We all love magazines, the new, fresh pages waiting to be read – the articles shown on the front promising solutions to your problems, the glimpse into how other people live – but after they have been read, what then?!
Piles of magazines build up creating clutter around the house because we can’t decide whether to get rid of them or keep them to read again because there are a few articles of interest in them – and what can be done about it?
Here are my ideas on getting to grips with your magazines once and for all – I hope that one or two of the suggestions help!
Do you really need to buy magazines in the first place?
Lets tackle the problem from the beginning – and thats actually buying magazines at all.
Often magazines become a habit, a treat, and its easy to purchase them just for that reason – but here are some ways that could help save you the time and money by being clever about how you get hold of magazines in the first place.
- Consider buying a subscription to a magazine you find yourself buying regularly – they often have great reductions off the cover price and offer free items as a thank you – which could make great gifts!
- Can you get some of the information you need online rather than buying a magazine at all?
- Why not talk to friends and family and see if you could share each others magazines? If you are all buying the same one each month then it makes sense to buy one different one each and then swap – that way you are getting a low price magazine within a subscription, but also access to several more!
- Take a look in your library – some have magazines in them that you can read for free – why not see whats on offer!
- Ask for a subscription as a Christmas present – or give one – they are the gift that you keep getting all year round!
How do you decide what magazines you really want?
Analyse exactly what magazines you love, which ones you get but don’t really read, what you have time to read, and what you are interested in – and then work out exactly which magazines you would like to continue reading – and stop the rest! Its simple really!
Most of use seem to forget to stop subscriptions as most just automatically renew for us. Its important to stay focused on whether you really want them anymore, or even whether a different one would now be better for you.
If you want to test how much you really read a magazine, try and not read it for a month (keep it in the cupboard out of the way). If you forget about it then you know you don’t really need it, but if you keep hankering after it, then its a keeper – for now!
How do you store magazines that you want to keep?
So, we’ve tackled some ways to get hold of magazines that saves money and time, but now we are still left with those magazines that you still want /need and how to ensure they don’t create too much extra clutter in your home.
If you do want or need to keep magazines you need to store them so that they are easily accessible – otherwise whats the point of having them? I recommend storing by name and then by date – and having sticky tabs such as post it notes coming out of the top of them which highlight any particular articles you are likely to need. This works well for hobbies and work magazines that you really do need to keep for a while, and access the information in them regularly (also for cooking magazines for specific recipes).
Kept well then this can make an invaluable resource for you (however, always think whether you can get the information more easily online – which is usually the case now!
Choose magazine storage that has enough space for what you would usually keep (if you only keep your magazines for a couple of months, and have 4 a month, then you only need a small storage box that can fit 10 at most, for example. Don’t get too much capacity in your storage as you are more likely to fill it, and don’t get too little as you are them likely to have piles build up elsewhere.
Keep magazines that you need for specific reasons in the most sensible place i.e. general reading could be stored in the bedroom or living room, recipes in the kitchen, work related in the office etc…
THE top tip for minimising your magazine clutter
If you only take one thing away from this article – let it be this! I do this with my magazines and it works so well!
Remember that you don’t have to store the entire magazine – when reading through a magazine and you find an article you want to keep, then simply fold the corner of that page down. Once you have read the whole magazine, flick through and rip out the articles you have wanted to keep. Then you can throw away the rest.
A step further is to put these clippings in small plastic files of their own, in categories (recipes, health and fitness, interior design, gift ideas etc….) and then when you have some time you can simply take out the articles and use them. This way you are sort of making your very own magazines!
This folder is then a great thing to grab in your handbag for when you know you’ll have some time in your day waiting around, having a coffee etc… that you could use more productively by reading the articles you really want to read.
Getting rid of excess magazines
Wherever possible, pass on the magazines as they can be used and read by someone else – doctors surgeries, charity, dentists etc… all have a need for them, so see whether you can give them away.
You could also let the kids use them to cut up and make collages on a rainy day – easy and effective entertainment!
And if theres nothing else to be done – then recycle at the very least!
And talking of children and magazines…
Children love magazines – especially young children. Why not make it a treat to get one on a rainy day or a day where you have no plans – it helps them to read, most have puzzles and games, some have craft ideas, and they all take your child away from the TV!
You may argue that buying magazines will be a waste, and build up clutter again in the home – but if your children are anything like my daughter who loves drawing and colouring, then the amount of paper used weekly is crazy anyway, this simply is an alternative that may just keep them busy a little longer!
If it keeps them entertained, teaches them a little, and puts a smile on their face, then its worth every penny!
Think about whether you need the magazines you buy regularly at all anymore, or has it just become habit? Are there any new ways you can think of to be able to read them without having to buy them or store them?
Once you have worked out what you really do need, then store in the correct place in your home so that they are easy to access when you need them, and take out any articles of interest that you want to keep.
Creating your own magazine file will pay dividends for downtime!
And most of all – enjoy your magazines, but minimise where possible – whether it be in how many you have, in how many you store, or in how much you spend on them…