Monday, January 9, 2012

21 Days to a More Organized Home: Day 6

Welcome back to the "21 Days to a More Organized Home" Challenge. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend? Did you set up your mail center? Guess who didn't! Me! Why? The Mortician and I were not home together long enough this weekend to get anything done except watch one episode of a show and then go to bed. I personally have another extremely long week ahead of me. Luckily for the Mortician, this is his short week so he has the weekend off. I do not....again. I'm a little peeved they are making me come in on Saturday again, especially considering its his weekend off, but they are training new hosts so hopefully my schedule will even out again. In so doing, I hope this week we are able to sort our mail clutter, more specifically bill clutter, and make sure everything is taken care of.
On to day 6!

DAY 6: Magazine Clutter

I know everyone here is guilty of magazine clutter. For some reason, throwing out magazines feels like a crime. I don't know why we feel this way exactly, but whatever it is, the magazine companies are doing a great job of keeping us hooked!

However, magazines take up valuable space in our homes and can even make a room feel over crowded and loud. I know a woman who used to hoard magazines. When her children finally were able to remove some of the clutter from her house, they found magazines over 20 years old stuck under huge piles of other magazines, books, and junk. Pretty crazy, right? Not really. This is actually a very common item to hoard and not even realize you are doing it.

As of November, I started receiving 3 magazine subscriptions and I have a 4th on its way. The Mortician is also about to start receiving a magazine, National Geographic, which my mother got him for Christmas. Needless to say, in just a month we will end up with 5 different magazines. That is actually a lot of space. So how to do you deal with magazine clutter?

There are actually a couple great ways to do this.

1. File. If you MUST, and I mean absolutely must, hold onto a magazine, file is, by date, with the same back issues. Do not mix and match. Having a section in a filing cabinet, or on a shelf is appropriate. If displaying on a shelf, consider getting some nice magazine holders which will look wonderful on your display, hide the magazines, and allow you to label and properly store what you want to keep.
2. Scanning. Scan the pages you want and save them as PDF's on your computer. This works best if you are donating your magazines when you are done with them.

3. Clipping. This is personally what I will be doing tonight with my magazines. Clip out the pages, recipes, etc you like and place them in sheet protectors in a binder and labeled categories.

Of course these three options of storage are easy, but how do you start managing the clutter?

When you receive a magazine in the mail, immediately write on the cover the date in big bold letters (Sharpie is great) the magazine arrived. If you don't want to deface the magazine, place a sticky note on it. You can either file the magazine for later use or read it immediately. Mark the pages you believe you will want to keep or make a note that the entire magazine should be kept. Before the end of the month, scan or remove the pages you want or file the entire magazine. If by the end of the month you have not done this step or even read through the magazine, recycle it, no questions asked, or donate it to a doctor's office or retirement home. Make sure you remove your address label before doing so.

You don't need to feel guilty about getting rid of a magazine. Most of the information is also available for free online within a few weeks of the release date. This will take some time getting used to, but if you stay committed to reducing the clutter in your home and creating a more positive home for you and your family, you will find it becomes second nature. Stick with a system and a plan. Mark it in your planner the days you need to address your magazine clutter.

Today (and tomorrow if you need it), I challenge you to go through ALL of your magazine clutter. Check the dates on ALL the magazines you have and make a note how far back you have kept magazines. This date may shock you. Begin planning 1 day of the month, each month, to address magazine clutter. I suggest the middle of the month because this is usually the time the next issue is coming out so you won't have to deal with two issues at once. If you spend just 20 minutes going through your magazines, you'd be surprised how much you'll get done and how much clutter you will remove from your home.

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

All Posts:
Day 1: Welcome
Day 2: Time Management 
Day 3: Using Your Planner 
Day 4, Part 1: Mail Clutter
Day 4, Part 2: An Action File
Day 5: Other Paper Clutter
Pin It! Organized Home Edition 1

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