Paring down the periodicals

For someone who just returned from vacation, I am really tired. By 10 a.m. I could go back to bed. And yet, there’s laundry to put away, dishes in the sink, phone calls to make, blog posts to write, muddy footprints to vacuum, and that suitcase isn’t going to empty itself. So this was not the week for a big project, but instead for what I think of as “maintenance projects.” Not exactly groundbreaking reorganization or redecoration, just those things you have to do so you don’t drown in piles of stuff. And by stuff, I mean newspapers and magazines.

But first, another cup of coffee.

Since I started couponing in a semi-serious way, we now get the newspaper. We don’t read all that much of it; I would rather read it online. Here’s Wednesday’s paper scattered in the kitchen, after I’ve gone through the Dining section and all the grocery ads.

Here in the living room is the pile of unread (and some unopened) papers from the weekend. My husband gets the Sunday New York Times, which he does read, but somehow he didn’t get to it over the weekend while he was sole breadwinner AND parent-in-charge. He does most of his reading on his train commute. I keep trying to read during Mr. Nine’s karate class (assuming I don’t have Mr. Four on my lap), but the sensei is forever interrupting me with, “Now Moms and Dads, watch your children while they do x, y, z…” On the mail center next to the front door is a stack of mail waiting to be sorted. On the hall table are piles of library books, a stack of forwarded mail for the snowbird grandparents, and a basket full of random things that we empty from our pockets and pick up off the floor. And here are the magazines. I never think we get that many until I start the sorting process. To be fair, a few of these are hand-me-down magazines–we tend to exchange magazines with family and friends. And three or four of our subscriptions were completely free (my favorite kind). But free or not, they seem to pile up. And this bunch doesn’t even include the food magazines that I file somewhat regularly in the kitchen. I weeded out a bunch of old issues to recycle and a bunch to pass on, and then arranged the rest chronologically. And then I put them away in the living room, where once in a great while I read a magazine and have a cup of tea. The hall table is clear. I bagged up the mail and found a spot for it in the closet. I still need to go through the rest of the basket, but I did pull out all the magazines that had been hiding in there. And I dusted! Mail has been sorted. Now if you’ll excuse me, now that I’ve found the latest issue of Newsweek, I’m going to go read it over breakfast.

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12 responses

    • You are very sweet! But it was one of those tasks that didn’t take very long once I got started–maybe half an hour? But it made a huge difference in how the house feels. Much calmer!

  1. It seems that I’m constantly recycling and sorting out magazines, and yet they still pile up so fast. The paper-sorting organization & cleaning in my house is still my #1 challenge, so kudos to you for tackling it…and right after a vacation!

  2. Oh, man, I hate paper piles. I have the hardest time with them. Those little slips with notes jotted on them, especially, are the bane of my existence. But you showed those piles who’s boss! Very inspiring!

  3. It’s not a big project, but those little projects add up and create a big impact. The other day I was sick, but the house was such a mess I told myself to clean off the dining room table. Just by doing that, it seemed like the whole place looked much cleaner!

    Great job this week. 🙂

  4. Magazine heaven, could bury my face in each and every article! What a fantastic job organizing and cleaning out those piles. It may not have been a big job, but surely it does have an incredibly big impact. Looks fantastic. Hope you got time to enjoy your morning coffee and good read.

  5. Nice job! That definitely would have been more than just a quick project for me. I managed to get 15 minutes of filing done today also. If I did that once a week, I would no longer have a pile in my office…but I need to declutter the filing cabinet too. Certainly no shortage of projects around here lately! 😉

    I started a project on my magazines which is ongoing. Since most of them are about cooking with a bunch of recipes I always want to try, I am going through and marking the ones I think sound good enough to give a whirl (have hubby involved in that process also). Then I’m going through and scanning what I want which will later be filed in evernote.

    That’s the only way I will manage to ever use the recipes since I can then search through them all (gotta love text recognition). Then they are all headed to my MIL’s house and then on to whoever she cares to share them with. I thought about trying to sell them, but honestly for about a buck each, I just can’t bear to go through the trouble to put them on ebay.

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