As we work our way through the final week of the Get Organized! Challenge, it is getting harder to find items we can shed in large numbers. Nevertheless, I think you have a good chance of finding 25 candidates from today’s category: magazines, catalogs, and newspapers.
Let’s take each category one at a time…
In spite of digital alternatives, many of us still enjoy print magazines. They are colorful, tactile, and fun to look through. Unfortunately, we often subscribe to more magazines than we have time to read. My general rule of thumb is 2-3 subscriptions per person. Any more than this and we tend to do more accumulating than reading.
One of the biggest struggles with magazines is the accumulation of “back issues.” Life gets busy and often we don’t get around to reading this month’s issue before next month’s arrives. To keep the magazines from becoming a burden, simply recycle the old one when the new one arrives. If you haven’t read it, that is perfectly ok. You shouldn’t feel guilty because you paid for it and didn’t read it. Think of a meal in a restaurant… sometimes they bring more than you can eat. As a wise man once said, “You pay for the privilege to eat (or read!) what you want.”
One further caution: magazines constantly send notices that you need to renew, frequently when you still have years remaining on your subscription. Before renewing, look at the mailing label on the front of your magazine. It will typically show the month and year when your current subscription ends.
Unlike magazine subscriptions, we get added to catalog mailing lists without our consent. Buy one item from a catalog company and you will receive their print advertising for years to come. If you enjoy leafing through catalogs, move the ones you love to a “to read” folder. Any catalogs you don’t enjoy can get immediately into the recycle bin. [Note: companies send catalogs weekly but the content changes much less frequently. You don’t need to review every edition.]
If you enjoy catalog shopping, remember that you don’t need to keep the whole catalog when you want to buy something. Instead, circle the item, rip out the page, and put it in a “to order” file.
If you are getting catalogs you no longer want, there are a few services available to help remove you from the vendor’s mailing list.
News goes out of date more quickly than anything else. If you don’t get around to today’s paper, feel free to recycle it before you go to bed. With online news and the 24hour television news cycle, the chances of you missing something important are pretty small. As with catalogs, if there is an article you want to keep for future reference, cut it out and put it in a “clippings” file. Much of the newspaper is advertising, which adds bulky clutter to your space, so circulate it to your reading location and then move it out.
Do you have a stack of magazines, catalogs or newspapers? Today is the day! Which ones do you find hardest to release?