I grab stack and rip out articles to read or pictures to keep (I’m a decorating magazine junky). I have a large IKEA cardboard box that I throw the picture pages in — when it gets close to full, I pour a glass of wine and sit down to see if those pictures still appeal to me. There are also a few magazines that I know that my sister the art teacher would like and those go in the large plastic container of “stuff” that will get returned to her next time I drive out her way. I would love to be the one scanning everything but it’s not going to happen for quite awhile — if ever — so this is my next best approach.

  6. posted by Rebecca on

    My best solution for magazine clutter was to eliminate most of my subscriptions. Now I mostly go for magazine content only when I have time for it, either by going on line or by buying single issues at the grocery store. For me, most of my monthly magazines were a burden, an obligation, a guilt factor (I can’t get rid of this until I read it). I personally am down to just two subscriptions now, and one is quarterly not monthly.

  7. posted by Divine Bird Jenny on

    The first step for me was to cut down on the subscriptions we had. We got rid of all our video game mags, since that’s a field where most of the news is online WAY before it hits the stands. The one magazine did keep happens to have an online-only version that costs less than the paper subscription, so we switched to that. He actually likes it more, since it’s easier to find older articles and features than it was to flip through dozens of issues. I went through my knitting and decorating magazine subscriptions and cut it down to two that I definitely always used for reference, with the understanding that it was okay for me to buy individual issues that really appealed to me. And when I buy them, I consider them as carefully as though I am buying a hardcover book. The subs I kept are quarterly, so I only get 8 issues between them instead of the 24 I’d have with monthlies.

    After culling the number of issues that come into my home, I set up a section of shelves in my studio room that are JUST for my subscriptions. I keep many issues for reference, and when the collection starts to fill the shelf, I go through back issues to see what I really need. One of my magazines has a high return on back issues, so I will often sell them on Ebay or Etsy. (Using Etsy is okay in this case, since the magazines count as craft supplies in the way a book of patterns does.)

    Since doing all of the above, our magazine collection seems to have gone way down. We know which issues we have, why we have them, and where to find them.

  8. posted by chacha1 on

    I’m with Rebecca – the only way to really overcome the impulse to “save” magazines was to not have the things come in the house at all. I was getting several architecture, design and craft mags at one time, and those were the worst in terms of wanting to save pretty pictures and inspiring articles – had to stop getting them.

    But I still get The Week, Yoga Journal, Sunset, IDEA Fitness Journal, the semi-monthlies American Fitness, Conservancy, and American Dancer. Almost always pull at least one article from Yoga Journal, the IDEA journals are all read and discarded except the ones with continuing-ed features, and the rest get tossed immediately after reading.

    For inspiration/aspiration, I really like to go to a local bookstore that specializes in architecture, art, craft, and design. I can browse in there for a loooong time. After going through a phase when if I wanted a book I bought it, I am now very selective … the permanent collection has become almost manageable. Magazines simply aren’t permanent.

  9. posted by Keri on

    If you need a good reason to get rid of magazines, check out anysoldier.com, where there are numerous requests for magazines, books, etc. Deployed servicemembers don’t get much by way of current affairs or entertainment. They LOVE to get magazines, even if they are old. So, do something good for those who willingly serve on our behalf and send those babies overseas!

  10. posted by Rebecca L on

    Another way to cut back is to read magazines at the library. I bring a notepad & pen for any information I want to retain or make a few photocopies.

  11. posted by Katie on

    I keep a magazine basket by the couch. I like to save a few back issues of my local magazine eg “Best Restaurants” to have on hand for making dinner plans. I keep a few back issues of Real Simple for future houseguests to have something to read. The weekly news magazine gets replaced every week. As soon as the basket starts to get too full, I know to toss a few to make room for the new ones. That’s it. The basket holds ~ 10 magazines. Nobody has time to read more than 10 magazines, and I have a small apartment. This way, the clutter stays contained. I don’t have time to scan, sort, and file magazines. I do keep an “Idea” folder in my gmail account. Once in a blue moon if something seems great I might look for the online link and/ or email myself the key details.

  12. posted by Miss Margaret Picky on

    I cut off (or Sharpie over) my address as soon as the magazine comes into my apartment. Then as soon as I finish the magazine I pass it on to a friend or leave it in the laundry room in my building next time I do the wash. I never have more than three magazines in my apartment at one time.

    The OP was really asking about the psychological aspects of magazine hoarding. I hoarded some magazines for decades in boxes, and eventually there were eight of them. Finally I started going through and re-reading them. I was surprised at how little was still even mildly interesting. After a while I was just flipping quickly through,. I tore out the articles I wanted to keep and filed them.

    A couple of years later I went through those folders with the saved articles and threw all but a handful away. I also went through all the recipes I had torn out of newspapers and magazines over thirty + years and found that if I hadn’t used a recipe within a couple of weeks of tearing it out, I never had. Most of those were now uninteresting and I only saved a handful of those as well.

    The lesson is that you don’t really want the content of the magazines, you just think you do at the time. Saying, “Oh, this is neat!” should not translate into keeping it forever. They are periodicals for entertainment, disposable like newspapers. If you ever really needed something out of an old magazine, chances are it is already in the magazine’s online archives or will be in the future; barring that, some library somewhere has it. For instance, all those many decades of Life magazine? Google Books has them:

    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    So maybe by going through some old magazines you will see you don’t really want to keep them and then can get in the habit of passing them along to someone else before they get stale!

  13. posted by Jag on

    If I haven’t read the magazine after a month has passed, I take it with me to work and I leave it in the john. I feel better about getting rid of it if I think somebody else can get some use out of it.

  14. posted by Anne on

    To totally unclutter – only get subscriptions that are available electronically (Zinio or similar). Only works if you’re comfortable reading on screen, admittedly …

  15. posted by Sooz on

    @Keri, thanks for the info on anysoldier.com, which I didn’t know existed until I read your post.

  16. posted by DJ on

    I love the idea of making a PDF of the articles I want to keep. What an elegant, streamlined solution!

    Currently, I rip out any recipes I want to keep and put them into my recipe binder. But I keep the magazines because I don’t have any other binders of articles.

    I store them all by month in magazine holders. But the PDF idea is wonderful. I could clear up two shelves on my book shelf!

  17. posted by Alison on

    I get many, many magazines and love my old media! That said, after the new issues arrive, I bring the old ones to my gym and leave them in the baskets in the main “cardio theater” (the spot with the bikes, treadmills, etc.). They are always snapped up by exercisers looking for reading material on the cardio equipment.

  18. posted by Karen on

    I haven’t received magazines in eons. I used to have a subscription to Parents magazine, for some odd reasion (I didn’t pay for it, I think it was a gift subscription that kept arriving and finding me as I moved–creepy!). Eventually I realized that the magazine was serving a couple of purposes: 1) Rehashing information from previous months, 2) Advertising products I didn’t really need, 3) Telling me I was doing everything wrong. So I cancelled it.

    Now if I read a magazine, it’s usually in a doctor’s office or sometimes at the library while I wait for story time to finish up. And I usually find it’s the same experience–I finish reading feeling a) like I need to go buy something, or b) like I’m not doing enough with my life. Who needs that? I’d rather read a book, quite honestly.

    Getting rid of magazines has eliminated physical and mental clutter from my life.

  19. posted by infmom on

    My husband seems constitutionally unable to give up a magazine until he’s “looked at it.” Since he’s busy, travels a lot, and records a lot of TV shows to watch in the evenings, this means that magazines pile up around his chair for what seems like forever. He even started stacking them up on a tray table next to his chair.

    When we moved from our townhouse into this house, we had, no kidding, three two-foot stacks of magazines that he adamantly refused to dispose of because he hadn’t looked at them yet. I solved that problem by throwing them in the recycle bin. He never missed them.

    Once a magazine is read, it goes into a bag for donation to the medical center waiting room–but getting it into the bag is the biggest problem!

    When I read a magazine, if I find an article that looks like a keeper, I put a Post-It flag on the page and set the magazine aside on a shelf. Once a month I go through all the marked magazines and re-read what I’ve marked. If the article still seems worth keeping I tear it out and put it in a file (computer, gardening, home maintenance, etc) for future reference. (Not a computer file, I’m not to that point yet.)

    I want my husband to go through those piles on a regular basis and discard the really old stuff (I just looked and there are some technical periodicals in his stack that have November dates, ye gods) but he can’t do it. I’m wondering if I should just do the triage myself. I have good reason to believe he won’t notice.

  20. posted by Vanessa H. on

    I leave mine at the gym. Whenever I go back next, they’re always gone. It feels better than just throwing them in the recycling bin, because someone is using them.

  21. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    OMG! The only magazines *I* keep are Dwell and Consumer Reports. CR charges (or used to) for online access, and I may need to buy some appliance or other. Dwell, though, seems like a timeless reference book to me, somehow!

    I pass on every magazine after I read it to my dad, who trades them with his various friends…

  22. posted by Stefanie on

    I love Karen’s comment–I feel the same way about a bunch of tv shows that I’ve recently stopped watching because of how I felt after watching them (mostly reality tv.) If something doesn’t improve your life or your mood or your outlook or teach you something or add something to your life in some way–what’s the point? I keep buying mags that have big titles on the cover about organizing…and it goes in the stack with the rest. There is so much more to access online. I sometimes put a stack of mags in a box in my driveway (weather permitting) with a “FREE” sign on it and they are gone within a short time (only works on a weekend when people are driving through the neighborhood garage-saling.)

  23. posted by Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer on

    OMG. Nia’s post could have been from me. I LOVE my magazines and catalogues, I think they do represent the different homes I would have if I had multiple houses like a movie star. I like to tear pages out for reference in case I redecorate some day. However, since I am trying to live simple, the collection of clippings turns into another folder I eventually have to purge. But purging means discarding some and RETAINING some so it doesn’t hurt too bad. I think just realizing that someone else feels that way makes me feel better. I think I can actually turn lose a little easier now that I know there is a group of us out there giving away our little loved magazines for the good of our home, our family and if we really share, our country. (ok, maybe that went a little too far.)

  24. posted by Dominic Ali on

    As a serious magazine junkie, I’ve successfully pared down my collection over the years. Here are a couple of things I’ve done to conquer my magazine clutter:

    • I use the library to scan through magazines I wouldn’t normally buy, dipping in and out of the articles. Since I haven’t bought them, I don’t feel compelled to read the entire magazine or keep them around because I paid so much for them. For some reason, if I pay $20 for a copy of the Harvard Business Review, I feel an irrational need to keep it around because I’ve paid so much for it. (Hey, I said it was irrational!)

    • SECRET TIP: I use my library card to access electronic databases on the library’s website that often have the full articles in downloadable PDF form.

    • For articles I need to keep, I’ll rip them out of the magazine and stash them in a folder in my filing cabinet. Then I’ll recycle the rest of the magazine. Once the file folder of articles gets too big for comfort, I’ll scan the articles I’ve saved and store them as PDFs or JPEGS for easy reference. (This way if I need another hard copy, I can simply print it out.)

    • Once I read a magazine and there’s no need to keep it around for reference, I’ll usually give it away to someone who can use the information. I don’t feel bad about giving away back issues either, because the content is usually still useful. (My ancient back issues of Guitar Player magazine, for example, still have lots of good advice on how to play guitar. I recently gave away a 20-year back issue to a young guitar player, and he couldn’t get over how ugly the guitars looked in those days!)

    • If a magazine is still current by the time I’ve read it, I’ll simply donate it to the library. There’s no reason why they can’t put an extra copy in circulation, right? Once it’s outdated, the library can even sell it for loose change and use the money to take out new subscriptions. (In this scenario, everybody wins-especially readers.)

    • When I was at the height of collecting magazines, I’d sometimes buy classic issues off eBay. If you’re looking to get rid of old mags that people in a certain industry would find useful, such as TV and film stylists working on period movies, eBay is a good way to go. (Old issues of Vogue are of particular interest for hairdressers and fashion designers. So are department store catalogs from the 1970s.) Most major cities also have used bookstores that specialize in old back issues such as LIFE magazine from the 1940s or Esquires from the 1960s.

    By the way, I find it interesting that so many Unclutterer visitors are fans of DWELL magazine. It’s a superb magazine, and I once wrote for it. It’s interesting to see the interest in Apple’s iPad for the magazine industry, but there’s still something about the tactile feeling I get from a printed copy that’s difficult to replace.

    Anyway, I hope this info helps other magazine junkies out there!

  25. posted by heather on

    you can’t possibly be interested in every single bit of print or pictures in each magazine, so the articles or pictures that you DO like, scan them, and what I do, is I bring the magazines to work for the other ladies to read, after a couple of months of being read and re-read, we shred all of them. Our company participates in a Shred/Recycling program and this way, several people have gotten use of my magazine, I’ve kept the info I want to preserve for later use, and then the items are recycled! Or take them to your doctor’s, dentist’s, bank, library, school, etc etc etc. Just rememer to remove your address label if the mag is delivered to you. Such an easy way to keep the material spread around and then recycled properly. I’m always amazed at people who can’t get rid of magazines. I never keep more than the current month’s issue at one time.

  26. posted by heather on

    my bad, i didn’t read the entire article before posting my comment and it turns out I do exactly what Unclutterer recommends! lol

  27. posted by Marc on

    Another option to save a magazine article or any other online content is to print it to Adobe PDF, save to your desktop, then drag into your information manager (I too use DevonThink Pro Office). This eliminates any need for paper, scanning or shredding. Plus, saving to Adobe PDF means the document is already OCR’d for future searching. Of course, this solution assumes the content is available online, but it’s worked well for me.

  28. posted by Melissa on

    I travel a lot (for work) with my magazines (including occasional long flights), so a few months of them may pile up before I have the chance to read them.

    At least they used to.

    I’ve now adopted the habit of slicing the spine off of a magazine almost as soon as it comes into the house and dropping the whole batch into my ScanSnap. I have my laptop with me almost anywhere I go, and it weighs a lot less than the small stack of magazines I used to get on the plane with.

    Some subscriptions (Better Homes and Gardens, Organic Gardening, and others) can be accessed electronically for free via Coverleaf if you have a print subscription, and they’ve recently added PDF downloads for many issues (allowing me to skip the scanning step altogether).

    I also have started to drop my print subscriptions in favor of completely digital subs from Coverleaf and Zinio.

  29. posted by DJ on

    I guess for me magazines are not a problem–I have two subscriptions: Canadian House and Home; and, Style at Home. I love both and read both over and over and over. There are some issues that are seasonal and particularly good (Christmas issues, for example, which I pull out yearly). The others get passed on or tossed after about a year, (they only fill one magazine file, maybe 2, on my bookshelf)Then there are some photos which are particularly inspiring and after about a year I tear those out and put them in a hanging file folder. Every few months I pull out the folder and browse. Some pages do not survive the second look, and get tossed. But at any given point I never have more than two magazine files which match the others in my bookshelves, plus one regular file. They bring me so much pleasure and I read them over and over for particular ideas that they are absolutely worth the 6 inches of shelf space. In exchange, we choose to not have a tv, which would take up a lot more space and bring a lot less pleasure.

    re: scanning–I used to do that, but found I’d rather have a few pages organised in a binder or file than digitally stored. I read a lot online, but nothing beats being propped up on pillows Saturday morning with a fresh, fragrant coffee, the DH reading his Spiegel, the cat curled up, and me scrutinizing pictures and analyzing them as I concentrate on learning another thing from this or that photo (I never keep text–often boring and pretentious, whereas the photos are marvelous)

  30. posted by Kate on

    Does the Scansnap scan magazine pages well with an autofeeder? I have a different scanner and it struggles with lighter weights of paper.

    Any suggestions for a great scanner?

  31. posted by DawnH on

    Love Dwell, This Old House and Martha Stewart Living. Absolutely zero to do with my real life but they give me so much pleasure. Different people at work enjoy my recycling different magazines through them. When they’re done, they go into the lobby of our busy lobby where they quietly disappear with strangers to “live another day”. I’m not savvy enough to do the scanning and finding it later stuff, but I do try to keep very little out of an issue.

  32. posted by Shelley on

    I used to be horrible about magazine clutter, not that I’m great now, but it’s improving! I’ve cut back to only reading RealSimple on a regular basis. There is a bookmark in the front of it with blank lines (it would be simple to make your own though). I now read the magazine with a pen in hand and if there is anything I want to remember like a website or book title I write it down on the bookmark as I’m reading it. If there is a recipe or very useful artcile I tear it out then and sort it into a binder with a three hole punch and dividers by topic. By the time I get to the back cover there is nothing useful left in it so I’m not sad to see it go. I’m left with a binder of great info and a small bookmark!

  33. posted by Just Breathe on

    I have recently purged a lot of newer and “antique” magazines. Some of them were the ones that apparently sell on eBay for up to $10 per issue plus shipping. I asked myself what were the odds that I would actually take the time to do that – and did I really want to onesie and twosie getting rid of them? The truth hurt, but was no to both. I wanted them gone quickly.

    I made sure to either peel off the address labels or cut around them. Then, we loaded them up and dropped them off at laundromats. The patrons inside were ecstatic to see them arrive, as the ones already there were very worn. When I went back to deliver another load a couple of weeks later, many of the ones I had left had already gone to new homes.

  34. posted by Rebecca on

    As an attorney, I have found that my brain is now trained to process information in bite-sized pieces. I LOVE MAGAZINES. Though I struggle with clutter in many areas of my life, this is not one of them. I have two places where magazines are allowed to live: the bathroom (in a silver tub) and in a small basket under our coffee table. I keep my subscriptions in the basket, and specially-purchased issues I buy specially go in the bathroom (for example, I indulge in a French-language magazine about once a year). Whenever they exceed their allotted space, I purge them. I have different guidelines for each. The scripts get recycled if they are more than 3 months old, and the special purchases get tossed when I’ve read everything OR they are no longer interesting to me, whichever happens first.

  35. posted by Laura on

    For a while, I had this problem too. My first plan of attack was to only keep one year’s worth of magazines. Then, I realized that I didn’t really want the magazines but certain information inside. So, I created two binders. One became a cookbook full of recipes I would like to try and the other became a reference binder full of information I wanted. After cutting out what I wanted, I threw them away. This way, the magazines suit my purpose and I don’t have to rifle through all of them before I find what I am looking for.

    As an aside note, this is not an easy task. I happen to enjoy organizing a lot, but it still took me most of my winter break to complete. However, I am very pleased with the result.

  36. posted by Mimi on

    Really not much point to scan, file and staple articles. If you are not willing to write down the “nugget” in an idea notebook you will not take the time to look for some article which will no doubt be dated when found.

    I kept computer magazines when they first came out. When I finally went through them, guess what was there. DOS mag, Word Perfect DOS – talk about worthless…. I used some of what was in the mags when I first got them and then saved for “someday” ……

    Gave up saving recepies 40 years ago…. there are plenty out there if I want something new.

    So why am I saving magazines? I have found that I will read 3 articles in a magazine and that there are two more I “want” to read but never get to…..so I now read three articles and put the magazine in the “hostpital” box and leave it…… have let National Geographical expire… I have back issues for 40 years and my retirement….

    Just hate to think I may have wasted the money when really I am wasting the time and space….go figure.

  37. posted by Klyla on

    I keep a magazine-shaped basket in our guest bath and put the 2 or 3 subscriptions we receive in there for light reading while “sitting”. The half-sized magazines (think “Reader’s Digest”) go in a shoebox-shaped container in the master bath for the same purpose.

    I usually manage to get through the mags this way in small doses. When the baskets are full, I make myself sort out the older ones to recycle or give to friends, except hubby’s “Handyman” mags we stack in his office for a year or two then they go too (he’s a professional handyman).

    As most have mentioned, don’t oversubscribe! The internet will give you more than enough to read & see on any subject! :)

  38. posted by Jay on

    Figure out which bothers you less: the magazine clutter or throwing the magazines away.

    Do that one.

  39. posted by Daniel Ho on

    Melissa, thanks for the heads up on the ScanSnap, I didn’t realize that form feed duplex color scanners even existed. I’m almost afraid to ask the price.

    Ideally, if the magazines I had were available on PDF or jpeg, I could easily let the paper copy go.

  40. posted by Magchunk on

    Oh dear, I am a terrible magazine junkie! It is my clutter weakness.

    When we moved 6 months ago I had saved up seven YEARS worth of Vogue magazines. I had moved with most of them once and was not going to make that mistake again. Something about Vogue makes me unable to tear pages, so I simply recycled or sold most of them as they were in mint condition. I did allow myself one box for the truly spectacular issues that remind me of my fashion-obsessed teen years. Someday I may get up the courage to toss those as well, since they are still in that box!

    I no longer subscribe to Vogue (too dangerous) and I cancelled Real Simple too – both because I just wasn’t excited to read them when they arrived. Domino folded, so I no longer get that one. But I still get (brace yourselves, minimalists): Sunset, Martha Stewart Living, Glamour, Lucky, House Beautiful, Country Living, and Better Homes and Gardens. And I buy InStyle at the newstand (ok, and sometimes Seattle Magazine). I let myself keep the Sunsets (local information) and Martha Stewart Living (I’m a little Martha obsessed). Sometimes a really amazing Country Living. When they stack up too high (30?) it’s time to review.

    I never let more than two months of all of those stack up before I institute “Tear Time” where I grab a glass of wine and rip pages out. If an article looks interesting, I read it. If I want to keep a picture or diy project, it gets torn. Usually the fashion magazines only go through this process once. Sometimes the interiors take two times :)

    Tear sheets get filed into three binders in page protectors: fashion, interiors (divided by room), and recipes. As a design blogger, nothing beats writers block like a flip through a hundred inspiring images. When new images are added, I weed through the old. Favorites or blog-bound images are scanned onto my computer.

    It’s definitely not a minimalist solution, or even very uncluttered, but it is progress for me in my weakest point!

  41. posted by Sarah on

    Don’t tell the people doing layout for Real Simple, but the first flip through any magazine I tear out any page with ads on both sides.

  42. posted by Sarah on

    Here’s my solution. I subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens because I love the decorating ideas. I don’t own my own home (yet). So, I created a “dream binder” – I tear out home designs/kitchens/decorating ideas I like and put them in laminated sleeves in a binder. I’m very selective about what I put in the binder – I have to LOVE IT. Every once in a while, I flip through it and dream about my future home, and it motivates me to save for it. I’d suggest you might try the same thing with Dwell – find a “purpose” for saving select articles, organize it in a binder, and really use it for inspiration – be it your re-model, next trip to ikea, etc. Make “the lifestyle” part of YOUR LIFESTYLE.

  43. posted by Hollene on

    While I did take the suggestions to heart, I’m a magazinaholic and will have to work hard to implement any of it.

    I DID, however, discover a new one I need to subscribe to — I’d never even HEARD of Atomic Ranch, how is that possible?!? Thanks for the tip!

  44. posted by mydivabydesign on

    I just threw out a three foot stack of magazines. I thought I would feel bad, but I don’t. I felt worse looking at the stack and wondering when i would ever get around to saving the articles i wanted. In the end, I didn’t save any and that’s ok!

  45. posted by Doreen Pendgracs on

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has trouble throwing away magazines. As a mag writer, it always hurts a bit to toss them. I give away to homes for the disadvantaged whenever possible.

    Thanks for the idea about creating links for articles I want to save.

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