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Advisor

Can't believe I never thought of this before

I finally returned to organizaing my craft room after the remodle project before Christmas!  I had bookshelves to clean out and organize, wool to sort by color, paper craft supplies to sort and store properly.  My biggest challenge was how to organize the all of magazines I have kept for more than a few years. 

 

I get four magazines per month and I have about four years "supply" of each of them,.  I made myself trash anything older than 2006 last summer when I was cleaning things out.  I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living, Country Home and Midwest Living.  I also get Everyday Food but I don't keep those.  I take out the recipes I want and pitch them monthly. 

 

I guess I am a sucker for the school fund raisers and for the renewal offers that my favorites offer, making them pretty cheap entertainment.  So I am a bit of a packrat with magazines.  Everything else I am brutal about clutter but magazines are my weakness.  In the dead of winter, it is a treat to curl up in a warm place and browse the latest ideas for home and food and travel.

 

With a pretty large pile of magazines staring at me, I knew I needed to do something.  I figured I had a couple of choices:  go through each, clip out my favorite ideas and recipes and file them.  OR trash them all.  OR find a new solution.  So I asked myself WHY I was keeping them.  Why could I just not bear to let them go?  

 

My answer was fairly simple.  I want to keep them so that when a particular holiday comes around, I can find ideas for gifts, crafts, food, entertainment or decorating.  When a particular season is here, I want a ready source for foods that are in season in my garden or a the  farmers market. When I get spring fever I might want to make a wreath or make a quick inexpensive change that gives a burst of energy to the house. 

 

So what organizing system would give me the best access to what I had seen when I wanted to recall it?  Never mind what my system was now....it was not working.  I kept all this information and never could find what I wanted. 

 

What usually happens is something like this....it is July something and I want to find that recipe for blueberry pie and I want ideas for a fourth of july party.... I know I have seen something that I liked in a magazine but cannot find it...so Here is what I came up with...

 

.I have several of those stand up magazine organizers.  I took all of the magazines and, regardless of which title, I sorted them by calendar quarter.  I put Jan, Feb and March in one organizer.  April, May and June in the next....and so on....that actually ended up putting Halloween, Thanksgivng and Christmas in the same group, too, as an added bonus.

 

As new magazines come in, I will use sticky page tabs on any recipes, photos, or ideas that I like....i.e...blueberry pie, sunporch pillows, felt ornaments, etc....Then I will pull out the oldest magazines for that month and go through and clip out whatever I want from that oldest issue, file by month and trash the rest.  At no time will I have more than 12 magazines on hand for a given month.  In three years, my system should result in all issues having sticky tabs making it easier to go back to clip what I want before I pitch. 

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4 Replies
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Advisor

Re: Can't believe I never thought of this before

Sounds sensible...my way is to buy a given magazine on CD if it's available.  For example, I have several decades of Mother Earth News in this format, and the entire series fits into the space of one music CD jewel box.  Not all titles are available in this form, but for those that are, it's an alternative.  

Need to check on my Glass Patterns Quarterly, to see if I can get it.  It is usually a lot simpler to search through a title this way, too. 

 

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Advisor

Re: Can't believe I never thought of this before

That is a good idea.  I don't know if my magazines are available in that format but I will check that out when they get closer to expiring. 

 

I am hoping to create a notebook of bathroom ideas from some of the photos I have seen and keep that with me for when I am out and see a potential bargain.  I have learned from this experience that I tend to think seasonally....maybe that is the farmer in me....planting, growing, harvesting and taxes! 

 

If I can have a place to go and be able to immediately put my hands on magazines with themes and recipes and such related to a particular season, I think they will be more useful to me.  If this doesn't work, then I will have to look at clipping and trashing because I am determined to reduce magazine clutter!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Can't believe I never thought of this before

That's a good idea! We are being overrun by kids' magazines ... Boys' Life, Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, etc. And since I have 3 boys, we get 2 or 3 copies of some magazines. My parents give them subscriptions, and so nobody argues, they each get their own. That makes for a LOT of magazines lying around, because of course they never want to throw anything away. I should get one of those stand-up organizers for each kid and just tell them they can only keep as many magazines as will fit in their organizer.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Can't believe I never thought of this before

Those boys can learn to share magazines. What will be next? TVs or computers for each? May increase the arguing, but they'll need that compromising skill  when they get out on their own.

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