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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Organizing And Storing Magazines

I love magazines. I really have enjoyed magazines in my life. And my Daddy is the king of magazines. One of his big interests are farm magazines, vintage tractor and farm equipment magazines, how to magazines, recipe magazines and, of course, National Geographic. In fact, when he designed his home, he designed special shelves for his National Geographic collection. He has 95% of all the National Geographic magazines. So enjoying magazines is something I grew up.

In the past I've had subscriptions to Soap Opera Digest, Christianity Today, Christian History, Biblical Archaeology, Discipleship Journal, Prevention, PC, Consumer's Digest, Reader's Digest, Victoria, Martha Stewart's Living, Southern Living, Civil War, American History, Taste of Home, Country, Reminisce, House and Gardens, and probably more. I never kept my magazines. I might have kept them for a year but, in the end, I passed them on. If you donate or pass around your magazines be sure to remove your address on the magazine. Just snip it out with some scissors. If you have a year's worth or more and they are in good shape, you can donate them to your library book sale, charities like Goodwill or sell them at a yard sale. If you have just a few, then leave them in the waiting room at your doctor's office or your hair salon; pass them to an interested family member; or, donate to prisoners in jail, etc.

Sometimes I wish I had kept my magazines. But if I did, I would have had to have a way to organize them. And this is what this blog post is about. How do you store and organize your magazines? It depends on your reason for keeping them. For instance, are you keeping them because you want to own the whole collection (like my Dad's National Geographic collection). My Dad not only enjoys reading them but he has a desire to have the whole collection. He keeps a list in wallet of the years he is missing so when he goes to antique stores, etc, he can whip out his list to check to see if someone has an issue he's missing. Just like someone would collect baseball card or stamps, he collects his National Geographics. Or do you keep them because you want to refer back to special articles? Maybe you want to be able to go back and find that recipe for pot roast or you want to refer back to an article on the importance of Vitamin D in your diet. Or maybe you keep them for the photos. You may love beautiful photos or decorating photos. As you can see, organizing your magazines depends on why your keeping them.

Ask yourself if you have the room to organize and store your magazines. If you don't have room, then don't collect them. Just pass them along. But if you have the desire to collect them and the space to store them, then here are some ideas for storing your magazines

For special holiday magazines or seasonal magazines, you might keep those together. For instance, your Christmas issues of Southern Living, Martha Stewart's Living and House and Gardens. That way, when that time of year comes back around you have your past issues to enjoy again, as well as, the new Christmas issues.

You can keep them chronologically by year. This is how my Dad stores his National Geographics. They are by month and year. The oldest issues begin on the top shelf, left and then he filled his shelves. If you want to read the March, 1918 issue you can go right to it.

These two methods don't help you find particular articles or items of interest. For instance, if you want to find the Coconut cake recipe in Taste of Home, it wouldn't help you to have your Taste of Homes in chronological order. How do you refer back to a specific article? Here are some ideas I found on the Internet.

Try clipping the articles and keeping them in file folders.

You can have a file box for Recipes and file folders for Desserts, Main Dishes-Beef, Main Dishes-Chicken, etc. Or have a file box for Home Decorating and file folders for Color Combinations, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, etc. Or have a file box for Gardening Ideas with file folders for Annuals, Perennials, Trees, When To (When to plant such and such, when to fertilize grass, etc). Make a file box for Physical Fitness with file folders for articles on Aerobics, Pilates, Yoga Positions, Running.

You can do the same thing with notebook binders. Clip the articles and place in binders like your file boxes.

If you don't want to destroy the magazine by clipping, then how about copying the article. If you have a multi-function printer you can copy and/or scan the articles of interest. This is what my Dad did with his specialty magazines. He didn't want to destroy potentially valuable magazines by cutting them up. So he would copy the articles and store in binders. But we live in the digital age now, so why not scan the articles and store in folders on your computer. Decide on a file naming system and name your files consistently and keep them in the correct folders. For instance: RecipeMainDishHamPastaHamSaladTasteofHome1_2014. The beginning of the file name is it's category "Recipe", then it's sub-category "MainDishHam", then the recipe's title "PastaHamSalad" and finally the name and date of the magazine you got it from. Now file it in the folder "Recipes", sub folder "Pork". For another example of naming your files how about HomeDecorBlueColorCombinationHouseandGardens5_2012. If there are more than one "BlueColorCombinations" in "HouseandGardens5_2012" add one number or letter to make it different. HomeDecorBlueColorCombinationHouseandGardens5_2012a. If you don't have a decent scanner, try using your digital camera and take photos and store them digitally.

You could use a color coding system. Using the little sticky note tabs you could do Blue for Recipes, Orange for Home Decor, Green for Gardening, etc.

Using magazine holders is another idea. Having matching magazine holders and a good labelling system can organize, store and neaten up your collection.

I don't have any subscriptions any more. I can get what I need from Google searches, websites, ezines, etc. I use Pinterest to save articles. I have Pinterest boards for Recipes, Home Decor, Organizing, etc. So as I come across an article or blog post on the Internet, I Pin it to one of my Pinterest boards and I can go back to it any time. You can make as many boards as you want. You could have a board named Recipes Pork, Recipes Beef, Recipes Salads. Or how about Home Decor Kitchen, Home Decor Color Combinations, Home Decor. Or History Civil War, History American Revolution, History WWII.

I hope I've given you some ideas on how to store and organize your magazines whether physically or digitally. There are pros and cons for both keeping hardc opy magazines and pros and cons for going digital. My Dad isn't computer literate and he doesn't trust digital. He'd rather have magazine in hand so he wouldn't risk losing a digital file. He feels it's more secure. I understand. OTOH, to me it's much easier to save, search and retrieve articles or pictures from digital files. You can do both. You could create a list of articles and where they are found in Excel.

For instance create an Excel file MagazineIndexes.xls. Then create tabs for your categories: Recipes, Home Decor, History, Gardening, Physical Fitness, etc. Now go to the Recipes tab and start creating an index. Create column headings with titles such as "Category", "Sub-category 1", "Sub-category 2", "Recipe Title", "Magazine", "Issue Date", "Page". When you find a recipe you want to keep then make this entry:

Main Dish...Pork...BBQ...Sam's Famous BBQ...Taste of Home...Jan, 2012,..24
Desserts......______...Orange Coconut Cake...Southern Living...Mar,1999....46
Soups...Poultry...Chicken...Chicken Noodle Soup...Martha Stewart's Living...Sept, 2001...53
Soups...Vegetables...____...Minestrone...House and Gardens...Nov, 2004...78
Desserts...Pie...Fruit...Cherry Cobbler...Taste of Home...Feb, 2002...17

Now you can sort and/or search by categories. Maybe you want to find all your poultry recipes which include chicken, turkey, goose, etc. Or maybe you want to find all your cake recipes or all your vegetable recipes or all your broccoli recipes or all your Southern Living recipes. Once you find the specific recipe, it tells you what magazine it's in, what issue and what page. Go to your hard copies and pull the magazine. This system gives you the best of both worlds.

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