Polly’s Magazine Guilt

Have a pile of magazines lying around? Feel guilty about throwing them away?

Feeling guilty. Have a pile of magazines lying around? Feel guilty about throwing them away?

My advice: keep the current issue and let the previous ones go… and maybe reduce the number of your subscriptions.

What do you have trouble throwing away?

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26 thoughts on “Polly’s Magazine Guilt”

  1. I used to have such trouble with this as a teen when I read Seventeen and a few other magazines I subscribed to at the time. But now I read digital versions of read magazines, so doesn’t apply to me as much. But I do agree about only keeping current issues as once they are read they do become more of a clutter issue if nothing else.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Innocent Questions Lead to Snow Cone MemoriesMy Profile

    1. Digital versions help with the pile-up for sure! So many people hold onto old issues thinking they will get around to reading them, and then they feel guilty that they haven’t, and then it just becomes a burden! I remember reading Seventeen:)

    1. I’m the same way, don’t like any paper lying around. I read the catalogs that come in the day of or get rid of them. I like the catalogs, but if I don’t get to them, out to the recycle bin they go!

    1. While I understand the sentiment, I’m giving you permission to pitch them! No one wants to be known as the person who gave guilt as a gift:)

  2. Ahhh. This is a very common theme that I encounter with clients. The idea that NOT reading the magazine collection would be a waste…and the guilt that ensures. Setting boundaries or parameters around your magazine habits can be helpful. Some like to use a physical boundary or cue such as when the container of magazines is full, it’s time to edit and release some. Others like to use a time boundary as in keep everything from this year and release the rest. Others have discovered they can enjoy the same magazines digitally and then let go of the paper copies. And many struggle to release them because the contents are interesting and they aren’t ready to part with information that might be useful. It’s a process.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…10 Valuable Kinds of Help to Improve Your LifeMy Profile

    1. It IS a process for sure, and I’ve had luck with all of those solutions you’ve listed. Finding the one we feel comfortable with is the “win”… while just sticking them in piles and avoiding the question is not, right? A physical boundary can be a really simple solution, and one that is quick and easy to try. Thanks, Linda!

    1. I’ve worked with some clients to set up files for those pages that you rip out: “Decorating Ideas” and “Recipes to Try” and “Craft Projects”. It helps to have a place to stick them right away, and then you can periodically flip through your file. I also have a stash of recipes that I keep meaning to try:)

  3. This picture could be me, I swear! I stopped ALL of my subscriptions but some still trickle in. I have beautiful food magazines that I just don’t have the heart to throw out. If I had the time, I ‘d like to go thru them and put tabs on the recipes I want to try, then keep them all in a special bound book. This is on my bucket list for a retirement project….
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…Fly On The Wall In A Home For LunaticsMy Profile

    1. I still have a magazine that comes to my daughter who moved out 4 years ago.. talk about a pre-pay subscription! I think enjoying some recipes sounds like a wonderful retirement plan… I do hope you’ll share the winners:)

    1. Well, I wish you good luck with that. Both of my girls – now out of the house – have boxes of memorabilia still in their closets! Even the one who has been gone for 4 years – ack!

  4. Cute cartoon! You definitely targeted an area of weakness for a lot of folks. I don’t have magazine subscriptions and I’ve never liked reading digital versions of mags or books, but on occasion I will take out a magazine or two from the library!

    1. Libraries are pretty much the “cat’s meow” for me. I’ve recently gotten onto an app called “Overdrive” that lets me check out digital books AND audiobooks, which I love streaming on my phone while I walk. And the best part… they return themselves automatically:)

    1. Your husband is going to dread having you read my blog:) A few magazines is ok… Something tells me you don’t tolerate a tumbling stack!

  5. Love the image. My husband and I went through a pile a magazines this morning. We seem to be on a mailing list for free magazines. He is getting Sports Illustrated. I’m getting Forbes, Inc, Fast Company and Wired. We didn’t order them. I try to read a few but there is no time. I had been piling the Sports Illustrated because I thought he was reading them.

    All but a couple of the newest business mags went into recycle this morning.

    1. Isn’t it crazy how you get signed up for subscriptions? Frequently billed as a free “gift”.. That you now have to manage. You must feel so great putting them into recycling and freeing spce!

  6. A client donated so many magazines this week that as I drove away, my car felt like it had been customized into a low rider! When we stacked them all together she had that light bulb moment of just how much time it was going to take to sit down and read them all.

  7. I do have trouble getting rid of magazines. I can’t remember the last time I bought one, but I can’t resist freebies, and once they’re in my house I have to keep them until I’ve at least leafed through them. When I was an organizer I kept all the organizing-related issues, and I probably still have all of them – neatly arranged in magazine holders, of course!
    Janet Barclay recently posted…Choosing Your Color PaletteMy Profile

    1. That is so funny, Janet! Many people have a connection or guilt about a certain set of magazines. I have one client who feels that way about HBR and another with First Things!

  8. I’m with Linda, that it’s a very common issue and that it’s all about setting boundaries. My blog post “Don’t Let Your Containers Overflow!” addresses physical boundaries (which apply to all categories of stuff). Even if you establish a time boundary (keeping only the last issue, or only the last year’s worth) magazines occupy a controllable amount of physical space.
    Hazel Thornton recently posted…WHY I Love ChoresMy Profile

    1. I’m totally on board with the physical boundary. It requires very little thought and is easy to understand. The only challenge, of course, is to abide by it!

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