I’ve been on a pretty major spring organizing kick lately, to the tune of all of this going to the thrift store:

(Actually, there ended up being even more than that: a file box that was too big for our bookshelf, a bag of Andy’s t-shirts, and a bag of miscellaneous picture frames and decor.)

I honestly have no idea where all of this was hiding in our little one-bedroom apartment. It ended up filling the entire trunk of my car! I say good riddance…the next time we move I will be glad not to have that trunkful.

As I sifted through our stuff, one major clutter element I had to confront was my magazines:

I love getting magazines. I get excited every month when they come in the mail, and I enjoy clipping recipes and coupons. Most of these subscriptions I’ve gotten either as gifts or for very cheap during a promotional sale. I always save them thinking, “Well, I might need or want to look back at that later.” But if I’m honest with myself, I never, ever do. Even if something piqued my interest, I probably forget about it and never try to find it again. I’ve taken to marking pages for action immediately and just clipping/scanning/pinning right away. So really this giant stack was unnecessary.

I tried to find someone to give them too, but alas, most of my friends are reasonable and admitted that they had their own stash of magazine clutter! I took a few to work, as we have a small pile of magazines that people will sometimes flip through as they eat lunch. Someone on Facebook suggested that I donate them to a salon or doctor’s office. We have several of each of those right around our apartment, but I just honestly felt like it wasn’t worth the effort. And plus, they might want 1 or 5, but probably not all of these! So, even though it hurt my heart, I walked them down to the recycling bin. It felt like I was throwing away money. But I rationalized it by telling myself that if I clipped one good recipe or got one good piece of advice from each of them, then it was not a total loss.

My solution to keep the stack from getting this crazy in the future was to buy a fun colored magazine holder. It conveniently fits right between our end table and the couch!

(Yes, the floor underneath our end table has become a de facto bookshelf. Hey, it works!)

My rule is that I can keep this holder’s worth of magazines and no more. So, when it’s full, I have to decide which ones go. I feel like I might be more likely to find people who want 1 or 2 than to find people who want my giant stacks. Plus, even if I do end up recycling them, it will feel less wasteful to get rid of a few than to get rid of all the ones I just did.

I’m all about having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place, so I think this system will work well for me. It has felt SO GOOD getting rid of all this stuff and figuring out ways to tame it in the future. Sometimes it just takes being a bit brutally honest with yourself about what you use and how you actually use it.

Have you done any spring cleaning lately? Do you have any ingenious storage tricks that you’re particularly proud of?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman