Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Decluttering Magazines

My mother thinks I'm odd because I'm always either decluttering or going on about decluttering. I have inherited her inability to get rid of magazines. Since I was a young'un I have always loved magazines. I love books too (more so) but don't seem to have the same problem. I do have a number of books but have regular decent cleanouts and are happy to pass them on.

But back to magazines.

At intermediate school I used to have my favourites on order at the local bookstore - English 'Girl' magazine was one of them. It had photo stories with speech bubbles like cartoons. Then at high school I loved English music magazines (Culture Club and Boy George, Paul Young, and all manner of pop and new romantic bands).

Then in my 20s I bought all the Vogues and remember subscribing to US Elle by writing to them from my job at the city council (actually I wouldn't even have been 20 then) with my credit card number. Pre-internet you had to make much more of an effort to subscribe to international magazines.

From my late 20s I started on home interiors magazines like Vogue Living Australia, US Elle Decor and many, many others. The American one with Dominique Browning with the incredible eyes as the editor. And also Oprah. I subscribed to her magazine almost from the beginning but eventually stopped as I couldn't keep up with all the reading.

Are you stressed right now? I am!

I still have most of those Oprahs and I think (I know, humour me) I will read them cover to cover one day.

If my fairy decluttering godmother could wave a wand and make every single magazine in my house disappear I would be happy.

The reason why I still have a lot of magazines despite rigorous decluttering episodes is because they have cost me money. And on some level I believe they have important information for me, if only I had the time to read them.

If I added up how much money I spent over the past thirty years I would be shocked. I think my biggest problem is that I think of magazines as permanent possessions, when actually they should be thought of as disposable.

I would never use disposable plates, dinner napkins or cutlery, because that would be wasteful (and unchic). But I waste way more money on disposable reading and then get stressed out because the disposable reading is piling up because I haven't disposed of it.

And, the Universe is playing tricks on me. Since I stopped purchasing magazines (ages ago, at least a few years) I am given them from everyone I know, and I seem to regularly be gifted subscriptions as well as offered ridiculously cheap deals from the companies.

I feel quite trapped and I swear I am not being melodramatic!

Then I got to thinking, what's the worst that could happen if I got rid of all the hundreds of magazines I have stored in the house, right now, without opening a single one?


  1. I look forward to see what you do with them. That's a really good question to ask..."what's the worst that could happen". Maybe a lot of the information is outdated by now and also, think of the time it would take to go through all of them.

  2. Stephanie, it's my day off work tomorrow. I am already planning to load up the car (we have two temporarily) and deliver them to a charity shop. As you know, when the decluttering bug gets you, it gets you!

    For me, I think blogs have replaced magazines. That's why I don't have the time and inclination to read them as much anymore.

  3. What would happen? Nothing ... other than feeling liberated.

  4. After reading this blog post, I've been able to let go of my old Real Simple and Southern Living magazines. I still have my stack of Victoria mags though, at least for now :)


  5. Hi MJ, good for you! I still have some magazines, but not many. Maybe two dozen Victorias, a handful of Real Simples and a current reading stack which I have to be a bit ruthless with. I have been getting magazines out of the library - we can reserve the latest issues online - and the best thing about that, apart from not having to buy them, is that they have to be returned in two weeks! No clutter!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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