How to Get Rid of Magazines Once and For All


Learn how to get rid of magazines for a boost of usephoria. It’s great to get rid of things.

I have a love-hate relationship with magazines.

As a writer, I love that magazines exist because they give people like me places to get published, and to get paid to do so. How to get rid of magazines and keep them out of your house.

As a reader, I love that magazines give us interesting things to read and think about. Or, in the case of many of the magazines I have subscribed to, they give us inspiration and project ideas.

But they just sit there.

Piling up.

More every month.

It’s relentless.

And you never have time to read them all before the next batch comes. At least that is how it has always been for me.

I’ve Had Enough

How to get rid of magazines and keep them out of your house.
This stack of magazines is almost 4 inches tall and some of them date back to 2014.

I used to subscribe to just about every knitting magazine published in the United States (there are more than you would think). I told myself I needed them for my job, and that if I were going to submit patterns to the magazines I ought to be reading them.

But the thing is, I never read them.

I stacked them and stored them and didn’t even take the plastic wrap off them for months.

Or longer.

I finally decided I didn’t need to subscribe to all these magazines if I was never going to look at them. (I still subscribe to one that I really like, but the others I let lapse.)

So that takes care of the magazines coming in.

What to do with the ones that are already here?

How to Get Rid of Magazines the Usephoria Way

How to get rid of magazines and keep them out of your house.
From 4 inches to 35 pages. That feels good.

I want us all to be happy about the process and the act of getting rid of things. And I know some people have great attachments to magazines.

There’s so much potential in a stack of magazines: projects you might make or things you might learn.

But here’s the thing: if you don’t look through them, that’s all there is. Potential.

And a giant stack of clutter that literally and figuratively weighs you down.

How much better to go through the stack, make quick decisions about what to keep and get rid of the rest?

Because my pile is mostly craft magazines, I can flip through and pull out any technique articles I want to read and any patterns I might want to knit.

For magazines that are more article-based, flip through and pull out articles you really want to read. Do not keep whole magazines unless they are less than a month old.

With news magazines (and probably many others), anything that’s more than a year old should be tossed without looking through it, because it’s literally old news by now.

I know that’s hard. You’re afraid you’ll have missed out on something great.

And maybe you will have.

But you were already missing it by not reading it for the past year or more, so just declare it gone and move on.

Then make your stack of tear sheets (fancy journalism term there) your to read pile and make a commitment to going through it and recycling things as you read them.

Tips for Reducing Your Magazine Consumption

  • Read articles online. Many magazines publish their most popular articles online to be read for free.
  • Get a digital subscription. More publishers offer digital only options, so you can read the magazine on your computer or tablet.
  • Check the library. Visit the library to see what physical copies they have. You may be able to check them out, or browse them while you’re at the library. Check their digital resources, too; you might have access to digital magazines you didn’t know about. (My library offers access to zinio, which doesn’t have any knitting magazines but does have some great stuff.)
  • Share with friends. Have a group of friend who all love the same magazine? Get one subscription and pass the paper copy around.
  • Have a plan to read and discard. If you simply must subscribe to magazines in their paper form, make a plan to read them as soon as you can after they enter the house. Then either recycle or donate the magazine and get it out of your house.

How do you deal with magazines? They can be really hard because it’s clutter we consciously invite in. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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