magazine organization

Jan 13

now that the holiday season has come and gone, i have found myself drowning in un-read magazines. i don’t have many magazine subscriptions, but do we ever receive a load of catalogs!
anyone else?
on the one hand magazines are a great way to gain inspiration, gift ideas, recipes, and more. magazines also offer us a way to unwind by reading about your favorite gossip, fashion, travel destinations, and more.
but on the other hand, if you don’t have control over the volume of magazines you receive – it quickly becomes a mess.
how much of a mess? take a look at what was the state of my bedside table…

i mean, really Sam!? are you ever going to make your way through all of those magazines and catalogs?



throughout the holiday season i did a pretty good job of recycling magazines right away. when i brought in the mail and knew i wasn’t interested in the catalog, it immediately went into the recycling bin. it never made its way to my bedside table.

however, you know how it is – some of those catalog covers are SO inviting. you know you’re going to find something inside that you absolutely love. and i happen to be one of those women that gets stuck in my own pipe dream of “one day i am going to sit down with a big cup of coffee and read through that entire stack”. 

ahem – back to reality!

each time i received a new, pretty catalog or magazine, i placed it on my bedside table….and there it sat. it sat there through the holiday season. i never opened it – and never opened the other 30 (or more) that sat along side it. now here they are collecting dust and taking up space.

oh – and let me remind myself – the holiday season IS over.

today i had enough and it was time to purge. first thing was to lay out all of the magazines/catalogs in different categories…


any magazines that had a coupon code were set aside. i later pulled out the code and placed it inside my coupon binder…


next, i scanned through my stack of Food Network magazines. this is one of the 2 subscriptions i pay for. since i was months behind, i quickly scanned through each of them and pulled out recipes that looked interesting…


and the only copy i kept was the most recent issue…


my other paid subscription is People magazine. love love love to read this one but, as is evidenced by the huge stack, i don’t have a whole lot of time to read it. again, i grabbed the 2 most recent issues and the rest went into the recycling stack…


i didn’t even bother opening any of these catalogs…


the above stack included clothing catalogs, home catalogs, toy catalogs, etc. i figure if i really had an interest in an item inside, i can find it online. and who knows, it may not be available anymore since most of those catalogs were from the holidays.

when the job was done, here was my stack of recycled magazines…

more importantly, here is my newly organized bedside table…



muuuuuuuch better!



now that my magazine collection is back under control, i thought i would share some other great magazine tips with you!

there are times when i do want to keep a magazine for a while. it should be no surprise that i love thumbing through organization magazines. and i do enjoy keeping them for reference. when i read through a great organization magazine like this one…


i keep a pen and pad of post-it notes along side. then when i find a great idea or something i would like to follow up on, i label that page…


i have found this to be a great time saver when i am trying to find something, like that fun idea for garage organization…



i keep magazines like this in a magazine file on our office desk…


and label it “reference”…


every couple months i scan through that reference box. if i haven’t referenced that magazine in the last few months, it gets recycled.

another idea – when i pull out recipes from my Food Network magazines, i file them away in our office desk (i shared info about this tip in my recipe binder post a few months ago). each week when i work on our menu plan, i look through the recipe file to find 1 or 2 new recipes to try that week.


another idea – you know when you’re reading a magazine and find a gift your sister or mother-in-law would love? but then when their birthday comes around you are totally stumped about what to buy them?

while i am reading magazines or catalogs and stumble across those great gift ideas, i pull that page out of the magazine and file it away in our office desk. now when that birthday comes around, i can reference my file for the idea i spotted a few months ago…


i pull all of the categories together with a paper clip and label with a post-it note…



i love to give gifts with meaning – and this works like a charm every time! no more fumbling around last minute looking for that special gift for family or friends!
another idea – if you have an electronic reader, like an iPad, you can download the latest issue of your favorite magazine subscription. this will not only save paper and trees, but you can keep as many old issues are you like for future reference. and they won’t be taking up precious real estate in your home….or on your bedside table!
finally, if you are receiving too many catalogs in the mail, it may be time to get a handle on it by unsubscribing from them altogether. we love receiving those 25 Pottery Barn catalogs each month, right? but are you really doing anything with them?
personally, i think PB only changes their cover and the first few pages of each catalog. i have found the inside of each catalog to be almost exactly the same as the one before. don’t get me wrong, i love to scan a PB or PB Kids catalog any day….but i am finding them to be a big waste of paper and space.
if you are ready to take control of your mailbox again, you can spend time calling each and every catalog to ask your name be removed. all you do is contact customer service and tell them to you would like to unsubscribe.
OR you can check out Catalog Choice!

it’s a website where you can unsubscribe from catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars, and more. it’s a super easy FREE service! once you receive the item you no longer want coming in the mail, just log in and report it. they take care of everything else!

if you’re too busy to do that, there is a paid service they offer for less than $7 – you send them your junk mail and they take care of everything for you.

how are you handling all of your magazines and catalogs? i would love to hear from you so share in the comment section!

(i linked up this project with Delightful Order)

comments +

  1. Leah says:

    Thanks for this post. I too have a stack of magazines from the holidays that needs some attention. Great tips!!

    • hi leah! thank you for the sweet comment and am so glad some of my tips were helpful! those holiday magazines are the worst to recycle….i love them all! but i do feel so much better looking at my bedside table these days 😉

  2. Nadia says:

    All your information was so helpful thank you! You are so inspiring! BTW-I would never recycle that beautiful Tiffany catalog :p

  3. Toni says:

    wonderful post. Thanks for linking up.


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