Day 85 Magazines by the pile

I bet there isn’t one of you out there that doesn’t have a pile or two of magazines somewhere in your home that have some really interesting articles, pictures, recipes… so you are reluctant to part with them. I know I do.

I was an avid scrapbooker for some time while living in the Untied States and as magazines subscription are so cheap over there I didn’t hesitate to have a few. As these are reference material they never really go out of date and I have often looked back through them when trying to came up with ideas when creating my scrapbook pages.

Needless to say they do tend to pile up over time and even though I have been good and eliminated some as I decided I could do without them I still have several years worth of about four different subscriptions. Granted I do store them neatly on shelves in my craft room in binders using magazine hangers but they take up precious space.

The fact of the matter is though that I haven’t looked at them for about two years and I don’t do that much scrapbooking anymore so it is now difficult to justify their existence. I am not ready to part with them all though so I am going to approach this purge in stages.

Today I am going to eliminate one binder which is two years of one subscription that I didn’t enjoy as much as others. I am not going to waste time and risk giving myself second thoughts about this by looking through these magazines to make sure there aren’t any lame reasons why I should keep them I am just taking them out of the binders and putting them in the donation box.

For some people you may want to tear out articles and store them in a binders or boxes so you can refer back to them. Others may utilise your computer to scan items before throwing away your magazines. There are so many great graphics programs out there so you can arrange the articles you want with great creativity using tags to make it easy to find what you are looking for when you do need to reference this information.

Use the 365lessthings approach and just eliminate one today if that is all you are willing to part with and then perhaps another next week. You might find you start to become more ruthless at culling once you set yourself on that path. Give it a shot!

This in my pile I am discarding today. I may revisit my binders again very soon and find some more I really can live without.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I’m a big believer in uncluttered space = HAPPY life! I came across your site this week and now read it daily. And I have made a list of more items to declutter from my home..that will be tackled this weekend. We moved into our home less than 2 years ago and even though it never got “cluttered” there were definitely things that were just being overlooked instead of being used so that is why for the last few months i have been decluttered every week..sometimes, its one bag sometimes its 3….it feels great. I’m a big fan of decorating blogs and so I subscribe to about 18 magazines (fashion and decor and People). I have been a subscriber for many years so I get the “researcher’s discount” which is very cheap. I bought a white 3” binder, tabs, pack of sheet protectors, glue stick and white hard stock 8×11 paper for my “get rid of magazines” decluttering project. Step one…insert one paper per sheet protector. Write on tabs the categories you want to save your inspiration pics/articles/recipes by. For instance my binder is….living room, outdoors, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, fashion/beauty, recipes and misc….In my spare time I went and still go through each magazine that enters my home and browse through it all whatever catches my attention I simply cut it out and glue it on the cardstock paper. I then slip it back inside the protector sheet so it doesn’t get ruined. I use up both sides of the sheet with glued on pics/articles etc. and in the end you can browse the binder like a favorite book. Once one binder fills up you can always start another one as long as it doesn’t begin to clutter up your space right? So in one large binder I have over 50 magazine articles/inspiration pics etc. and I literally kept only what I wanted out of the magazine. When I was done getting the info I wanted out of each magazine I made a huge pile and immediately loaded it up in the trunk of my car. I drove 5 mins to the nearest school that had a recycle dumping can…as I tossed each magazine in there I felt a sense of freedom and peace! Believe it or not, having ALOT of paper at home….will make you feel like you are getting short of breathe…paper is one things that will rob a home of peace and serenity…hope you enjoy this tip (my apologies for the SUPER long comment) ;o)

    • Hi Erika,
      thank you for joining us here at 365lessthings you are most welcome. And thank you for your comment and your magazine declutter tip. No need to apologise for the length of your comment there is no shortage of space to store it on the internet and I enjoyed reading it.
      A couple of questions your comment raised for me and I am interested in your feedback on this..
      1.) Have you ever considered to subscribe digitally to the magazines you read. I understand this isn’t always an option. I also understand after talking to a friend this week that reading digital version just doesn’t have the same feel to it as having a hard copy in your hand. She recently bought an eBook reader and doesn’t like how it feels.
      2.) Have you considered scanning the articles you like and filing them into a similar system on your computer rather than using Plastic binders and page protectors, cardstock and glue. Once again I am aware that scanning can be a bit of a pain sometimes and you are left without a book you can just grab from a shelf and browse any time. This way also the magazine stays in tact and you could then donate it to your local Library, Doctor or dentist surgery etc or share with a friend to be reused.
      Like I said I really would like your feedback on this so please let me know what you think.

      • Hi Erica (and Colleen),
        Rather than sending those magazines to be recycled, why don’t you give them to a nearby kindergarten or primary school to cut pictures out of (for their projects or art), then they can recycle the paper that’s finally left over. That way, they’re of use one more time before recycling.
        P.S. Colleen, this is the first time I have commented on this site – I have been a collector (hoarder?) for many years, found your site a few weeks ago, and am using you to stay inspired with the decluttering! Thank you….

        • Hi Ann,
          first of all I would like to say thank you for joining us here at 365lessthings and welcome to our little community. I am quite happy to be used to help you stay inspired with your decluttering and I hope you are making progress. Any progress is good progress and so long as you keep ploughing ahead you will get there in the end.
          As for those magazines I donated most of them to the thrift store. They sell books and magazines there and I thought someone might find them and love them again. I also gave some to my mother-in-law as she is also a papercrafter. I do like your suggestion though and am thinking of donating some paper and pens to the schools because I have such an oversupply and am tired of the clutter.
          I hope you will drop in and leave comments on a regular basis and never be afraid to ask questions or make suggestions. We learn a lot from each other and keep each other inspired and are always glad to add another voice to the group. So once again welcome aboard

  2. Last week I decluttered 95 magazines. I feel so relieved because before that they were in several different areas, unlabelled and taking up space. They were the bane of my life! I kept putting off the job of sorting them even though I knew that I’d find it easy to part with a lot of them. But finally I did it and the remaining magazines are labelled, I know exactly how many I have and exactly where they are. There’s a few more that I’m considering decluttering and if I do, it’ll be easy to find them. I didn’t think I’d get rid of that many and it was satisfying saying ‘Oh, I might as well do a few more here and few there.’ Phew! 🙂

  3. Good for you LenaC. I used to have quite a collection of craft magazines but slowly over the time since I began blogging about decluttering they have dwindled down to only my few favourites. It is nice to have that sort of aspirational clutter out of the house. I kept them for ideas but then you would want to find an example that you remembered looking at but couldn’t remember which one it was it. Or there were just that many to go though it was just too much bother. It is much easier now. I often think of the expression “Spoiled for choice.” Too much choice can actually spoil the fun of having choices.

    • I agree about choices. Years ago I used to put off decluttering magazines because I was going to sit down with them all first and cut out anything I wanted to keep. Of course I didn’t actually get round to doing that! Much too daunting. More recently I’d cut pieces out as I read them. But I can hardly be bothered to read even those pieces (articles, bits of info, recipes) again. It’s important to ask yourself ‘Why?’ about your habits. I’ll go through those next and I’m sure some will be decluttered too. I’ve come across a few and thought ‘Why on earth did I cut that out?’

      • Hi LenaC, I think this is the case for just about everyone who bothers to go to this effort. I solved the problem easily by stopping buying magazines. There isn’t anything I can’t find on the internet for free that I can find in a magazine that costs money and requires paper and printing. And the best part is I just have to bookmark the page if I want to come back to it. Nine times out of ten returning to a bookmarked page doesn’t happen either.

  4. I create desktop shortcuts. There’s so many that I can hardly see the wallpaper and have to regularly declutter. But at least it’s not paper. Bookmarking would be better which I do on my mobile.

  5. I used to have the same problem.
    When travelling oder waiting somewhere, I just bought a magazine or a small paperback book to read and I could never get rid of them again.

    The approach that finally worked for me was the following:

    I would think back to the time when I bought the item, and asked myself if I’d regret not buying it, hadn’t I bought it.
    In 90% of the cases the answer was No, of course. I wouldn’t have missed anything, not a single recipe, fashion tip, whatever. In some cases I felt really lucky I had grabbed a particular book or magazine, and those few I kept.
    The other ones I threw out without looking at them again.

    Especially the magazines dealing with fashion or decoration or craft had nothing to give me after they fulfilled their original purpose to keep me entertained for half an hour or so.

    I haven’t spent money on stuff like that for years now, and it feels SO so good. 🙂