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Week #21 Organized Home Challenge
Organizing Magazines, Newspapers & Catalogs

Your challenge this week is organizing magazines, newspapers and catalogs in your home so they're not overtaking all your flat surfaces, and you can find what you want, when you want it.

How to organize magazines, newspapers and catalogs in your home {Part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This is one of those weeks of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge where either this task will be a piece of cake for you, or this will be something that completely overwhelms you.

Typically, there is not much in between on this one. You either love to collect information of all sorts in newspapers and periodicals, and beautiful pictures in magazines and catalogs, or you don't.

If this challenge is easy for you, great! After you take the steps below keep working this week on organizing your files some more, since almost everyone can use a bit more time on that task.

If, on the other hand, you've got lots of magazines, newspapers and catalogs all over your home, let's dig in this week and get organizing!

Are you new here? The Organizing Magazines, Newspapers & Catalogs Challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).

Step 1: Declutter Your Old Magazines, Newspapers And Catalogs

How to organize magazines, newspapers and catalogs in your home {Part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge on Home Storage Solutions 101} #OrganizeMagazines #OrganizeNewspapers #OrganizedHomeuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

The first step in this challenge is to declutter lots of the older issues you've got in locations all around your home.

You've only got so much time to read, and only so much space in your home, so you've got to let go of older periodicals to make room for the new ones.

When decluttering these items here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Only keep the latest week of newspapers, older ones should be put into your home recycling center or repurpose those newspapers because no one wants to read week old sports scores, and old news. (Get even more instructions on newspaper recycling and decluttering here in the 15 minute mission.)
  • Keep only the most recent issue of each company's catalog you're interested in. Older stuff may now have a different price or no longer be available, so recycle those older catalogs instead of holding onto them.
  • If you receive a catalog and don't plan on purchasing anything from the company for a while, just recycle it immediately, instead of holding on to it. Another one will come along soon enough, plus you can always look online if you need something in the mean time.
  • Better yet, if you don't want anymore of those catalogs at all in the future follow these instructions for how to stop junk mail to opt out and eliminate these catalogs from even coming through the mail to you anymore. (Here's the declutter catalogs mission for more information.)
  • Consider going digital with as many of your newsletter, periodical, magazine, and newspaper subscriptions as you can, so you don't need to take up any space in your home with them anymore. Using a large screened mobile device, with Internet access, like an iPad or Kindle Fire can make reading on a screen an enjoyable experience, even if, like me, you thought you'd never give up paper!
  • Consider donating your old magazines to charity or other organizations, instead of just trashing or recycling them. Here are the top 7 places to donate magazines to give you ideas of where you might like to donate yours.

Step 2: Make Time To Read And Enjoy Your Magazines And Newspapers Or Stop Getting Them

If, during the process of decluttering your old magazines and newspapers you start to feel guilty that you haven't actually read a lot of this stuff yet, you've got to confront a bigger problem than just getting rid of excess paper in your home.

declutter magazines, 15 minute mission

You're bigger problem is that you've got too many subscriptions and things to read for your limited time constraints.

To save yourself money, and grief, go ahead and stop your subscriptions to some of these periodicals. This may be hard to do for some of you (and I speak as a former magazine-a-holic) but it can be quite liberating to receive less stuff, so when you do get something in the mail you anticipate reading it, instead of feeling like it is another assignment you've got to read, or else.

(Here's my article on decluttering magazines, including considerations of when you may have too many, for more discussion on this topic.)

Step 3: Create Files For Any Inspirational Pictures Or Ideas You See And Want To Save

Another issue you may encounter when decluttering your newspapers and magazines, during the Organizing Magazines and Newspapers Challenge is that you want to save one or two articles or pictures in a magazine for later reference.

over the door magazine storage pocketsOver the door magazine storage
pockets [Click to buy similar item]

First, seriously consider whether you'll actually ever reference it again. I speak from experience when I say, I haven't looked at even half of the stuff I just "had" to save from magazines ever again. If that's you too, don't make a lot of work for yourself for no reason. Just toss the whole thing without wasting your time filing stuff.

In addition, with awesome digital resources like Pinterest (click the link to follow me!) you really don't need to save much of this stuff anyway, at least not in physical form. Instead, just save it digitally and save yourself quite a bit of space.

However, if you feel you must save a physical copy, tearing out a couple of pages here and there is better than keeping the whole magazine. Just make sure you place the tear outs into your home filing system under a specific project or goal, so you can find the ideas later. Throwing them all into a catch all file just begs you never to look at these things again. Plus catch all files never allow you to find what you want when you're looking for it.

Examples of a good way to file this information, say for an upcoming remodeling project in your home, would be like this:

  • Master file folder called "Bathroom remodel"
  • Sub folder called "Bathroom color palette"
  • Sub folder called "Bathroom fixtures"
  • Sub folder called "Bathroom storage solutions"

Then, once you've finished the bathroom remodeling project dump the contents of the folders since the project is finished!

Step 4: Corral Your Periodicals Into Logical Locations In Your Home And Rotate Them Often For Freshness

magazine rack or basketMagazine basket or rack to hold just the latest issues
[Click here to purchase on Amazon]

Now that you've winnowed down your collection considerably, it is time to corral all your newspapers, periodicals and catalogs into logical locations in your home, as the fourth step of this challenge.

For example, all of your business related magazines and subscriptions might go in your home office, all your recipe magazines would go with your recipe collection, and your entertainment or fashion magazines would go in the room you prefer to read them in, such as your living room or bedroom.

The key to keeping these collections and subscriptions under control, from now on, is to only keep a certain number of them in your home. Set a limit for yourself, such as keeping the last four issues, or all that can fit into a specific magazine storage solution, for example, and then donating or recycling the rest.

Step 5: Consider These Catalog And Magazine Storage Solutions

The final step in the Organizing Magazines, Newspapers and Catalogs Challenge is to consider which storage solutions you will use for organization of all these subscriptions and periodicals.

Snap N Store magazine file boxMagazine file box for bookshelves
[Click here for similar item on Amazon]

One of the worst ways to go about organizing magazines is to just create stacks of them around your home. These stacks, especially of slick magazine paper, start sliding everywhere and visually make a big mess.

To help you keep your subscriptions under control visually, and also force yourself to keep only a certain amount of them at a time in your home, it is best to use magazine storage solutions. There are, of course, lots of different varieties to choose from, including the following:

  • Magazine organizers, including boxes where you can hold magazines upright and place them on book shelves
  • Baskets to hold your periodicals, which you can place on the floor next to a couch or bed, for example
  • Magazine boxes, which lay flat, and that you can store whole magazine collections in
  • Magazine racks, including wall mounted and over the door varieties
  • Specially designed storage solutions used to hold reading material in specific locations of your home, such as for your bathroom or next to your bed

Tell Me How The Organizing Magazines, Newspapers & Catalogs Challenge Is Going For You

getting rid of media and entertainment clutter hall of fame

I would love to know how this week's Organizing Magazines, Newspapers & Catalogs Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized these items in your home in the comments.

I also love before and after pictures of organizational systems, and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!

organize passwords, warranties and manuals challenge

Sneak Peek For Next Week's Challenge

We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the Organizing Magazines, Newspapers & Catalogs Challenge this week. However, I want you to know that we're getting close to being done with most of our paper clutter and organization section, with just a couple of areas to go, plus organizing our home office (or office area).

For example, next week we'll work on organizing a couple of other miscellaneous paperwork items, such as organizing Internet passwords, and warranties and appliance and electronics manuals.

Make Sure You're Set To Make The Most Of These Organizing Challenges

If you'd like to join a small community of others who are all commmitted to these organizing challenges and decluttering missions, and want more interaction with me, as well as weekly group coaching sessions for the upcoming week's challenge, I'd urge you to join the private and exclusive Declutter 365 Premium Facebook group (you can learn more about it at the link).

Declutter 365 missions premium

In addition, have you gotten your Declutter 365 Products yet, to make sure you can get even more assistance with decluttering and organizing your home this year? There are both free products (like the Declutter 365 calendar), as well as add-ons, such as daily text messages and a Premium Facebook group.

Declutter 365 products to help you declutter your home over the course of this year

For instance, this is what we talked about in the group coaching session, in the Premium Group, for this week of the challenge. (A replay is available, and ready for you to watch immediately, once you become a member!)

Join Declutter 365 premium and listen to this coaching session about Week #21 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge and accompanying decluttering missions, with a discussion of decluttering sentimental papers, plus magazines and newspapers {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

How to organize magazines, newspapers and catalogs in your home {Part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

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