Even though there’s undoubtedly an abundance of inspiration and information available via digital magazines, blogs, and Pinterest, which I all love, I still very much enjoy receiving printed magazines in the mail that I can physically flip through and rip pages out of, while settled in a comfy seat with a big cup of coffee in hand. It’s a relaxing treat at the end of the day.
As much as I love printed magazines though, I don’t like the physical clutter they can create. If you’re like me and have several subscriptions, you know how easily and quickly magazine piles can grow and get out of hand if you don’t periodically toss them or do something to tame and organize them.
Today I thought I’d share with you my system for keeping my magazine collection in check. While I do keep some magazines in their entirety and treat them as books because they’re filled with a lot of visually rich and inspiring content all throughout, what I try to do with most magazines is selectively rip out the pages I want to keep, and organize those pages into binders.
A few of my magazine clippings binders made pretty with simple matching covers
As I’m reading through a new issue, as soon as I identify content I’d like to save, I rip out the page. It may be an article that I found informational and want to reference in the future, or a city guide for a place that I’d like to visit, or an image with a beautiful color story that I find inspiring. I set aside the pages I’ve ripped out and (temporarily) put them in what I’ve designated as a magazine clippings box, because lets be honest, most of the time after reading a magazine, I’m in relax mode, not in organizing mode.
When I’m in the mood, usually on a different day, maybe while watching TV or something, I’ll take my magazine clippings and separate them out into the following categories:
Action – things to buy, recipes to try this week, sites to bookmark, etc.
Business – advice, resources and inspiration for my biz
Cleaning & Home Improvement – how to’s, tips, guides, reviews for appliances and other home products I don’t need or can’t afford right now but possibly will later, etc.
Decor – inspiration, products, guides
Dream Home Inspiration – home ideas that I absolutely positively love and dream of incorporating into my future home
Entertaining – tablescapes, ideas for the holidays, etc.
Fashion – outfit ideas, guides
Food – recipes, cooking tips
Hair & Beauty – ideas and guides
Health & Fitness – informational articles, guides, how to’s
Organization – inspiration, ideas, products
Travel – interesting places I’d like to check out, city guides, travel tips
Someday Maybe – projects I might want to try sometime, book lists, movies I’d like to watch, etc.
Wisdom – articles regarding balance, happiness, spirituality, perspective etc. (helpful for getting out of a funk or getting through a depressing time)
With the exception of the Action category, which I have a tray for near my desk (more on my office trays later), I created a binder for all my categories. Each binder is filled with clear sheet protectors and tabbed dividers (for sub-categorizing). To organize the magazine clippings, I simply put each into a sheet protector in the appropriate binder and under the corresponding sub-category.
My Travel binder with clear tab dividers labeled with sub-categories: Local, Weekend Getaways, National, International, Travel Tips
Here are my tips for anyone who may be interested in doing something similar:
-Go through one or two issues of each magazine you subscribe to, and take a look at the pages you’ve torn out to help you come up with your binder categories
-Assess your needs before going out to buy supplies. I personally go through a lot of magazines and tend to tear out a fair amount of pages, so I determined that I needed a separate binder for each category to neatly fit everything in and leave space to add more. If you’re someone who doesn’t subscribe to a lot of magazines and/or doesn’t tend to tear out that many pages, you may decide you can organize everything into one large binder or maybe combine two or three categories into each binder. If you need to, you can always expand later.
-Keep in mind also that not all your binders need to be the same size. Most of mine are 1″ but for some categories, like Fashion and Decor, I have 3″ binders.
-Make sure you use either extra-wide dividers, or dividers that are specially made for use with sheet protectors (like these). If you get regular dividers, since sheet protectors are wider than regular letter sized paper, you won’t be able to see the tabs.
-Label the divider tabs with a label maker for a neater look (if you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend getting one, it’s so handy!)
-If you want to downsize and organize a collection of back issues you’ve accumulated over time, do it in batches. Trying to organize them all at once can be overwhelming. Plus the process is more fun if you let yourself do it as a leisurely project
*This post was brought to you by the folks at Office Depot. All thoughts, ideas, and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle sponsors!