Do you have a pile of magazines sitting somewhere in your house? If you’re into magazines, the answer is probably yes. Magazine lovers can have a really hard time keeping their collection under control. There’s just something about the glossy paper, the beautiful photos, and the unread articles that can make it hard to let go. Unfortunately, if you have a subscription, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with all the magazines that come into your home.
As much as we love them, having to look at a pile of unread magazines can be stressful. It’s messy and usually takes up too much space.
So how can you declutter your magazine collection? Keep reading and I’ll go through a few options.
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure.)
Sort Before You Start
It’s a good idea to take inventory and sort before you start. Sorting by title or year will give you a sense of what you have. Sometimes just creating different piles can make it easier to decide what to get rid of.
Here are my magazines.
Not too bad, right? I sorted them by title and date.
But that’s not all. Somehow I felt the need to keep a separate stash of magazines and books in a magazine holder that’s bursting at the seams.
If I’m honest, I don’t remember the last time I went through what’s in the magazine holder. It’s been sitting untouched for years!
It’s time to purge these because I need the shelf space for something else and my goal is to get what I keep to fit in the magazine holder. This means I need to be super selective and purge ruthlessly.
Let’s get started.
Related Post: How to Declutter Your Medicine Cabinet
Option 1: Get Rid of Them and Don’t Look Back
This is the tough love approach. Here’s the thing, if your magazines have been sitting in a pile for a long time and they’re a few years old, you’re probably not going to read them. If you were interested in reading them you would have by now. I have magazines in my collection from 2015. I think it’s safe to say it’s not going to happen.
But you know what would make you feel better? Getting them out of your house. You may experience some guilt at first because of the money you spent, but imagine how much better you’ll feel when the messy piles of magazines are gone. You won’t have to walk by them and be reminded that there’s one more thing you have to do. Your to-do list is long enough.
Yes, this approach is drastic but in some cases when the magazine pile is just too big and overwhelming, it can be the best option. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to find all the same info online. That’s what Google and Pinterest are for.
Option 2: Scan Articles to Read Later
If you have a scanner this is an option worth considering. You’ll still need to page through all your magazines so it may take some time. But you’re paging through the magazines quickly .(If you’re taking your time, check out the option below.) As you do, if you decide to keep something just rip it out and feed it into the scanner.
I’m in love with my ScanSnap scanner. Here’s a link to it on Amazon. It’s lightning-fast. It was my husband’s idea to get it because I’m way too cheap to spend this much money on a scanner. But it’s worth every penny! I use it to digitize documents all the time and plan to use it to scan my photos. (A post on photo organization is coming soon.)
To tackle my magazine collection, I went with a combination of the tough love approach and this one. I had some old InStyle magazines that I have zero interest in reading. I think I got the subscription for free five years ago and decided to try it. It turns out I’m not into fashion magazines, so I didn’t even think twice about dumping those. But the Real Simple magazines were a little harder to get rid of because they have lots of good articles which I ripped out and scanned. I also love This Old House. I set those aside to possibly keep.
Option 3: Schedule Time to Go Through Them
This option will take the longest and requires some discipline. You have to know that you’ll be willing to set aside time on a daily or weekly basis to go through your magazines.
(I started this post before Corona virus hit. Maybe now you have a bit more time on your hands given the situation.)
You can make this time part of a self-care routine. Everyone needs a little time to do something they enjoy. Sitting down and taking thirty minutes to an hour to read through magazines can be a nice way to treat yourself.
You can also read them while you’re doing something else that doesn’t need your full attention. I’ve gotten into the habit of reading magazines while I’m on my treadmill. Exercising on a treadmill is hella boring so I take the opportunity to read some of the magazines from my pile. It’s a good idea to pair something you don’t like doing (exercising) with something you enjoy (magazines).
Another option is to take them with you when you know you’re going to a doctor’s appointment or to get an oil change. You’ll need something to do while you’re waiting and this is the perfect time to catch up on your magazine reading. If you finish reading a magazine while you’re there, you can even leave it at the office for someone else to enjoy. (Before doing this, you may want to cut out your address label on the cover if it’s one you subscribe to.)
Organize and Set Limits
Now that you’ve decluttered, it’s time to store the magazines you decided to keep. I already had a magazine holder I could use but if you don’t already have one, you can literally get one anywhere. They even have cardboard ones at Dollar Tree.
The trick here is to set limits. Your limit will be whatever fits into your magazine holder(s). This will prevent things from getting out of control again.
Enjoy the Decluttered Space
I was able to get my magazine collection down to just a handful. The only ones I kept were my This Old House magazines. I just couldn’t part with them. (I’m not even sure why. I don’t live in an old house.) I figured as long as I could keep the number to a reasonable amount, it was fine. Now the magazine holder has my maps, my magazines, some IKEA catalogs, and a few other miscellaneous items. And I still have plenty of room to spare.
I purged most of what I had, which when I saw it all together was kind of crazy.
Now that the magazines are gone I have a clear shelf in my bookcase for my scanner which was sharing a shelf with some books.
Although I chose to look through all my magazines and rip out articles I wanted to keep, I only ended up saving seven articles. But if I had decided to just chuck everything, not having those articles wouldn’t have been the end of the world.
I hope this helps you make your decisions a little easier during your own magazine purge.
Until next time, happy decluttering!