Day 200 Sharing publications

I happened to see 5 minutes of an old Bewitched rerun this morning on television before I went to work. It struck me as amusing that this episode started out with a magazine subscription seller coming to Samantha’s door. Bewitched was filmed between 1964 and 1972 and even back then subscription sellers were harassing people to buy their wears.

I lived in Seattle between 2000 and 2007 and I remember how sad it was that these companies ripped these poor people away from their families to locations thousands of miles away in the vain hope that if they sell enough they will climb to the next rung of the ladder and maybe just maybe get somewhere in life. Purhaps these companies are legit and really are helping these people but I couldn’t help but think they were just being exploited.

Now that I have had my rant about that I’ll get back to the subject that I meant to talk about in the first place, sharing publications.

For no other reason than the reduction of polution caused by producing the paper and printing magazines and newspapers  we need to start either sharing publications or opting for online alternatives rather than buying hardcopies. Sadly even recycling these publication can be a sourse of polution according to a Wikipedia entry I have read on the subject.

Here are some ideas on how you can share publications…

  • Share with friends, family, neighbours and work colleges.
  • Borrow them from the library
  • Read on-line
  • Buy from second hand book stores you may not get the lastest edition of  magazines here but unless it is up to date news stories you are seeking this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Pass on the publications you do buy to school groups, craft groups, clubs or even your doctor’s surgery could use them in their waiting room.

I personally have stopped buying magazines and newspapers. The magazines I used to buy I can either subscribe to on-line or get the information I require from other on-line sourses. Like most clutter, out of sight out of mind,  if I don’t take the time to look at them on the newspaper stand I don’t know what I am missing.


I think these old golf magazines were sold on ebay but my husband isn’t home tonight to ask.
Golf Magazines

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • Mini Mission ~ Thursday 21Dec2017 Declutter your fridge of out of date items or by using up as much as possible before adding more. With the holiday season here you will likely need every inch of spare space.
  • Mini Mission ~ Wednesday 20Dec2017 Declutter by recycling some items. That mound ofused takeout containers, old newspapers and magazines, paperwork that needs shredding, glass jars you set aside in case you have a use for […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Recycling my stack of Taste of Home magazines through a local Freecycle group was one of my first acts of downsizing. It was rewarding to NOT have to throw away something that I like – and find someone who would really appreciate them.
    I usually subscribe to 1 or 2 magazines at time. The cost is a factor – plus there is something lacking in the online versions. Recycling these will be a must.

    • Hi Debbie V,
      I used to subscribe to about six magazines when I lived in the US because it was so cheap over there, that was before I saw the light. Being back in Australia makes it easy to give them up because here they charge about $60 per year for a subscription. That is not hard to say no to.

  2. Calico ginger

    Magazine subs were one of the first things I de-cluttered from my life. Not only do the magazines take up space, I was sometimes so busy, 2 or 3 issues of the ones I regularly bought would lie unread – reproaching me for wasting my money! If I need a fix (decorator ones, usually) I have a friend who is only too happy to send a few of hers my way. As for the gossip jobs – strictly at the hairdresser only!

    • Hi Calico ginger,
      I mostly subscribed to papercrafting magazines in which I never read the articles anyway. I only needed to look at the sample to get ideas and then I could reproduce those without instructions so I figured I could do that by looking at samples on-line. As for those gosip magazines what a complete waste of time, money and world resourses they are not worth the polution they cause. I know it would be an infringemnt on freedom but really some of the useless cr.. that is manufactured in this world should just be banned.

  3. My friend gets Country Living British edition every month. Then she passes it on to me and I read it. I give it to another friend and after she’s done with it we pass it on to the owner of the local tea shop! Definitely well read. We are down to one mag plus two knitting publications that come quarterly.

    • Hi Willow,
      that really is sharing the love. There is a lady at my work who gets magazines from her mum and then she brings then in so we can read while we are on our break. They are mostly rubbish but I do the puzzles and that keeps me amazed for a half an hour.

  4. Always avoid second hand travel guides unless it is the current version. Out of date travel advice is often worse than no advice. Also always keep those old Streeetbike magazines for future project inspiration.;)

    • Hi Maddog,
      I considered hitting the spam button on this comment but the travel guide advice is good. As for the Streetbike magazines the answer to that is, don’t let your husband have access to your blog. Hello my darling I hope you are enjoying the weather there. I am keeping warm by having a bonfire in the back yard with a box of Streetbike XX

  5. Rebecca The Greeniac

    I got rid of the newspapers years ago… We just never had time to read them and plus, who can stand the horrible ink that gets all over your hands! The one subscription I kept was Newsweek, because my boyfriend really liked to read it. But then he hurt his neck and has trouble with things like reading magazines because it’s hard to get it at the right angle for him to see it without straining his neck, so it’s a gonner too!

    The subscription was about to expire anyhow, so I decided to just let it run itself out. OMG… these people are just beside themselves with agony trying to get us to renew! The letters with messages of doom keep arriving. I keep sending the slips back saying we don’t want to renew, but they keep sending us the magazine and more dire letters. We’ll see how long this little game goes on!

    Personally, I’m a big fan of Google News.

    • Hi Rebecca The Greeniac,
      Sounds like your boyfriend did some awful damage to his neck, I can sympathize because I have trouble with my neck too. I hope it gets better for him.
      As for the Newsweek subscription have you tried contacting them on-line and telling them to quit sending you letters. Yet another company poluting the planet in the desperate quest for the almighty dollar.

  6. I don’t have any magazine subscriptions, I had one still but didn’t renew it. If I want a magazine (interior decoration for me too) I will buy a single issue that seems good, and after reading pass it on to someone else. It’s much more fun that way anyway, it feels like a special treat. I completely stopped reading fashion mags and got rid of all that I had kept, I don’t want my daughter growing up reading that crap. I browsed one at a hair salon recently and felt nauseated by it, grabbing a decoration mag instead which was easier to stomach, though sometimes they make me feel a bit ill as well ;D

    • Hi Cat’s Meow,
      I know exactly where you are coming from. The magazine a lady at my work brings in are Australian “womens” magazines. Once upon a time they were full of useful hints, great recipes and the odd story or two but now they are just gossip rags. If they didn’t have puzzles in I would even waste my time openning them. I do love a good interior decorator magazine but only borrow them from the library or read the ones one of the smarter ladies at work brings in. All magazine seem to have more adds than anything else.

  7. I had only one mag subscription when I started decluttering and that will expire soon and I won’t be renewing. If it had been $60 a year, like the ones in Aus, I wouldn’t have had that one. I have had an addiction in the past to decorating mags but my lifestyle has changed so much, that most of them simply look cluttered to me these days.

    I’m very sensitive to the chemicals in newspaper ink so can’t have them in my home. My son recently had his first youth mystery series published in a local newspaper so I downloaded the online PDF files rather than bringing the toxic ink inside.

    Almost anything I need these days, in the way of magazines, I can find online or at my local library. I put myself on the “no junk mail” list recently so all those unwanted mag solicitations should stop shortly as well.

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      Yes $60 is ridiculous but a good deterent. You have extra incentive to keep away from them with your sinsitivities.
      In Australia we can put a “NO JUNK MAIL” sign on our mail box so nothing gets put in aside from legitimate mail. I only put up my sign about 3 months ago but i love it. I used to take the junk out of the mail box and throw it straight into the recycling bin. I don’t want to know what is on sale because no matter what the price if I don’t need it it isn’t a good deal.

  8. Our city’s libraries all have free magazine exchanges. I bet most of the magazines I read are also read by at least 4 other people. I love the free magazine rack. In fact, my youngest was surprised that she couldn’t just take a magazine at the store. She asked me twice, “You have to pay for them here? Why?”

    • Hi Cindy,
      I like the idea of the magazine exchange. So do you borrow them like a normal book or do you just take what you want and bring them back when you are are done.
      Moments like this are good times to teach your young ones about reusing and recycling, how to take care of the plant and also about sensible spending. They should have a good headstart in life with the great lessons you are teaching them.

  9. Great topic. Over the years I’ve generally subscribed to one or two magazines at a time at most. I’ve also gone for stretches of many years where I didn’t subscribe to any and would buy the occasional issue on the newsstand. Recently I decided to let the subscriptions to the ones I am currently receiving run out at the end of their terms. I realized a while back that (1) I didn’t have time to read and enjoy them like I did before I had a baby, and (2) its just an endless stream of something to have to get rid of (and the stress of it was making me crazy). It didn’t help that my MIA would save all of the magazines she subscribed to (about 8 different ones) and give them to me in a big bag every couple of months. Add to that, my husband subscribes to 10(!) magazines (used to be 11). It became a clutter nightmare because every time I cleared out an old batch of magazines, here came a new batch to deal with. Finally I asked my MIA to please pass her magazines on to someone else. I cancelled my subscriptions and put myself on magazine restriction until I’ve read and passed on all that is left in my house that I haven’t read. Now, if I could just get my husband to cancel some of his, I’d be REALLY happy.

    • Hi Donna,
      Wow! You really must feel like you are drowning in paper clutter at times. I hope you have some success at getting your husband to cut back. I have found that like with everything else you just get used to not having it and don’t miss it for long.

  10. Colleen I wish it were as simple as placing a sign on our boxes here. There are forms to fill out, and I hear it works a bit faster if done online, which I did. Still can take weeks and weeks to see a decline in the junk mail. Actually there are some credit card companies now that will not stop sending you solicitations by mail unless you fill out their forms including SS numbers, rather than going through the DMA. I refuse to do that! I had to also fill out a separate form for my deceased husband to stop marketers from sending me tons of mail for him! It seems to be a never-ending battle here, or maybe it only seems that way because I’m just beginning the process. Time will tell!

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      you are right it is a never ending battle over there. These companies sell your information on to other companies and it just escalated and it’s awful. When I lived over there I ordered some of those cute little address label stickers through one company and I knew they sold my information on because all the other crap that started turning up also had my name spelled incorrectly just like the batch of stickers when they came through. These companies sell the stickers cheaply because they are making the real money buy selling your identity. Charming isn’t it?

  11. Ah! Magazines and other publications! I had stopped subscribing to them several years ago because I felt that I was wasting money if I didn’t read them all the way through. (OCD! lol) Then I started getting them free from a friend when she was done with them. I especially liked the decorating ones and a simple living mag. I would read them or look through them and just put them back in a large basket for “future reference.” Well now that I’m going minimalist, there really isn’t much decorating I want to do, even though I was really passionate about this as late as last year. And yet I started looking through the stack last month, trying to determine if I should keep some, tear out some pages to keep, etc. It was so tedious and stressful that I finally decided to put the whole collection into a box and get it out of the house. Whew! what a relief and how freeing! I don’t even miss them.
    As to the topic of stopping junk mail, I have an address and an on-line form one can use, but I’ll have to look that up. One thing I have done that helps a lot is to take the pre-paid return envelope that is often included, take the form with your name and address on it and write across it, “Please remove my name and address from your mailing list and do not share this information with anyone else. Thank you.” and mail it back to the sender at their expense. Works wonders!

    • Hi Di,
      you are so right about just biting the bullet and getting rid of the magazines cold turkey. Once they are out of sight they are out of mind and there is no more agonizing about what to do with them.

      As for the junk mail we had that one nailed when we moved back from overseas. I hope the lady in our old house in the US isn’t getting our junk mail but I know I’m not and I am happy about that. Here in Australia they seem to be less inclined to sell your personal information like they do in America. Just to protect our privacy even more we don’t sign up for anything, we don’t enter competition that require more than an email address and we have a silent number on our home phone. Problem solved. We have been here for three years and the only junk that has ever ended up in our mail box are letter drop shopping catalogues and local free papers but now that I have the NO JUNK MAIL sign on the mail box that doesn’t happen anymore either.

  12. Re: magazine exchange at library.
    The magazines are sometimes periodicals that the library subscribes to but are now moving along, but most often, they are from the homes of library patrons. There is no checking out: if you see something you like, you take it. One library devotes a shelf to the exchange, one has a table, and one uses a pair of milk cartons. It’s simply an additional service to share the enjoyment of reading.


  1. […] bin. I know they will be pulped and reused for something else but as I pointed out in my post  on Day 200 all this processing is not good for the environment. I will have to investigate if there is […]