June 5, 2008

Piles and Piles of Magazines

I had been thinking about posting this anyway, but this post on The Happiness Project blog inspired me to go ahead and do it.

How many magazines do you subscribe to? Are you able to keep up with them all, or do you end up with piles of them around the house? If you're like me, even the ones that have been read often don't immediately make their way into the recycling bin. This is one source of clutter that needs to be tamed. Here's what I'm doing:

1. Eliminate some subscriptions. I have already convinced K to eliminate some of his subscriptions, so now it's my turn. I used to like reading Self. It's a good magazine - great for bringing to the beach or reading outside on a sunny day. However, I don't have time for it anymore, and I think perhaps I've outgrown its demographic. (All the health and beauty tips are starting to sound familiar at this point.) Also, I received several free subscriptions when ordering various baby items. At the time, I thought, "Sure, why not, free magazines", but now I know better. I think I'll keep Parenting and Wondertime - I like them, and they contain interesting articles, particularly on child development and learning. But Cookie and FamilyFun simply make me feel bad about myself, because I don't have time to make homemade window decorations or to cut my sandwiches to look like cute little animals. Perhaps if I wasn't working outside the home, these would be more valuable resources to me, and maybe I'll like them more when the little boy is a few years older, but I think I'll pass for now. Lastly, Bon Appetit must go. I love looking at the beautiful pictures of fancy food, but I rarely actually use their recipes. They are all available online anyway. Once I cancel all of these, I think I may actually be able to keep up.

2. Work through the backlog. In some cases, this may mean throwing away unread magazines, and that's okay. My biggest project is to review all my Cooking Light magazines to pull out all the recipes I may want to make one day and put them in my recipe binder. I'm almost done. I am also going to start recycling any magazines from the prior month, whether they've been read or not. If we haven't read them in a month, chances are we aren't going to catch up.

3. Store them out of sight. Or at least designate a place for them that eliminates the clutter effect. I do have a few on our side table in the living room, but that spot is for the ones I want to read next. K's This Old House magazines will be immediately stored in a magazine storage box in the office. I don't mind one or two in the bathroom, but I'm going to designate a spot in a vanity drawer for them, so I don't have to read the cover of the same magazine for weeks.

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