How to get rid of that unsightly magazine buildup

Apparently I have a thing for magazines, because I’m realizing that we’re completely buried in them over here. For some reason, I seem to have separation anxiety when it comes to getting rid of certain magazines. I’m very quick to toss the Rolling Stones, Entertainment Weeklies, Mother Joneses, Atlantics, etc. Of course, those are Greg’s so that could have something to do with my lack of sensitivity. But for some reason it’s heartbreaking for me to get rid of Martha Stewart Living or ReadyMade. Right now my craft studio is buried in stacks and stacks of them and it’s hard to focus in such a mess. We currently only have one and a half bookshelves in the house, our idea being to read our books and then pass them on rather than just keeping them to collect dust. So the room for excess magazines in the house is minimal.

Exhibits A, B, C and D:





I saw a blog entry somewhere suggesting to slice off the spines, thus breaking your emotional attachment to it and making it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff. Once you’ve ruined the magazine altogether, it’s funny how much of it doesn’t seem to have any value anymore. So I’ve been slowly working my way through some piles, and I thought I’d share how effective it’s been, because I’m sure I can’t be the only one with this problem.

I started with Real Simple, because it tends to be the thickest and also the most full of advertising filler. As you can see, I used a box cutter and a self-healing cutting mat, but if you’re not a nerd like me and don’t have one, you can probably use a cutting board or scrap of wood or anything that you don’t mind scratching up to protect the working surface.





After all the pages are free, I go through the stack and separate it into two categories – the right is what goes, the left is what stays. As you can see in the background, a glass of wine (and some background music) makes this an especially pleasant and somewhat mindless project.


After doing this for three issues, the pile on the left is what remains that I’m keeping and the pile on the right is getting recycled. Not bad!


Unfortunately I haven’t decided what I’ll be doing with the remaining pages to archive them, but I’ll probably categorize them in file folders or if I’m feeling super ambitious, I’ll scan them into the computer. Yeah right.

4 thoughts on “How to get rid of that unsightly magazine buildup

  1. Neon Relish says:

    Nice going with the spine idea! I am going to have to try that trick, I bet it saves a lot of time.

  2. jessica says:

    I completely understand. I have a stack of Real Simple magazines that stretch out the wazoo, and I am completely powerless to get rid of them. Every time I try to throw one out, I am overwhelmed with the thought that I one day may need a recipe or instructions on a better way to clean my bathroom tiles. I think you may have the right idea – keep the pages you want, organize them in some fashion, and get rid of the parts you won’t ever need.

    Let me know how you make out, because I’m clueless!

    By the way, I got here from your Myspace post about Porter- he’s adorable! Long time lurker, I’ll admit it.

  3. Kate says:

    Jessi, I love that you read this. Now I’m going to start stalking your blog…

  4. Dawn says:

    Thanks for this post. I have the exact same problem in that for some reason I have no problem whatsoever discarding certain magazines (e.g. People, Entertainment Weekly – generally your “light” reading) whereas I feel heartbroken at the thought of parting with others. I’m definitely going to give this a shot. By the way, love the blog redesign.

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