Decrease Clutter With The Magazine Diet

Decrease Clutter With The Magazine Diet

You may be counting calories for your New Years’ Resolution, but a quick way to lose weight around the house is the Magazine Diet! Ah…magazines…they have such a lingering effect. They can sit on the coffee table for years or in a pile on the dining room floor or in a beach bag that never made it to the beach. Before we know it, there are magazines all over the house! Magazines are so pretty, which is part of what makes them hard to throw away!

I can hear you saying that you had the best of intentions. You ordered them, paid for them, own them, but now have no time to read them. But you plan to read them someday! Or maybe you did read the publication, but there was an interesting article that you wanted to tear out and save but never did. Now you have to go back and look through the magazine to remember which article you wanted to keep. Or maybe you already tried to do that but can’t figure out which one it was, so you close the magazine and put it back on the pile. Sound familiar?

Today, there is a lot of competition for the old fashioned printed magazine: email (including Facebook), the internet, 24/7 TV and of course your busy schedule. So do you abandon magazines? You certainly can, or maybe it’s time for a new approach: “The Magazine Diet”.

  1. Count how many magazines you subscribe to. Is it over 10? 20? Be realistic about how much reading time you have. Do you have time to read five magazines a month? Then pick your five favorite and cancel the rest. You may be able to get a refund for the balance of the subscription. Or, some magazine companies will let you donate the balance of the subscription to a school or a worthy cause.
  2. If you have a backlog of unread magazines, get rid of them! The new issue is on its way to you right now and is packed with new information that is relevant for today and for this season. Who wants to read winter-related articles in the summer? You can be reading about summer topics that would hopefully make your season more enjoyable.
  3. Another option is to not subscribe to any magazines. Instead, just buy a few different magazines each month. This way you can read a variety of information and not be locked into a subscription. One of the drawbacks of subscriptions is that someone else decides how long it should take to read them. The magazine company chose to produce the magazine monthly. Maybe it takes you longer to get through 200 pages of material. Free yourself up from your subscriptions.
  4. Magazines are 80% advertisement and 20% content. Maybe you are interested in just 5 or 10% of the material. You can review the table of contents and tear out the articles that interest you. Then you can bring them with you and read them in short periods where you are waiting for something throughout your day. For example, when you are waiting at the doctor’s office, the hairdresser, picking up your kids, etc. Keep a file folder to hold a reasonable number of articles. Place the new articles in the front of the file and pull from the back of the file when selecting what to read. If the file gets too big throw away articles from the back so you are keeping the most current material.
  5. And how about those beautiful National Geographic and helpful Consumer Reports? Certainly those are both keepers. Sure, you can keep magazines but have a designated place for them, like on a bookcase, or in magazine holders rather than piled on the microwave. Also, decide how long you would like to keep them. Maybe two years is long enough for Consumer Reports and then the details become out dated.

I hope these tips help you get back in control of your magazine piles and reading! Enjoy!

January Statistic:

About 1,000 companies in the US publish magazines, journals, and tabloids, with combined annual revenue of about $40 billion. While the total number of magazines published in the US is greater than 10,000, only about 2,000 have significant circulation.

Next BIG Organizing Holiday:

June is National Bathroom Reading Month so why not keep a few magazines in bathroom to help you catch up on your reading!

A professional organizer for more than 18 years, Susan Lovallo, CPA, CPO, works with individuals and businesses to help them declutter, simplify and establish or streamline systems. Whether you are organizing your home, business, or financials, the result is greater productivity with less effort, providing more time to enjoy life. Clients appreciate Susan’s easy and effective solutions and financial expertise, as well as her patience, compassion and sense of humor.