Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Organize Your Magazines & Newspapers

I have a problem. Okay, I have more than one ;), but I have one specific problem that sends my husband through the roof. I am a hoarder of magazines. There. I said it. They say acknowledging a problem is the first step in recovery. So thanks, Jennifer Ford Berry for writing "Organize Now" and helping me come to terms with my obsession...

Following along with Bonnie at House of Grace this week, we are at week 10 (can you believe it? Time flies when your organizing!) and are tackling our magazines and newspapers. We don't take the newspaper at our house, so I'm free and clear on that one. Ahh, but the magazines. I need help. Do you? Let's check out this weeks goals:

*Toss or donate all magazines that are more than one year old. (I'm ashamed to tell you that just the other day I found some paper crafting magazines from 2007. Can you say "Twelve Step Program," please?!? Be sure to check each room in the house for old magazines (cuz I've got 'em stashed everywhere.

Exhibit A: Side table in living room stash.... (how heinous does that lamp look, btw? Yikes!)

And because one stash of magazines in your living room is not enough, two cubes (almost full) underneath the entryway table...

Here's some hiding out in the closet in the office...

And here's some in a bag that we took to the hospital back in March. The bag is full...

Okay... back to the goals:

*Toss all newspapers more than a month old.

*Toss all catalogs and sales papers that have expired. Make it a habit to toss all sales papers from the places that yo never shop and if you find something you want from a sales flyer, clip it out right away and put it on your to-do list.

*Clip what you need from old magazines, then recycle them or donate them. The thrift store in my town sells used magazines for like a quarter, sometimes. Yes, they have enabled by obsession, but I've also donated stacks to them as well. :)

*Designate a specific home for the magazines that are left.

*Cancel subscriptions to magazines that you never read anymore. I have let many subscriptions go in the past year or so. There may be hope for me yet! LOL!

I try to justify my large number of mags because of my various interests. My faves are "Family Fun," "Woman's Day," "Better Homes and Gardens," (or any of their other publications like "Do It Yourself," "Small Room Decorating," or "Paint Anything"). I will not turn down a "Martha Stewart Living" either, or a "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee." My mother-in-law also gives me her cast-off which include "Redbook," (which I call the married ladies "Cosmo!") and "Martha Stewart Living." since I was a kid I loved "Highlights" and last year got Jamie her own subscription. I think I should get brownie points, though, because I have recently cancelled the subscription due to her lack of interest in conjunction with the cost.

My husband jokes that we could have been millionaires five times over if those periodicals hadn't "four-dollar-and-99-cents-ed" us to death! He's probably not exaggerating too much, there. I guess that's one reason I tend to hang on to them for as long as I do. So that I don't feel that the money has been completely wasted, I donate some to my local thrift store and take a few others with me to Children's Hospital when we have a clinic visit. From experience, I can tell you that it super nice to have something to read and take your mind off of things while waiting in the surgery or ICU waiting room. Doctors offices, nursing homes, and gyms will also be glad to take your extra magazines of your hands. You could also send them to me. Just kidding. Well, sort of. ;)

Whatever you do, please don't just throw your old magazines and newspapers in the trash. Touring my local recycling center last week has re-opened my eyes to the responsibility we have to our earth. You can also search out crafts for your kids to do on the Internet with old magazines. There's a ton of them. Anything to keep them from a land-fill.

Speaking of green living, I got an iPad for Christmas and though I could download my magazine subscriptions to it, I haven't yet. I've been thinking of trying it with one of the one's a get regularly, but honestly, there's just something about the feel of a crisp new magazine in my hand and the relaxation I get from turning the pages. It's very zen. But my renewed interest in "going green" has convinced me that I should at least give it a shot. I'll let you know what I think when I do.

The library was getting rid of these magazine racks one day. They were on a table marked "Free" so I took eight of them.

I've put them on top of my desk with the intentions of corralling like magazines and making this their permanent home. I thought this would make a good reference spot since it's right above the desk. Right now non-specific things are just kind of thrown up there, but the plan is in place!

Berry's Tips for STAYING Organized:

Once a Month

-Dispose of all items you've read and don't want to keep.

-Clip articles or ads that you'll need or want later.

Every 3-6 Months

-Donate all the magazines you are done with to a charity or business of your choice.

-Toss catalogs from the previous season.

-If you keep magazines in your bathroom, update the reading selection and toss the old issues.

Once a Year

-Cancel subscriptions to periodicals you do not consistently read.

Come back next week as we organize our e-mail. My inbox this morning had 243 messages. This is why I'm loving this book. I hope you are too!

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