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 Pete on

    It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve bought a magazine. The internet is full of free information, and it doesn’t result in clutter. Internet wins.

  2. posted by MissM on

    I subscribed to Ready Made, thanks for the discount link! I wanted to let others know that my ad blocker prevented the subscribe button from showing up. Disabling it on the page allowed me to see the button. Just a heads up for others. Love the blog!

  3. posted by Shanel Yang on

    Oprah’s magazine also has great ideas for simplifying life, especially when it comes to health and fitness. : )

  4. posted by Trish on

    Like Pete, I look to the Internet now instead of print. Except for knitting magazines, and that’s not clutter, that’s stash!

  5. posted by Catherine on

    I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t like “Real Simple”. I WANT to like it. I love the concept. But it’s just too much paper. There is an ad on every other page in the magazine. Yes, literally. I have checked. It’s almost offensive how many ads there are and how much wasted paper there is in the mag. I tried a year’s subscription and canceled after the year.

    I now rely exclusively on websites for organizing inspiration. A big clutter problem for me is paper, and magazines only add to it. We do subscribe to a few still: Bon Appetit, Runners World and Bicycle magazine. The latter two remain on our subscription list mostly to keep me motivated at least once a month when they come in!

  6. posted by amber on

    i just subscribed to Organize…and i can’t wait for the first issue to arrive (as well as all the back issues that i missed). whoohoo!

  7. posted by Mel G on

    I have a simple solution for not cluttering up my life and still having things I want to read or watch (magazines, cookbooks, books, DVDs, etc)

    I have a link on my computer to my home library. Whenever I read an article about a book, magazine or otherwise, I go straight to the library website and reserve it. I get an email when it is available. The interesting thing is sometimes after waiting a day or a few weeks, I am not even that interested in the item, and am usually glad I didn’t go out and buy it right away.

  8. posted by lesliet on

    I share Catherine’s view of Real Simple. At least when it first started – I haven’t seen it recently. But the first year it seemed like the magazine was all about selling people more stuff than actually encouraging people to simplify their lives.

  9. posted by sharon on

    I still like Real Simple though not as much. I wish they could get away from the clothing and make up. And I give my mag to another person when I am done so that makes me feel better about it.

    Organize is wonderful but thin. But when I think about all the info I get from it, it evens out with Real Simple. πŸ˜‰

    Never heard of Ready Made but I just subscribed to try it out. I see it’s published by BH&G which means I am sure to like it.

  10. posted by cerrissa on

    i also agree with real simple not being as good as i had hoped.

    i really liked blueprint magazine (of the martha stewart clan). but sadly it has dissolved in to a kinda lame blog. the blog was actually good when when the magazine was around because it gave additional ideas for projects similar to ones in the magazine, but now it’s just sad
    πŸ™ it’s totally worth it to order the back issues though!

  11. posted by Gail on

    I think all the big publications like O, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, etc have WAY too much paper for me. I do visit the library once a week and enjoy them there. If I see an article I like, I print it for 10 cents.

  12. posted by Jay on

    At the library or bookstore, I like to browse through Dwell magazine. Although it is not an organizing magazine, its photographs of uncluttered, minimalist spaces are inspiring.

    Also, if you need inspiration, look at an IKEA catalog. It is chock full of photographs of uncluttered spaces.

  13. posted by jane on

    Real Simple lost me as a subscriber when the editor wrote a letter about owning a second Upper Westside apartment as a place to get away from it all. How completely wasteful and out-of-touch with most people’s daily realities.

  14. posted by Cecelia Taylor on

    I just tried to subscribe to Organize Magazine, and they are no longer accepting subscriptions online (?!?)

  15. posted by Erin Doland on

    @jane — I don’t think that’s the current editor. The current editor doesn’t live in Manhattan.

  16. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Cecelia — Did you click on the link we provided? You can order it online that way. Maybe they just aren’t taking online orders through their website …

  17. posted by Sarah on

    I’m a Real Simple addict.

    The cheapy mommy mags in the checkout line often have at least one article on organization. Sometimes, they have very good ideas.

  18. posted by Shannon on

    Sorry to pile on about Real Simple. The main problem with it is that most of the suggestions cost a lot of money. I can’t believe some of the clothing articles. Who spends that kind of money on clothes? I’m also not a big fan of the feature stories that are just about someone else’s life. Don’t really know what the point of those articles are.

    And this may sound contradictory, but I love Martha Stewart Living. It seems much clearer in its point of view. To me it’s about inspiration, and if I occasionally get a practical tip out of it, all the better.

  19. posted by infmom on

    I feel the same way Catherine does about “Real Simple.” I’ve read a few issues and am underwhelmed. Yes, there are good ideas in there now and then, but it’s obviously for people with a LOT of money to throw around, and ye gods, they’re almost as bad as “Vanity Fair” when it comes to ad after ad after ad.

    I took you up on the “Ready Made” offer, though, because that looks like my kind of magazine.

    “The Mother Earth News” has lots of good ideas, but it’s not for everyone. I’d suggest buying a sample issue or looking at it at the library to see if it works for you.

  20. posted by consumer_q on

    I enjoyed many of the projects within the pages of ReadyMade for the first two years or so, but then it became too hip and blah for me. I may check it out again, with hopes of a greater content to hip ratio. The only magazine that I have consistently purchased has been Natural Home; I even find the ads interesting in helping me keep up-to-date on the latest “eco” home improvement products.

  21. posted by verily on

    Count me in amongst the people underwhelmed by Real Simple. I always felt like it was all fluff and little content. The magazine might be thick, but it’s mostly ads and full page spreads of images with maybe two sentences beneath.

    I’d like to find a general lifestyle magazine that fits me, but I don’t feel I fit in with the demographic that Martha Stewart Living targets, Organize’s focus seems too narrow, and I’m unfamiliar with Ready Made (I may have to pick that one up). I’ve tried Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens, but I’m really not the target demo for those either (middle-aged homeowners). What’s a 20something with a weakness for magazines to do? πŸ˜›

  22. posted by Lise on

    Yeah, I’m going to add in the Real Simple criticisms here. My biggest issue with it is that every article is basically a product tie-in. As Catherine points out, half the magazine (no, seriously) is ads, but the rest are articles that tell you to buy Wilton cake icing for the perfect cookie decorating party, or the perfect pot lid organizer from Ikea. If you do the research on the founder, you pretty find out that he has exclusive deals with Pottery Barn, Coca-Cola, etc, which is unsurprising when you consider those ads appear in every subscription.

    It also is based on the assumption that you can simplify by buying more stuff to simplify the crap you already have, which I think you know doesn’t work. It’s like an arms race of clutter.

    I find your Real Simple articles valuable, Erin, but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that in the print version.

  23. posted by David on

    +1 in the “Real Simple is too much paper” group. My wife subscribes and I read it — just like I read her Women’s Health and “her” Cooking Light.

    (“Her” in quotation marks because their target audience is female, but I do most of the cooking in this house.)

    Me? Uncluttered by letting many subscriptions run out — my only current subscription is to The Economist. An exercise in light reading it is NOT, but I’m better informed by reading 1/100th of one issue of The Economist than I am from watching 24 consecutive hours of “news” on television.

  24. posted by Samantha on

    Several have commented on reading online magazines instead of receiving them in the mail. I am a huge fan of this because it prevents clutter and all of the magazines I read are free online, including Ready Made (latest issue: http://www.readymade-digital.c.....=texterity).

  25. posted by tabatha on

    i used to buy real simple all the time but it became clutter so i stopped, i already had a huge clutter problem at the time, i usually check it out at the store before i buy it. i don’t like magazine subscriptions, i hate the way they stuff them in my tiny mail box. now i just go to the bookstore and read them for free, or wait till a coworker brings something interesting to work and hoard it in my locker till i am done reading it one my breaks

  26. posted by Geralin Thomas on

    I subscribe to PINK magazine; it’s a business magazine for women. Their tag line is something like, “A beautiful career, a beautiful life.” It’ usually about 100 pages and has a bit of politics, culture, health, etc. It’s published 6 x per year.

  27. posted by Marilyn Dillon on

    I bought the premier issue of Real Simple with high expectations. What a let-down. As all the others have said, it was overwhelmed by ads and the articles were just thinly-veiled sales copy. All the recommendations seemed to be for over-priced non-essentials. Nothing simple or real about it. Glossy consumerism rampant. Never bought another issue.

  28. posted by Karla on

    When I try to subscribe to “Organize,” I get this: “We are no longer accepting subscription requests.” πŸ™ How do I subscribe?

  29. posted by Amy on

    I was in love with Blueprint Magazine until they sadly went out of business late last year. I think it was one of my all-time favorite magazines. I am definitely going to look into Ready Made and Organize to see if they might be able to fill in that void.

    As for Real Simple and Living, I like them both but don’t love them. I’ve had subscriptions to both, but have let them lapse due to the fact that I always felt like I didn’t have enough money to be reading those magazines — like I was an impostor who was going to be found out at any minute!

  30. posted by jocelyn on

    When I get an issue of Real Simple, the first thing I do is pull out all the pages that are ads on both sides. This makes for a significantly lighter magazine -and that doesn’t include the pages that are ads on one side or have ads as side-bars. I keep coming back, though, because of all things I find the bookmark/calendar/list tear-out irresistible. I too wish they would drop the fashion section -they can’t be a jack of all trades.

    As far as scanning the articles and chucking the magazine goes, it’s a great de-clutter idea, but the environmentalist in me laments the process of getting the articles into the computer when the magazine already has its own website. I would pay for a subscription to the website if they’d put the whole magazine up (and maintain full back issues) -much like reading the New York Times online. It’s been ages since I’ve bothered with the paper copy of that.

  31. posted by Michele on

    Another non-fan of Real Simple. The magazine itself is expensive, and the solutions it offers are also overpriced products rather than inspirational ideas.

    And wasn’t it a Real Simple online article the other day that suggested taking up collecting as a hobby? Ew.

  32. posted by Erin on

    Dwell is my absolute favorite magazine. I find it educational, inspiring and interesting. Of anything I have read (on paper or online) it is the number one inspiration to clear my house of clutter. And I like their “fruit bowl manifesto” which talks about keeping it real by photographing real homes – not just homes staged to look perfect.

  33. posted by Jim Baker on

    Hi, everyone. I work at Real Simple and have read all your comments, which are thoughtful and helpful to hear. I’m wondering, of course, what we could be doing better. If you have thoughts on the matter, I’d love to know: What would make Real Simple worth your time? How could we make this magazine more interesting and useful than it currently seems to be for you? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  34. posted by Kathy on

    Organize magazine is not taking subscriptions —

    I looked on their website where it said that they’re not taking any, but i had already used the link to amazon on this posting that certainly accepted my order for a subscription.

    I contacted Organize via their website to ask if i should expect that Amazon will fulfill the order, despite what the Organize website said, and this was the response:

    “Amazon will not be able to fulfill this sub. We are still even unsure how they do fill them and their wait times seem very long.

    I would request a refund from them if you did indeed place an order.

    We have suspended subs for the time being and will let you know when wecancontinue.

    Back issues can be ordered online at our site if you’d like.

    The Organize Magazine Team”

    And so, i’m off to try to get a refund…

  35. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kathy — That is INSANE! (I believe you, it just is crazy that they told you that!) I have been e-mailing back and forth with Joyce Dorny who is the Editor-in-Chief of Organize. One might think that she would have said something to the effect of “we’re no longer taking subscriptions” … but she didn’t. In fact, she said the opposite.

    I’ll send her an e-mail today with the text of your e-mail and see if I can get an official response from her. Crazy!

  36. posted by Erin Doland on

    Also … something about the e-mail you received is wrong that I can attest to. I made my subscription to Organize magazine through Amazon. It took barely any time to receive my first issue, no delays at all. So, I’m more than a little suspect of what the “team” e-mailed you.

  37. posted by Erin Doland on

    UPDATE: I just received the following text from the editor of Organize magazine:

    “You are welcome to remove the info from your site completely as we are in flux right now and I certainly don’t want you to confuse your readers.

    Many Thanks,

    So, it sounds like Organize may be closing their doors πŸ™

    If you made a subscription to Organize through Amazon, please go back and CANCEL your order!!!

  38. posted by Kathy on

    I’m saddened not to have been proven wrong. πŸ™

    Thanks for championing it! I still bought the 2 back issues avail from Amazon.

  39. posted by palm on

    I thought Ready Made had a lot of potential, and some of the projects are cute, but I am repelled by magazines that advertise cigarettes. It’s just… ugh. I had the same problem with Domino, although with that one I didn’t like the content either. And I found both of them in my dentist’s office! Along with a few issues of Car & Driver that put ads for chewing tobacco on nearly every other page. When I asked about it, they had no idea, but they won’t be keeping those subscriptions. And thank goodness, because my kid looks through those magazines when we’re waiting in the lobby (and I’m sure that the editors and advertisers know that, too).

  40. posted by Kevin Kolb on

    Real Simple recipes are awful. I’m sorry the author of this blog writes for them, but I have to be honest. It’s always something like Sante Fe Chipotle Pineapple Chicken or Tofu Chowder or something. Simple tasting maybe. How about, oh, I dunno….. Barbecue Chicken? It looks good on the coffee table though.How about a GTD/Make/Simple Living Magazine?

  41. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kevin — I don’t write the recipes for Real Simple, no offense taken πŸ™‚

    I like your idea for a magazine, though. I don’t know of a single productivity or simple living magazine in the way that you describe one. I know of a few voluntary simplicity newsletters, but they don’t cover productivity. I guess everyone will have to keep reading Unclutterer for that kind of a thing πŸ˜‰

  42. posted by jocelyn on

    Hello Jim Baker,

    First, some demographic information: I am a 27 year old military spouse with no children (yet) living in a 600 square foot one bedroom/one bathroom apartment in Virginia. My bookmarked websites are Unclutterer, Apartment Therapy, Re-nest, The New York Times, and the Whole Living section of Martha Stewart. My computer is a MacBook. Recommended reading: “The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook” and the introduction to “Home Comforts.”

    The issue of Real Simple that I own so far this year is the April 2008 issue. I picked it up for its bright, crisp, homey cover. I still have it because of the Too Much Stuff article. Since it was about purging and not about organizing, I have smothered the text with all manner of underlinings, exclamation points, stars, and notes. Purging is more useful to me than organizing because I live in small spaces and move often, meaning 1. there is not a lot of room for stuff no matter how well organized, 2. owning less means packing, moving, and unpacking less, and 3. even if I purchased storage solutions for one apartment, they’d be bound not to work in the next (even over-the-door racks are tricky since the width and thickness of doors is apparently not standard).

    Other than mentioning that clutter comes in because “slapping down a credit card can be just plain fun,” the article is primarily about the 6 reasons we have a hard time sending stuff out the door. How about a follow up article on the reasons it’s so easy to let it in? For example, I would get rid of those clothes I hadn’t worn in a year (the shirt that was so perfect except that it doesn’t go with anything, the dress that would be killer if only I could find the right shoes) only to replace them with clothes that had the same problem. Finally I realized that for me the best thing to do was to replace my clothes all at once. I went into Anne Taylor Loft and picked up 3 skirts, 2 dresses, a pair of pants, four shirts, and two pairs of shoes. That is now my wardrobe. Another problem is that Pottery Barn catalogues are like beer commercials to me: they imply that if you have this thing, then some kind of enjoyable social event will happen. I look at Restoration Hardware patio furniture and want to ask the sales representative: does this come with 2 weeks off? Or at least someone to make me a drink? Objects in stores, catalogues, and magazines look cozy and clean; wanting that more than the object itself, we buy something and then wonder what went wrong when the thing inevitably drowns in the giant storage unit that has become our living spaces.

    Besides ongoing articles about all things clutter, I’d love to see (for the first time ever) articles on living in normal apartments. Not pied-a-terres or Manhattan lofts, but articles that address the common problems of run-of-the-mill apartments: the small kitchen, the white and beige color scheme, the miserable lighting, the dumb division of space, etc. For example, almost all apartments have decks. Mine is 6′ by 10′. Even if I wanted to squeeze a little table and two chairs out there, there is nothing in the way of shade, my view standing up is of the parking lot and my view sitting down it is of the wall. Everyone uses their decks as either giant, unsightly junk drawers or as nothing at all. I would rather have the 60 sq ft added to my minuscule living room, but since moving walls is not feasible with a 12 month lease, what would Real Simple suggest? Is there a tiny green house I can put out there for growing my own produce on a little raised bed (thus ending for me the debate between organic and local)? Could I compost my kitchen scraps out there? If I could, is there a way to take it with me when I move? Additionally, wires are the bane of my apartment existence. We have a TV that could be wall mounted, but its wires would be hanging down the length of the wall. How to disguise things when drilling holes into the wall is not possible?

    My third main interest is having the apartment be a healthy living environment. I’m concerned about the VOC in paints, carpets, and cabinetry. Besides getting rid of air freshners, Febreeze, scented candles and anything else that is bad for our cockatiels (they are our canaries in this mine of a dwelling), we picked up a Boston Fern and a Spider Plant because NASA recommended them. I began looking for more tips from NASA -I figure if anyone knows how to make a tiny place efficient, self-sufficient, and healthy it’s them- but I haven’t found anything else. Just when I was wishing for someone to put together a real “eco house” -sort of reminscent of a World’s Fair exhibit- I heard that there is one on display at a museum in Chicago. Could you do an article on that exhibit or even on just the idea of what an eco house might look like -especially adapted for the average bad apartment?

    Are there any plans to remodel the website? It is not as crisp and attractive as the magazine -the opposite problem of Martha Stewart’s Body and Soul in which the website is quite nice while the magazine is hideous.

    Another poster mentioned that even the pages that aren’t ads in Real Simple are ads. While I think that is true in every magazine, what makes it not irritating in In Style or Lucky is that shopping is the purpose of those magazines. When your name is “Real Simple” you can’t send people a shopping list as thick as some phone books every month. The article on the playroom in the April 2008 issue came across like an after-thought excuse for product tie-ins; it’s just a bunch of Stuff shoved up against all the walls with things placed at the wrong heights and no little nooks or spaces for a child to play, read, or hide. The IKEA table is awful and I’m sure someone thought the giant paints were whimsical or something but they serve no purpose. Visit a daycare center or look at early issues of Wondertime for great spaces for children. Or just crawl around and see if the place still looks good from the floor.

    I don’t want my home to have the air of a catalogue shoot, store display, or crime scene. I want it to be a compact, clean, functioning, efficient work horse of daily life and all its small pleasures. If you can give me that, the illusion of that, or even just the feeling of not being alone for wanting that, I will buy your magazine.

    Thank you,


  43. posted by amber on

    Wow, somehow this turned into an anti-Real Simple comment fest. The comments were solicited with,

    “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!”

    I sometimes scan the comments on this site because they have additional helpful information. These were almost entirely negative. That is disappointing!

    In any magazine, the most inspiring articles are those that show real people living in real homes and living purposefully. I love these features–and I’ve found several in Real Simple (gasp!).

    Jim Baker, if you are still out there, I’d say keep up the longer feature articles–keep looking for people who can challenge or inspire us with what they do in their daily lives, and write about them and take pictures of where they live. Two past articles that come to mind right now are the ones about (1) the family that lives off the grid outside of Telluride, CO, and (2) the artful family in which each kid has an art box. Different types of families and features, but both interesting and inspiring reads.

  44. posted by Nick on

    You mention that you “pull out all of the articles, scan them”, but the ScanSnap S300 scanner you say that you are using seems to only be able to read single sheets of A4 paper. Do you cut out all the pages in the magazines before scanning them?

  45. posted by jane on

    amber – you complain about the negative comments (a negative comment in itself!) and then don’t offer any of your own answers to the posted questions.

  46. posted by Kat on

    I read my mother’s old Real Simples. I find them interesting and I especially like the recipes and shopping list. I only keep what I want out of them and toss the rest. Of course I don’t go into reading them looking for unclutter ideas.

    I personally like Dwell. I have to read it in bits because I get so overexcited with design ideas. Plus the clean crisp real life homes inspire me to keep my real life home clean and crisp.

    I second Jocelyn’s thoughts on using real homes for Real Simple. And more than the two photos of a place you redid for a feature of orgainzing a closet. I believe one of the reasons I like Dwell so much is its use of real homes. Also its use of homes that are outside of NYC or the Upper East Coast. Recongizing that most people live outside of those two areas would go a long way for most magazines.

  47. posted by Heather on

    A publication that I have found more insightful is Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s “Body + Soul.” Its more of a holistic approach to well being: food, exercise, finding time for yourself and caring for our planet. I’ve only purchased it once, but I haven’t thrown it away yet – which says something!

    Not a big fan of Real Simple, but I’d like to be. I agree with the other posters about too many ads, too much product promotion and too much idea recycling. I don’t want to hear about a product unless it’s natural, organic, sustainable and packaged in recyclable materials – AND makes my hair like buddah. How’s that, Jim?

  48. posted by Tania on

    Ready Made is my fave magazine hands down. (like one of my faves Ever of All Time)

  49. posted by jocelyn on

    Also* recommended for anyone else living in a gypsy cart (one that you have to inelegantly constantly dismantle and reassemble into all manner of new-floor-plan-contortions): “That Military House: Move it, Organize it, & Decorate it.” (Or “Move Your House: Plan it, Organize it, & Decorate it” for the non-military nomads).

    *In addition to The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook

  50. posted by jocelyn on

    I searched “small-spaces” on Real Simple’s website and found a great article:

    Big Solutions for a small living room/dining room,00.html

    I love the “Use Vertical Space.” Minimizing the amount of precious floor space that is sacrificed for storage with the use of tall bookcases is such a fantastic idea for getting the most out of tiny rooms. One of the beautiful bonuses of tall, small-footprint furniture is that it is more versatile in a variety of floor plans. It avoids the problem that occurs when the 64″ wide dresser that fit so well in the last bedroom doesn’t have enough continuous wall space in the next bedroom.

    I also love the “Keep it in Scale.” It’s easy to forget standing in Restoration Hardware that the 6 feet deep couch is just not going to look as good in my 11′ x 13′ living room. And with moving in mind, staying small helps not just for the reason above (like that a love seat and two small arm chairs are more versatile and easier to work with than one giant couch), but with moving itself: getting that sofa up three flights of stairs and through doorways.

    Anyway, wanted to pass on that find in case anyone else found it as inspiring as I did.

  51. 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.)


  52. 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.

  53. posted by jocelyn on

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

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

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  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. posted by Divine Bird Jenny on

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

  60. 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?

  61. 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.

  62. posted by Danielle on

    FYI – Organize magazine is no longer.

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