Organize + Energize: Are Your Magazines Collecting Dust?

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

 

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PHOTO: Leonard Moorehead

Magazine subscriptions are super inexpensive. Once you subscribe to a magazine, they’ll continue to offer you really low rates on other magazines. I can see how people get drawn into ordering more magazines, even though they’ll never find the time to read them all! 

How many magazine subscriptions arrive at your home every month? How many do you impulsively purchase at the checkout line at the market? Do you find once you receive or purchase them that they end up in a dusty, cluttered pile in a basket never to be looked at again? Some of these magazines may be over 2 years old or even older. If the magazines are over 2 years old, you’re probably never going to find the time look at them again.

Take a quick walk through each room in your home and seek out these magazines. How many did you find? Now that you’re aware of how many you actually have, are you shocked? Think about why you’re holding on to these magazines. Is it because there was an interesting article that caught your eye? Do you even remember why you were holding onto them? 

Here are 6 ways to conquer the magazine clutter:

Do you really need to save the entire magazine?  As you skim through the magazine, tear out the articles you want to save. If you want to keep certain articles in these magazines, you have to set some time aside to go through each magazine and tear out the articles you want to keep. Sounds like a big, time consuming project, right? It’s going to make you really think about if you want to go through the trouble of sitting for hours going through each one. It may not be worth it and you may decide you just want to get rid of them and start fresh. 

Have a plan. Going forward, when you receive a magazine, make a plan to tear out the articles immediately instead of having the magazines hang around for months. Tear out articles and place in a binder. Create tabs and categorize sections for quick access. I find that if you just tear them out and put in a manila folder in a filing cabinet, it will take you much longer to find something, or you may never even go to look for it. Keep the articles in clear plastic sheets to protect them and place them in labeled binders. You want to be able to find something and find it quick when you are searching for it. You’ll even be more apt to use the binder than rifling through an old magazine for an article.

Scanning is an option. If you want to totally get rid of all the paper, scanning pages is always an option. You can create categorized, organized folders.  

Think about donating them.  You can donate magazines to a doctor’s office or local school for art projects. Make a plan to donate them within the week of going through them. If they’re still hanging around by the end of the week, throw them in the recycle bin.

Think about how you function. Are you more apt to head over to the binder when you are searching for an article or do you want to go to your computer and search? There is no wrong way to do this. It’s a preference and it has to work for whomever is utilizing the system. The key here is to have a system and choose one that will work well for you. 

Set aside some time and tackle this project. If you break the process down, it won’t be so overwhelming. When you are going through the magazines, don’t worry about how you are going to organize the articles, just focus on the articles you are ripping out and keeping. The minute you stop to think about where the articles go, you will lose focus, get distracted and your project will take you twice as long. 

How long does it take you to get through a magazine or catalog?  It may be time to cancel subscriptions or stop purchasing them at the store if you can’t get to them in a desired time frame.

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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to begin. She is also available for organizing workshops.
 

 

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