Too many magazines, too little time ~ this summer, I vow to read more! Does this sound familiar? Most of us purchase magazine subscriptions with the good intention of cuddling up with the latest fashion news or staying on top of business trends.
Time has a way of stealing away our well-intended reading time and, if we are not careful, before we know it, we have 3 months of magazines piled up in a corner or in piles sliding out from under our desk. Sadly every year tens of thousands of magazine subscriptions never even make it out of their plastic sleeves! So, what tips do Professional Organizers like myself provide to tackle this challenge?
These 5 pro tactics will help you to get out from under your ‘to read” clutter.
1. Determine where you usually read your magazines / newspapers. Some of us read in multiple locations, for instance by the couch and in bed. Others might read on the go during lunch or while waiting in the carpool cue.
Once you figure out where you read, you need to create a landing spot in each of the areas for your reading materials as they enter your space.
For instance, I read magazines in bed, but newspaper fliers and ads in the living room. Because of this, I have two reading baskets. As items arrive in to my home, I take them immediately to whichever basket is appropriate.
For those on the go, putting magazines into a bag or briefcase as they arrive skips the potential pile problem. A bag also again creates a contained amount of space for reading materials.
2. Create a magazine/newspaper holding zone. Make sure that whatever holding zone you create, your papers remain vertical. Do not let them get plopped into piles. While piles are easy to create, they are also easily overrun your space. A vertical basket is perfect not only because it keeps your materials vertical, it also creates a contained amount of storage space.
3. Decide how many magazines you really need in your life at any given time and make a system that visually cues you when you reach the maximum capacity. If you try to add a magazine to an overstuffed bin or bag and it just won’t fit, you will be prompted to downsize and get rid of a few in order to make space for the new, which leads to tip #4.
4. Be prepared to diligently and constantly downsize and recycle your reading collection. When you are ready to weed down your collection please do not toss them into the trash. Recycle.
Keep in mind that many other organizations would love to reuse your old magazines. Inquire around your neighborhood to determine which senior centers, doctors offices, libraries or thrift stores might make use of your old magazines. With funds limited, schoolteachers are desperate for art supplies and will usually welcome your magazines for student art and research projects.
Whatever you recycling method choose, your assignment is constantly to move your collection out and onto it’s higher good. Keep magazines and newspapers flowing out of your life as frequently as they flow into your home.
5. Remember that everything in your environment requires energy. Here’s the bad news about subscriptions. Every time you enroll into another subscription, you need to realize that it will require a good amount of energy from you. A paid subscription requires monetary energy. Even if it is free, it will also require your energy to receive it, keep track of it and ‘get it gone’ after a set amount of time in your life.
Many folks do not stop to think about how much effort a new subscription will require. Please take a moment to pause and consider how much time you have to spend before you enroll to receive anything new into your life.
Bonus tip: If you are the type who always sneaks a quick peek into each magazine as soon as it arrives, take a moment to edit your reading task right then and there. Tear out only the articles that appeal to you and recycle the remainder of the magazine immediately. The upside to this technique is that when you finally do sit down to read, you easily pull out only the stuff that you want to read and your ‘to read’ collection is not so overwhelming!