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How to Organize Your Magazines

How to Organize Your Magazines

The next session of Organize Your Paper Clutter starts next Tuesday … so the topic of organizing paper is top of mind again! How to organize magazines is one of the popular questions in this workshop, so I thought I’d share my system for keeping my vast collection of magazines under control. If you’ve stopped by this blog of mine a time or two, you may have picked up on my love of magazines. I have always, always loved to flip through magazines and catalogs. I think I love magazines the way some girls love shoes, and other girls love chocolate. Yet, the professional organizer side of me knows that too much of a good thing, when we’re not careful, can equal clutter.

So, here’s how I keep magazine clutter at bay.

1. Establish a home for your magazines. Now, ideally this would be a single home, so that you always know how many magazines you have, and they don’t begin to take over, if you know what I mean. However, I have a couple of homes for my magazines. The most current magazines live in a reading basket in my family room, and the ones that I’m currently in the process of reading are on my night table. (Well, at least they were until I painted…now I’m in search of a new night stand, one with a drawer to hold a couple of books and magazines. Less clutter, if you know what I mean.)

Magazines that I’m keeping for the long-haul are stored on shelves in my office storage closet. These are organized by title, year and month, and stored in magazine holders from IKEA.

2. Decide which magazines to keep long term. There are several magazines I plan to keep indefinitely. These are mostly magazines that are no longer in print such as my Simple Scrapbooks, Cottage Living, Mary Englbreit, and Organize. I also include really great decorating magazines—special issues that are chock-full of great ideas—too many to clip. These magazines take up about nine (in total) magazine file boxes and just over one shelf. In addition, ever since the great magazine purge of 2009, I have allocated two magazine boxes for one year of Real Simple back issues.

3. Decide what to clip. So what about all the other magazines? Well…when my reading basket starts to get too full, I have a magazine clipping party. I tear out inspiring photos and articles that I will refer to again. And those last five words are key: I try (really hard) to only keep clippings that I will actually use, or in other words, refer to again. This is something I learned the hard way, after over-accumulating a bunch of really lovely, or super interesting clippings that served no practical purpose in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am using the word practical a bit loosely. I keep a few clippings around simply because the photos are inspiring.

Next: Where to Put It All →

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