Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tip

Today I am turning the tables on you just a bit. I have been trying to re-organize my home office for far too long.  I have made a decent amount of progress in recent months. So far, I've had lots of shelving installed, purchased plenty of storage items and cleared out a bunch of stuff I didn't need. I'm still mulling over fabric for roman shades and I may move a secretary into the space from another room.
One of my biggest issues is what to do with all the magazines! They are my only real source of aggravation and disorganization in this space. Talk about a LOVE-HATE relationship. This one takes first prize. The last 2 Thursdays I've barely been able to wheel my recycle bin down to the curb. It's become the magazine graveyard. I had to purge, it was totally out of control. I dumped the final load in today. All that remains is what you see in this post. Bet my trash collectors will be liking me much better after this Thursday.

I've only explored just a few of the new on-line magazines.  I do think it's exciting and from the issues I've read, I was impressed.  I applaud them all for their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.  Still, I continue to be a fan of paper.  I enjoy flipping pages from the comfort of my favorite chair or the sofa without a lap-top...on my lap! And, since I seriously love books, I don't know that I'll ever fully embrace a Kindle either.

That said, as for my magazine habit I have tried a few different storage/organization methods:

Accordion file for tear sheets. Kitchens filed under "K" and so on...The one I had looked just like this and was ripped and barely closed...I'm pretty sure I was saving too much. The contents went into the graveyard.

Notebooks with favorite images in plastic sleeves, so I can tote it anywhere like a magazine. If I go with this option, the current ones are out of  here...too ugly!

Magazine storage files. They are the most attractive, but they are heavy and need a very sturdy shelf. Six would be my limit. I've had these for 3 years...labels would be nice don't you think?

As I search for better systems, here are my questions:
  • Do you still buy or subscribe to several magazines?
  • What do you do with an issue after you've read it cover to cover?
                              Recycle? Tear pages out? Save the whole issue?
  • What do you do with saved issues?
  • How long do you save an entire issue?
 Do you dog ear the pages? Load it up with post-its notes to mark favorite pages and items? Other?
  • What do you do with tear pages?
                            Scan? File? If so, what's your method?
  • How long do you keep tear sheets?
You would think as much as I talk about organizing, I could figure this one out. I have a few ideas, but I know that my fellow design/organization obsessed readers are a savvy bunch and probably have some very good ideas I've yet to consider.  Please...share your tips!!!


  1. OMG, You are ME in this respect...BUT I look to you for these answers~I have two giant overflowing drawers full, and then there is the attic...dun, dun, dunnnn....But don't you LOVE stumbling across a tear sheet from say 1992, its so great when you still LOVE IT!

  2. R, I just bought a
    handheld "wand" style
    scanner, which I plan
    to use instead of the
    "tear and store" method
    I currently employ. I
    will set up decorating
    inspiration files on
    my computer and supplement
    with my Pinterest pages.
    YES, I still subscribe
    to {too many} magazines
    and could totally relate
    to you toting that heavy
    recycling bin to the curb!
    Every once in a while, I
    have to do a big purge, too....
    xx Suzanne

  3. It's a GREAT question...one I wrestle with myself. Here's what I do: After reading, I tend to flag anything I love and either scan or (better yet) find the digital pics online (HB, TH and ED are all pretty good about putting most of their features online a few weeks after the mag comes out). These images I then file in picasa by designer and/or magazine.

    Once I've done that, I tend to pass the mag on to my sister, a friend or my maid. That said, I do keep a few magazines, mostly foreign ones (Canadian H&H, LivingEtc) that are on the pricey side and I can't bear to toss or give away. I also kept my Blueprint and domino mags because I loved them so. The magazines I've kept are in inexpensive IKEA storage boxes that I've tucked away in my office. They're admittedly not especially well organized.

    I suspect these aren't necessarily the right solutions, but they work for me to keep down the clutter. (And I totally agree with you -- while I am loving some of the new digital mags, I'm still a lover of the real thing!)

  4. Oh I feel your pain on this issue. Like you I still like being able to curl up with a paper magazine, even though I love having access to so much online. I always say that you can't take your laptop into the bathtub with you the way you can a magazine!

    I have some magazines that I've had for literally years. For others I rip things out and keep them in a small filing cabinet in our guest room. I also have the storage containers like you showed that hold several copies and then I just re-purposed an old crate to hold the latest issues. I seem to run in cycles and will get rid of magazines in a big purge like you just did. I loved Country Home and still have old issues of that one, and a few House Beautiful issues, but mostly I let them go at some point. Then there is my office desk that has one whole area dedicated to the magazines I've had articles published in over the last 12 or 13 years! Needless to say that one is chock full, but I can't bear to part with them, and I'm not sure why?! Vanity and pride I guess!

    If you find some awesome system, please pass it along to me, I could use some organizational help in this department!

    Kat :)

  5. Clear lucite magazine holders for mags
    Tear sheets in protective clear view sheets in binders
    Yes, have a few subscriptions
    Love to keep my old Martha Stewart Living mags
    Toss most....
    Have all the old Domino's, love them.

  6. Suzanne, a wand style scanner? This is new to me!

    I keep magazines until I can no longer lift them to get them out of the house. I store my fave images on flash drives!!

    I love to read books and shlter/style magazines!

    Decluttering right now for a fresh spring!!

    Art by Karena

  7. This is a HUGE issue for me - the cleaning and organizing of office and storage of magazines. I just have just never found a good solution - I have hundreds of magazines stored all over the house. Also curious about wand style scanner.

  8. yes indeed
    i am loving the wand thingie.
    i need to get one

    you don't want to know what i do.....!
    i am a mess.
    BUT i know where everything is.
    ...i can go right to the right pile.

  9. Suzanne,
    The wand scanner is a truly BRILLIANT tip!

    Funny...and so sorry! I love looking back as well, BUT this year I am more committed than ever to only moving forward and not saying "what if" or "maybe" I'll needed this one day.

    To all,
    It already seems whether you are an artist, designer, homeowner, blogger...this is a big problem. Thanks you so much for sharing your ideas, tips and issues here.

    Please keep the ideas coming everyone...we'll figure it out together!

  10. I have a serious problem with magazines as well. Years ago I couldn't take it anymore and I donated all of my magazines to the Library, something I still regret to this day...so many Domino Mags gone! My super organized system now is pile them as high as they can go next to my bed...my husband just loves it, it looks fabulously messy and it collects just the perfect amount of dust. I am sure you want to share my tip ;)! xx Danielle

  11. This is the most sore subject in our house. I love magazines. Love them. I have some in drawers... and some in two cabinets.. and some under both beds and some in the living room. I used to use Scansoft software to scan the pages I wanted to use. BUT you can't import the files to a new computer (or used to could not) and I loved that.. but then I got lazy and the scanning pile was too large. I too am tactile. I keep certain magazines for ever. and every so often have a magazine day on a bad day. go through them and cull them out. I need to do that again. Victoria just arrived yesterday... culling will wait till another day!

  12. I am right there with you. I still love, love my magazines. I use those magazine holders from Container Store and label them. But I only keep full issues of ones in which nearly the whole thing had great info/inspiration (and my Cooking Light mags because of the recipes.) The rest I tear out pages and put in clear covers in a binder. My husband is a Computer Engineer and everyone assumes we own one of those e-readers but neither of us can get behind them. We still love our BOOKS.

  13. I have lucite magazine holders and keep them on shelving in my office....but I KNOW there has to be a much better way. I want to know more about this wand style scanner b/c I hate sitting at the scanner...which is why I end up saving everything.

  14. I can so relate! And from the comments above, all of us can.

    So, I use the clear lucite holders for magazines I love and want to keep. Some I've had for years but some issues are just outstanding. And, yes I still have subscriptions b/c I want to support the shelter mags and there is something so satisfying about a hard copy.

    I go through them every now and then and recycle what I can.

    After years of hole punching pages...I found the plastic sleeves in a notebook are much more useful.

    I only scan what I love. I'm a bit more "of the moment" than planning far in advance.

    Always tweaking my methods though. Good luck "sorting" through it all!!
    xo elizabeth

  15. I loved reading al of these ideas as I am in the same quandry!
    That wand 'scanner' thingy sounds great. I NEED to spend a day or 2 or 3 'filing' my images online. I have a MAC and am trying to figure out how to label where it came from and who the photographer was in groups so each picture doesn't have its own file. If you know how, let me know!

  16. BTW...I don't like clear lucite b/c it still looks messy to me. Currently I have file folders for pix torn out of magazines and filed in great looking baskets on my shelving unit! Did a post on it a couple of weeks ago - the closet redo!

  17. OH Yes the magazine issue, I have done all of the above. I keep some in magazine holders from the container store, they have really heavyduty wooden ones in white, that my son got as a gift for my magazine. I have a basket that I put current issues in so I can read them and if they are worth keeping after 3mo. I put them in the white holders. I love a cup of tea and a good magazine and trust me I take oooodles of magazines!!! It looks as if we all have a problem here,hehe, good luck. I am purging my prop closet and I am having a hard time getting rid of my pretties. It is just that time of year, isn't it. We will feel so much better when Spring gets here, Kathysue

  18. I toss what's older then 4 years unless I absolutely can't live without it....
    The rest is bundled by title, ribbon around on top of my book shelves.
    Current issues in a basket behind my desk or at bedside. Current can be as old as 6 month.... ;)
    You get the picture, I am hopeless! I wish I could put them in their own place, but space is of essence.
    Eventually I will put more on my computer, there are growing files on everything I love!

  19. I'm quickly scanning down through the comments here, and can't wait to come back and really LOOK and get some new ideas!
    One thing I wanted to suggest is what to do with old/used magaazines. I used to give stacks, every other month (so this helped me keep the stacks down to a minimum!) to an assisted living center in my neighborhood. They absolutely loved getting all the magazines. It felt good to me, and really brightened the day for many people! Now that we've moved I have to find a similar situation.

    And, I think those magazine file boxes are awful! I want to like them..but you put magazines in there and no, you never look at them again! Too cumbersome and awkward to get out easily. The clear acrylic are better...

    I tend to bookmark the pages, then I also have reference files. I use standard file folders: have two full drawers of them, all alphabetical. Tht way it doesn't matter how big the page is, really, or if you have bits and pieces.

    Will come back to this tomorrow for sure!

  20. Great to bring this up Rebecca! I hate clutter but I love inspiration so I solved it this way recently. I was on a mission to get rid of clutter, I went through every single magazine in my house. Threw out all the mediocre issues. Ripped out just my few favorite tear sheets arranged them in plastic binders for my office. I saved all my Domino magazines and other favorite issues that just had to be rescued. The saved issues were divided up among the bathrooms in the house. So if you want to read them at my house..that's were you have to go! Seems to have been a popular decision...

  21. This winter has been my PURGE project. I've been going through old stacks of magazines and pulling out everything I like and sorting it into categories to scan in to the computer so I have it all digitally. It's been time consuming, BUT it's helping cut down on my clutter and is much better for my mental well being! All the current mags are by my bedside table. Good luck!! *Amy

  22. I wrote a post on my purging of Real Simple. All of the solutions that you mentioned are what I use. The only magazine I keep intact is Coastal Living. It is just too dreamy. As I read a magazine, I rip out what interests me and then file in an accordian file and folder. I do not subscribe to online mags. I love getting a fresh, clean copy in the mail.

  23. I usually try to tear out the pages I like while, or immediately after, I read it and toss the rest. I store them in sheet protectors, in a binder. I prefer to have a physical copy of my favorite pics from a magazine versus a digital copy so I can peruse them at my lesiure. I can always scan my pages if I feel the need.



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