Help! I have magazines all over the place, and I don't know what to do with them. They're taking over my house and contributing to all of my clutter.
The answer to your question about magazine management is a relatively simple one, but it will take some work on your part. I have no fear that if you follow these steps, you will conquer your magazine clutter!
The first decision that you need to make is whether to simply toss the magazines that you have accumulated and start fresh, or to go through your magazines and cull the important articles before tossing them.
In either event, you will need to actually look at your magazines when they come into the house. Here's how to do it... Have a designated place in the house for the magazines that you subscribe to. When a new issue comes into the house, glance at the table of contents before putting it in its pile. Now, look through the pile. You can keep the current issue and the last issue. Any older issues must go. If an older issue has an article or a recipe in it that you cannot bear to part with, RIP THE ARTICLE OUT and put it in a file of materials marked "To Be Read." Then toss the old issues. Do this consistently. And once you have finished reading a magazine, toss it into the recycling pile.
Another option is to create three-ring binders in which to keep torn out articles or recipes. I recently had a client whose interests were gardening, cooking and home decorating. We created three binders for her, one per subject, and purchased a box of mylar sheet protectors from an office supply store. She now has a place to put all of the articles and recipes that she wishes to keep. You can even buy three ring index tabs to further organize your growing collection of articles!
If you are having a problem parting with old magazines, please know that most magazine articles end up on the web, so even if you toss something that has value, you can usually find it online. You can also find magazine articles at your local public library, many of which have extensive serial collections. Also, don't forget that many public libraries have websites that connect you with databases that provide magazine access. You may need to enter the barcode on your library card to gain access, but it is a valuable tool, and it's free!
Another way to conquer your clutter is to let the bulk of your magazine subscriptions lapse. If you pick up a copy of the magazine at the supermarket, and the table of contents really appeals to you, then buy a single issue. You won't save any money by doing this, but you could save your sanity!