How to declutter magazine collections, have fun and get things done!

Are you like many… a collector of magazines? Are they piled high in your living room, office, bedroom, or bathroom? Do you keep them near out of fear of throwing away a perfectly good article? If so, this organizing tip is for you.

You can hold onto your favorite magazines and beat the clutter by following these simple steps each time a new one arrives in the mail.

Here’s what I do when I get my monthly subscription of Sunset Magazine: I cut out the articles and recipes that I want and recycle the rest immediately. It’s as simple as that! Imagine letting go of over 50% of those piles without getting rid of what matters most to you. In the process you have glanced at the entire magazine and cut out what you REALLY want to get to later when you have more time.
Tip: Before tossing the leftovers, cut off the name & address label. Always shred or cut up your personal information before sending it to the recycle bin.














Next, I grab a few file folders for my cut outs. This color blue makes me happy, so I use these instead of boring beige. There are so many colors and designs to choose from out there…use what you like!

















I created my own favorite categories: “Thing to Do,” “Things to Eat & Drink,” and “Things to Read & Feel Good About.” Customize file folders to your liking and lifestyle…”Places to Visit,” “Things to Buy,” “Business Tips,” and “Reference Photos” are examples. Be careful! Only make a few folders, you don’t want to end up with a file cabinet full of magazine cut outs. Keep it SIMPLE.

















This is my set-up: labeled file folders, stapler, scissors, and magazine. I tear out pages and neatly trim, or cut out pieces of a page I want to keep. I staple together multiple pages of an article to keep them together.
















My three categories: “Things to Do” (left), “Things to Eat & Drink” (center), and “Things to Read & Feel Good About” (right). Out of a 58-page magazine, I am keeping 18 pages. I am cutting my magazine paper clutter down by 69%!















Next, I bring my desktop file holder into the picture. This is where I neatly store my magazine file folders. I keep it all here and nowhere else, and can place it on my desk, the kitchen counter or out in the open anywhere else in the house without it being an eyesore. When I act on something, I remove the page and recycle it.
If it’s a recipe I make and love, I move it to my recipe binder in the kitchen. If it’s a Thing to Do and I do it, I yell out “I’m so adventurous (or) creative!” and recycle the page, making room for new adventures and creations. If I successfully read it, the information is absorbed and bye-bye the paper goes. If I want to share something I absolutely love from the magazine, I mail it to a friend and in an enclosed note briefly write about my experience. It’s been too long since we’ve mailed REAL letters.


















If you use a desktop file holder, you can instead use the hanging files themselves as folders, and insert a labeled tab. I personally like to place file folders within a hanging folder for ease of removing and taking with me for the day, such as when I need to go shopping for ingredients, or want to take it to a friends when recruiting partners for an adventure. 
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your magazine files get fatter and fatter and you’re not having fun or achieving things in life, it’s because you’re not acting on them! It’s time to put your magazine collections to use! They are building up clutter…so dive in, take action, have some fun & get things done!






Isabella having fun in Death Valley, CA. 2011 – The Racetrack















More ways to prevent magazine collection  & paper pile-up, have fun, and get things done:

  • Use shredded magazine leftovers as shipping material.
  • Use magazines to create fun collages with the kids or a vision board for yourself.
  • Download this Stop Junk Mail Kit created by the Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition for numbers to call and websites to visit to be removed from Catalogs you no longer want to receive, Direct Marketing lists, Credit Card offer lists, Sweepstakes, Shopping Flyers, Junk Faxes, and more.
  • Read  more Paperwork Organizing Tips




Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

Call (510) 229-7321 to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.