Conquer Magazine Clutter

It’s Why Not Organize Something Wednesday. Yes, I know Wednesday’s almost over. I’ve been a little under the weather, had to take Emilee to the orthodontist, rearranged the entry and the dining area and worked on something for Young Women’s. This is the first chance I’ve had to sit down at the computer. So let’s get started.

Do you have piles and piles of magazines? Are you reading all of them? Are you ever going too? Could you find what you want when you want it? Wouldn’t it be easier to take out what you need and file it? You can either keep the piles, give up and throw them all away, or try some of these clutter control ideas for your magazines:


  • As soon as your new magazine arrives for the month recycle the old one whether you’ve read it or not. These are our magazines and catalogs ready to be recycled.
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  • Instead of saving entire magazines, tear out and file only the articles you want to save for future reference. Keep them in a binder all together.  
  • Store you magazines where you’re more likely to read them. On your nightstand, in the front seat organizer of your car, in your bag for work, etc. I store mine in a trunk by the front door, so I can just grab a couple on my way out the door.
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  • Put a limit on the number of magazines you subscribe too. And limit purchases at the checkstand, you can always just glance through them as you’re standing in line.
  • Read only the articles you enjoy or will benefit from.
  • Save some magazines separately from the others for your children’s school projects. You should probably limit them to 10.
  • Cancel subscriptions to magazines you haven’t read in 3 months or donate the remainder of your subscription to a friend or family member.
  • If you’re a little behind on your reading schedule reading time into everyday until you catch up.
  • If you’re way behind on your reading just scan the contents page and read only the articles that really appeal to you.
  • If you subscribe to craft magazines, take out the pages you are going to need and put them in sheet protectors inside a binder, instead of keeping the whole magazine. 

I subscribe to a few magazines, especially since the subscription rate has been so low. I use the “rip and read method.” I take out the articles that really appeal to me and put then in a file labeled “read” and take them with me when I have an appointment or when I know I will be waiting for the kids. I’m able to stay up on my reading and have something to do while I’m waiting, like at the orthodontist today. If I want to keep an article, craft idea or decorating ideas or pictures, I just file them in the appropriate binder. I have binders labeled Decorating, Gardening, Scrapbook, Holidays, Organizing, and Parties. If I want an idea, to work on a project or want to look up an article, I know where to find it. I also purge my binders yearly. Just because something once appealed to me doesn’t mean it still does.


 Now go through those magazines and free up some space for those new ones on the way.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • NaDell February 3, 2010, 6:43 pm

    I keep my magazines in a stack to read an article at a time when I eat my breakfast or lunch or when I’m waiting for my husband to get home (if I’m not busy with the kids, dinner, homework, etc.) I tear out the things I like and put them in sheet protectors in a binder. I have one for cooking and one for kid stuff or home improvements/decorating. We save our Handyman magazines because my husband thinks he might need them, but I give the rest to my sister-in-law to read or recycle them. (Too bad for my SIL that I tear out all the good stuff first.)
    Thanks for helping everyone organize. My mom sure could have (and still now) used it. That’s why I’m the way I am. =)

  • Emma February 4, 2010, 9:35 am

    Thanks for the tips!! A while ago, I bought a good, sturdy, spiral bound blank sketchbook with heavy pages and made it my “home decor/design/idea” book. As I look through my magazines and my catalogs (PB, IKEA, Etc.) I tear out products I like or ideas I like, and paste/tape them into my sketchbook. The sketchbook makes it easy to save small clippings, whereas in a binder, small clippings fall to the bottom of a plastic sleeve or get lost in a pocket. Then, when I am in the mood to switch something up, or am looking for a solution, I flip through my sketchbook and can usually find an inspiring solution! For my scrapbooking magazines, I apply the binder solution, because I am usually ripping out the entire page.

  • Eos Mom February 4, 2010, 9:47 am

    Genius! I’m working on this–when I’m reading a magazine, if I come across something I want to keep, I’ll dog-ear the *bottom* of the page (I dog-ear the *top* of articles I still need to read) so that when I’m ready to recycle the mag I know what I want to tear out. The problem is, I still end up with a pile of mags I need to go thru the dog-ears and do the tearing-out. I am so lazy!!! But I’m getting there. Thanks for the tips!

  • Allyson/@HBMomof2 February 4, 2010, 10:53 pm

    I just organized my magazines today! I do have a stack staring at me right now that I told myself not to “waste” and to read them all. Thank you for giving me permission to recycle and be done with it. I have the same type of system for articles. I file some by the month, because of certain holidays and fun stuff for the kids. (It’s the ex-teacher in me.) I also do most of the categories that you suggest. I needed the purge advice also. I will go through my notebooks next. Thanks for your great advice. My magazine rack thanks you too!

  • SkylarKD February 10, 2010, 6:06 pm

    Ooooh… Love the categorized binders. I really should do this!

  • Lorraine Brock February 27, 2010, 8:34 pm

    Enjoyed the magazine ideas. Another idea for recycling is to take your old magazines to the libaray. They normally charge a few cents on the honor systems if you want to take one. By doing this you might not even need to have any subcriptions. 🙂

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