HELP. To throw away magazines or not.

Here’s the deal:  its starting to not make sense.  Yes. i’ll keep all the Dominos. And probably the Elle Decor’s. But most of me wants to go through all the Martha’s, Gourmets, Bon Appetits, Blueprints, Canaidan house and homes, ReadyMade, Dwell, House Beautiful, W, Cookie’s etc and pull out every picture that i like and file them by room/theme and then by color in three ring binders (inside plastic sleeves).  

THE QUESTION ISN’T ABOUT THROWING AWAY, ITS ABOUT EXACTO-KNIFING OUT ALL THE REAL CONTENT….GETTING RID OF THE ADS…..

I could have a whole binder for DIY.  A whole binder for ‘Tabletop inspiration’.  My own ‘Entertaining’ inspiration binder……it all sounds so good.  

Yet something feels wrong about doing it. I remember suggesting to my old boss when she moved that she get rid of them and she looked at me as if all of a sudden she had me pegged all wrong – such an absurd suggestion.  And then i remember shooting at the Sara Costell’s house (the style editor at Domino) and seeing her row and row of magazine in awe thinking, ‘god she must just love design’.  In a good way.  It’s like a trophy;  Proof of your devotion.

But, I’m afraid it might also be the same reason why i feel like i can’t get rid of all my Thomas Pynchon books even though i have no intention of reading them again. 

Is keeping every single design/decor magazine (as a whole) actually just for looks?

Will i regret cutting them up? I’m overloaded by magazines and i haven’t looked at A LOT of them for years – i just keep moving them around, house to house just to be in pretty boxes in an office.  BUT, if I actually go through them and pull out inspirational shots then i might actually get use out of them in the future.

But i need help decidiing…..

Vote, please…..

UPDATE:

Thanks for the permission. I’m so excited to start this project.  I’m keeping the Domino’s – the enitre magazine is normally great.  Then all the rest i’m ripping and putting in binders.  I may scan a ton, too, but i still like looking through something physical so i love the idea of flipping throug them.  

Plus this gives me something to do whilst watching all of the TV that i’ve become addicted to (we started Game of Thrones last night…oh dear). 

Thanks so much for all the imput.  And some of you had really good digital ideas, too, which i might do as well (the one where you take pictures of them and it automatically files by subject is a genius think that i didn’t know existed.)

xx

  1. Sarah

    That's why I love PInterest. Most magazines are on Pinterest now and share a lot of those epic shots we love to (horde) keep. I can pin my favorite images onto my inspiration boards without storing a bunch of magazines I'll never look at again.

  2. sue

    yes, the eternal dilemma! i pick & chose my style bibles very carefully… the following magazines in my possession will NEVER be torn up: from the uk it's livingetc & elle decoration… from Oz, it's inside out & country style… all the rest can be ripped apart, used to sop up coffee spills or just thrown out… ;) i think the inspiration folders make a heap of sense and will no doubt be flicked through a thousand times for each project! it's also nice to have something to show a client so you know you're on the same page (no pun intended!)

  3. Donate them! I'm sure there are lots of aspiring designers who could use them!

  4. I believe most designers have this same dilemma. I can only attribute it to the fact that the magazines are so beautiful and we are taught as children to respect books and such.

    I haven't attempted my design magazines yet (sounds so daunting!) but I did all of my MS Everyday Foods and now instead of spending all of that time leafing through every issue, I look in my handy dandy binder that is organized by entree, app, etc.

    I would say that if the act of tearing up your old magazines is heart wrenching, perhaps just scan your inspiration pictures and post them all on Pinterest. I'd rather see them and use them than leave them hidden inside the pages. After, you can GIVE AWAY your magazines to a local women's shelter.

  5. house

    well since i just moved into a smaller place and just had to purge – i feel your pain. And since i've moved across country several times in the past 5 years I purge every time i move including ditching most of my Dominos which i now regret. However i have tear sheets galore and instead of putting them in binders or notebooks i'm scanning each page and loading them into zipfiles as backup and keeping them on my hard drive. If i need them i'll print out the image but mostly i'm keeping it as an inspiration library.

  6. kerry

    i feel like i wrote this blog post. it's scary. i too keep thinking i'll go through them all and clip out the great stuff and categorize- one day? it's pretty sick to move mags from house to house, i do it almost biannually, but don't throw them out completely!! and i think it's ok to cut, if you have the time :)

  7. tabitha

    I say start with one and see how you feel. I never regret cutting/tearing out the less expensive less design-y magazines but I do feel kind of "dirty" cutting out the cooler ones. I usually then just pass it along. Often the stuff is found online so I mark what I like, find it online, save it digitally, then give the magazine away to a friend.

  8. I just went through this, too – and ultimately parted with years' worth of Dwell, Metropolis, Martha, Blueprint, etc. I did keep the ReadyMades because I'm still convinced I'll go through a hugely productive DIY phase at some point (mmn hmn, right).

    Do I miss them? I kinda miss the Marthas because they're just so sweet and well-designed and seasonal and pretty. Do I suffer because of it? Nope; almost everything's on the website anyway. Overall I feel pretty good about the purge. Do eet!

  9. Jen b

    I keep the Dominos, Dwelll & Lving Etc. I only keep certain Martha Stewarts.

  10. I think you have to follow your instinct. I know I felt great when I finally started cutting out the Martha Stewarts and did exactly what you plan, organize by subject or inspiration and put in sleeves in binders. It felt great and I love them! and I've never looked back.
    I can find recipe, sofa, paint color, art, book suggestions, craft inspiration any time I choose.

  11. I make a rule keep them for the year take out what I want file it and then drop them off to businesses that require reading material in the waiting room. I never feel guilty things and styles change and it's to much clutter. Although I've kept all my Metropolotian Home!

  12. katie hill

    same boat. i did a file system with folders in my filing cabinet, but binders would be really helpful, too. with all the eye candy on blogs and pinterest i find that i look through my magazines less and less…

  13. I make a rule keep them for the year take out what I want file it and then drop them off to businesses that require reading material in the waiting room. I never feel guilty things and styles change and it's to much clutter. Although I've kept all my Metropolotian Home!

  14. whitney

    Sounds like you're onto a good idea…keep one or two "sets" of the same magazine…this way your stacks will look more curated and less like hodgepodge stacks. Then exacto out the stuff you want out of the others. My guess is while you're exacto-ing you'll realize a lot more off that stack is trash than you first thought. A smaller, neater stack doesn't mean you like desgin any less…youre just better organized…(and maybe Pinterest savvy)

  15. Kat

    I say do it, although I'd suggest keeping your Blueprints too. I've done the same with mine, but always regretted the Blueprints and Dominos I did this to since they went out. Other magazines I keep on a issue by issue basis (Martha, Dwell, Elle Decor, Living Etc.). I do like my binders however, and it's quite true what another commenter said: your list of "to keep" becomes smaller once you start pulling out your photos/articles. Other considerations: re-examine your 'keep' stacks year by year and I bet those will slowly dwindle as well. Also, make sure you somehow note publication, issue, date so you can track down information on items/the designer in the photo again if you'd like to (this is why sometimes it's easier to keep the whole page).

  16. I just don't have the space. If I haven't looked at it in a year, it has to go.

  17. Susan

    Cut 'em.
    Bind 'em.
    Love 'em in their new form.

    Idea #1: take them to a local print shop and have them trim the bind for you with one big WHACK. I bet they would 3-hole drill them too.

    Idea #2: have a mag party with pals

  18. Jac

    cut! I cut then once a year, I put into books. By then I know if I still love the image.

  19. Sarah Sumner

    I have the full set of dominos and I cherish it with pride and break them out to peruse every now and again. I also have 2 black fake leathery sketchpad notebooks. One houses cut outs that relate to travel. There are sections divided by continent, by state for US and a special section for things to do in New York. The other book houses all things style. Basically each page becomes a mood board of sorts. I watch chick flicks as I cut and use my glue stick. It makes me feel like I could totally make my own magazine.

    Now, I love magazines. LOVE. I work in the media business so maybe I'm biased. My current solution is to dog ear everything I like and then go online and try to save via pinterest. You really can find most pages/images in the online version. If you can't then tear those pages out. If an issue is amazing in its entirety and you look at it at least once a year – why would you feel bad about that? It probably gets read more than any book on your shelf!

  20. Imogen

    Cherish the ones you love, hack the other ones ruthlessly. You'll feel so good when you're done! And it actually sounds like you'll get better use out of them if you pull out the stuff that's meaningful to you and organize by topic.

    Read "It's All Too Much" (my fave decluttering book) if you need some cheerleading.

  21. Heather K

    do it, but … ONLY keep what you LOVE. I routinely find myself ditching pages I pulled out b/c I liked it, or … Maybe one day I would make the xyz thing or whatever. But I don't. When I do finally make something, I don't even remember where I saw it. And I do have pages divided up into different binders, that are all now (years later) exploding all over the place. But I still love leafing through them, and discovering how my taste has (and hasn't) changed. And I don't regret ditching much.

  22. Ivanna

    I take pics of the articles or recipes I like and want to keep. Then I put them in Evernote tagged by topic. No binders. No files. No physical space taken up. The bonus is they become searchable. Then recycle. It's cathartic.

  23. I pull out the inspiring pages and keep them in binders – I have one for home decor, one for projects, one for recipes, and on and on – yes, I have a lot of white inspiration binders but I hate the idea of magazines piling up everywhere – that seems crazy too. This method works for me. It's also easier to reference when I want to go back and look for something specific. I still have a pile of Dominos that I keep waivering on and haven't torn yet ….

  24. Hannah May

    Do it! It feels more disrespectful to me if you just have them sitting there sadly, not getting any use. I feel like it's more respectful to put them to use than to just have them there to prove what? to whom?

  25. Jenn

    I have the same issue with magazines. So far I am keeping them all, because honestly my tastes and interests change. I find myself revisiting my old magazines when I need inspiration and something that might not appeal to me or interest me when I first looked at it is suddenly inspirational. So if I only clip what is interesting to me today, it's highly likely I am throwing away something that might interest me tomorrow or the day after.

  26. I just went through this same dilemma… before I read so many design blogs, before pinterest, before EVERYTHING was online, I cherished my magazines and religiously clipped out what I loved and put them nicely in three ring binders with page protecters. I still have them (the binders) and love looking through them from time to time … I have one for inspiration / ideas for clients, one just of baths and one of just kitchens. But now, I find that I barely even have time to read the magazines since I spend so much more time online and yet last week I decided to go through the huge pile of them and did just what I used to do – clipped what I loved. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed sitting down with the actual print in front of me and reading about the designer's thoughts and the client and not just looking at a million images like I do online. It was lovely and like being on vacation. But I did not clip as much as I thought I would because I feel like my design idea bank is so full and the binders have no room. And interestingly, the older magazines that I had purposely kept because I thought they were such great issues (not because I didn't have a chance yet to read them) did not excite me anymore. I used to give my binders to new clients to let them peruse through and help me get an idea of what they liked but now I just show them images on Houzz from my iPad. So I got rid of most of the magazines – gave them to a teacher who uses them in her classroom. I couldn't part with a lot of my Elle Decors or my most current House Beautifuls… those are my favorite and a few MS Living. I tucked them neatly back into my cupboard. No they are not on display.

  27. Jamie

    I did the mammoth project of extracting all the great inspiration photos from the magazines I hoarded and filed them. I can honestly say, I have only referred to them 2-3 times in 2-3 years. I am not sure it was worth the effort.

  28. Betsy

    I did this a few years ago and I would definitely say I look at my binders FAR more than I did my back issues. One thing though, if you have a lot of mags (and it certainly sounds as if you do) this is a BIG project and can be a major time suck. Something to think about.

  29. heather a

    I just moved from Boston to Portland, OR and had to decide the same thing. I did cut up the magazines I didn't adore or only had a few images I was interested in and saved them in binders. I had years and years worth of Martha Stewart's Living magazine and I had some much to do and not enough time and my beloved Living magazines went in the recycling bin. It's been it's been 9 months since my move and I still regret tossing my magazines.

  30. Sabrina A

    Aesthetically speaking: no, don't snip and toss. Having a library of Elle Decors in matching Hermes orange magazine binders as far as the eye can see is design eye candy in and of itself!

    Practically speaking: yes, you MUST separate the wheat from the chaff. I haven't done this yet but realize how absolutely necessary it is when trying to recall what issue I saw that Farrow and Ball paint color in or that kilim that left me tongue agape. Was it December 2010 or February 2011? No, it was the special design issue – the quarterly one! Um…nope.

    In every issue, There are "OK" rooms and "Oh my word!" rooms. It's bollocks to have to sift through countless mags to find the one image you really need for inspiration right now. Who's got time for that? Edit, edit, edit!

  31. Jessica S.

    Cut them up and organize them. I had the same dilemma. I did just that – and I felt so free (of magazine clutter).

  32. Crystal

    I love organizing things into binders, so if you're up to the time involved I would totally do that. How relaxing to lay in bed and be able to look through your favorite images in one place.

  33. I agree with many of the previous comments and started to do the whole binders-by-theme thing, but wasn't good about keeping it up so I'm left with stacks of clippings that are waiting to be filed and there are still at least 100 magazines that I am hesitant about cutting because it's hard to tell if what I disregard today might interest me in 6 months. Eventually I stopped renewing the subscriptions and now only buy the ones that really appeal to me at the store and occasionally get boxes of them from friends.
    My newest dilemma? A crate full of magazines from the 80s I got at an estate sale. Granted the majority of them are made up of recipes or "country" living, but THE ADS inside!! I grew up during that era and feel the need to keep each and every ad that showcases something I remember eating or using that isn't around anymore.

  34. AF

    Why not just scan the images you're interested in keeping. Then you're free to either file them on your computer, load them to Pinterest, or print them out and keep them in a binder. …It'll take up more space to have both, but it's a good interim option while you're still trying to decide whether to keep or toss.

  35. There's nothing like paper! To me, Pinterest etc just aren't the same. But yeah, pick just a few mags to keep whole and then clip the rest! I love going through my folders of clippings.

  36. Ugh. I'd rather do just about anything than cut and organize images. If it were me, I'd go to all the work to do it, and then still never look at them. I use Pinterest for that type of activity now and it works for me, but that's just me.

    Maybe there is a design school that would love your supply of mags? Good luck deciding.

  37. amyks

    I was a great magazine hoarder until we were moving into a new house. I couldn't stand the thought of lugging all that into my new place only to be put on a shelf taking up precious space. So, I went through most of them and clipped and snipped and put in a binder. Then I donated the rest to the local hospital and my kids' art teacher at school. I still get tons of magazines, but I go through them more frequently and send them to away after I am through with them. Dwell magazine and House Beautiful are the only 2 magazines I hang on to for now, but that could all change, too.

  38. Sam

    yes. do it. cut out what you love and toss them. you WILL feel better, lighter, etc! simplifying is hard but a relief once you've done it.

  39. Cathey

    I'm not a designer, but I used to keep every single back issue of Allure and Shape until my room got horribly cluttered-looking because of them. I went through them all with an exacto knife, cut out pages and organized everything. Now it's insanely easy to find what I'm looking for, rather than having to look through 18 issues before finding one certain article. Plus magazines have so many pages of ads, making them take up even more space when kept!

  40. I know what you mean. I am promently displaying my Domino's on a bookshelf, but my other magazines are collecting dust. I've thought about doing what you have suggested, but the time and energy to do that scares the pants off me. On the flip side, are they doing you any good in their whole form? Wouldn't it be like your own private!!! pinterest when complete? I'm torn too… tell me what to do!

  41. I tear out what I want to keep, file it in a binder, and then recycle the rest of the magazine. It was just becoming too much to keep them all.

  42. I'm pro culling. Take a hatchet to those suckers. You'd rather prove you're into design by emitting the results of consuming inspiration… Not by curating a collection of magazines. :) I have a max number of current magazines I allow myself and the ripping usually starts the first go through. You'll be much more tempted to peruse you "favorite custom magazine EVER" … And maybe I'm a bit sick in the head but a binder fat with protected pages just makes me smile!

  43. CT

    I'm on the compromise page — keep one or two and dissect the rest. It's for the better good (clean and uncluttered living space, also organized source/inspiration materials). But also give yourself some credit — you're very talented and creative on your own! Sometimes as designers I think we feel a strong need to hold on to all this inspiration material (thus the very foundation of Pinterest) when really some of the best ideas may have a basis in something that's already been done but moves forward into what your creativity makes it. So anything you need for a mood board (e.g. your own creative idea for a client) can be taken from product images on the manufacturer's individual websites. :) Problem solved. Cheers – CT

  44. Cut them up. Keep what you want in a binder – or scan it and save it to your computer or iPad for easy access to your inspiration. Don't keep them just because "that's what designers do". If you ever decide you want a magazine collection, then start again, but it sounds like you need to simplify right now.

  45. Cut up what you don't love. I did that with my domino magazines years ago, not thinking that such a great magazine would go unpublished for awhile. Oops, but I only slightly regret it. In general, I hate magazines. They are constant space hogs and daily reminders of how little time I have to read and manage them. My husband still gets magazines, but I'm pretty ruthless with what comes into our house. I ended ALL of my subscriptions, and I feel great!

  46. BridgetG

    Whoa! Don't let stuff own you. I ditched the Seventeen mags at age 18, the Glamour at 20, Country Living in the 80's, etcetera . . . . . I've never regretted it. Now my save/ditch angst centers on design pubs. However, I've decided time is the most precious commodity, so I choose to not spend it on finding space, dusting, and organizing dated magazines. I have notebooks of saved pages that I frequently flip through. Admittedly, this is not from the perspective of a design professional . . . . . .

  47. As a reformed magazine hoarder, I can relate. When your pretty coffee table books have no shelves to live on because a decade of magazines is hogging all the real estate, this decision will become easier. I went through my issues Blueprint, Domino, Dwell, Met Home, Elle Decor, Saveur, Cookie, and MSL and took out what I still loved and filed it away in a cute accordion file box. I do this now as I go: read a new mag, tear out and recycle immeds. Half the time, what I tore out shows up on Pinterest anyway. While I mourn the beauty of an uncut mag, it's just not practical for my life anymore, and I don't regret my sacrifice. There's always more beautiful around the corner.

  48. Julie

    I'd be lost without my lovely, organized, design binder. Before I had it I'd have to search through years of magazines to find the images I was looking for, now I just flip to the correct tab and find everything I've loved. I'm pretty sure after one look at your amazing home it would be obvious to anyone that you love design; no need to have stacks of old magazines lying about to prove your devotion! Plus, as a bonus, in a fire it's a lot easier to grab a few binders than stacks upon stacks of magazines.

  49. Erin

    Do it!! You'll feel so much lighter. And besides for a magazine to be really useful you need it to be organized. I use IKEA boxes which look neat when stacked and don't require any hole punching. It's sort of a refreshing project (I say that, even though I have a stack of images yet to be catalogued sitting on the floor of my office… they've been there at least 4 weeks.)

  50. I debated this for years, but I finally cut mine and I've never regretted it. When I clip, I clip anything and everything that I feel I may want to see again. Magazines are so full of advertisements and other junk that I usually keep very little. Now I have a beautiful notebook where every image speaks to me.

  51. You can always use gravity's rainbow as a hipster doorstop, but hoarding umpteen billion magazines will only bring you cat lady gravitas.

    Recycle (in a trash can) the ones you were planning to cut up. Go pinterest instead.

  52. MBG

    Don't be a hoarder. :D

    Take the pics/ideas you want, file them in a meaningful way. You could even make a style project out of it–figure out a way to honor the pages you want to keep.

  53. Madeline

    I did this (well, started to do it…it's a long process) a few months ago, and found that many of the older issues were kind of useless, with maybe one or two pages of good inspiration. I would def. err on the side of the tear-sheets, rather than keeping a million back issues, however, if for nothing more than the fact that moving a gazillion magazines is a bear.

  54. khanh

    i keep all home decor magazines & donate or recycle all fashion magazines.

  55. cloud19th

    I like re-reading magazines a couple years later… but you know who else likes old paper? silverfish. So I try to limit my stash to one bookshelf.

    p.s. WHOA! new hair! very spring-like! (seaon, I mean)

  56. Maggie O

    I have stacks of Dwell/Elle Decor/House Beautiful/New Yorkers – not enough to be a hoarder, but enough that they are taking up too much shelf real estate. I'm slowly editing them – I just need a few of the pretty pictures of pretty rooms. And I still like to have the magazine photos to look at – but I don't want to keep too many. I don't want too many binders/files etc. I have a file on my hard drive with some photos. I don't tune into Pinterest – it looks too cluttered to me. It's not about keeping the picture to me, it's about getting the spark of inspiration, so that I'm trying to figure out what is the best way to preserve the picture so that it can still be a spark. I don't want to duplicate, so there's no reason to have every literal picture.

  57. I vote no – tastes and trends change over time and what you would throw away now may be awesome inspiration in a few years.

  58. Mary

    Toss 'em. You don't even have to tear them apart….you can go through them one by one and snap photos of each photo you like, file and store them electronically and / or upload to pinterest. Then you can donate the intact mag to a library or something.

    Or, keep every magazine forever and maybe have a chance to star in your own 30 min. episode of Hoarders in 20 years.

  59. I have kept my Dominos, Blueprints and House & Homes but the rest? I hardly have time to be on PInterest, let alone pouring through old magazines. Spend a couple days going through the ones you don't treasure and then breathe in that huge lungful of "I don't need all this shit" air. Feels good.

  60. Robin

    This is a dilemma for sure! I am being run out of my very large bedroom by the interior design magazine hoard that I add to every month! I, too, have every Domino and every Blue Print. I have many Living, Etc. and Elle Decor, as well. In addition to all the magazines, I have an extensive hard-back library of interior design books. While it can be overwhelming to share space with all this paper, I have to say that I truly enjoy ALL of my design books and mags. I take a stack to bed with me every night and leaf through them before falling asleep (doesn't say much for my love life, does it?) ;o) I enjoy interior design so much that it is very relaxing to me to leaf through a favorite old book or magazine and soak up some of the ideas I see. Even tho I've seen them all dozens of times, I am not always in the same frame of mind when I look at them, nor am I always looking for the same new display idea or color for one of the rooms in my home. Nope. I can't part with any of them right now. If I ever move, however, I will have to reconsider. I know there can be too much of a good thing and I think I will need to practice the art of purging when it comes time to load all the very heavy paper into boxes and tote it to another location. Until then, I will continue to hoard the inspiration and live amongst it!!!!!

  61. Rachel

    I've been doing the "rip out only the stuff I like" thing for a while. And it's great, because I'll actually go back through the pages and refence all of these great ideas that I loved! The main problem is, while it definitely saves space, I never seem to get around to "filing" the images. I have them grouped and piled into giant bins, not elegantly organized into binders like I'd planned. However, having 2 small bins of organized magazine clippings is still WAY easier to leaf through and reference than stacks upon stacks of magazines that just seemed to be taking up space… Anyway, my point is that I definitely think it's worth it since I actually go back and reference ideas I like and it saves space!

  62. Katy

    I go through the same dilemma with cooking magazines all the time. I say, keep a few standards that are your pristine collectors items, and the rest, you should cut up and file so you can actually use them. And actually, for some (Bon Apetit, for example), you can probably find everything online and just use pinterest to sort/file and throw away (read: recycle) the hard copies.

    But I use the same philosophy for my book/magazine shelves as I do for my closet– if I haven't looked at it or thought about it (or worn it, if we're talking clothes) in the last 12 months, I get rid of it. And to avoid purging-regret, I first have these items sit in a box for a month (kinda like purgatory) before taking them to the library/ good will/ a consignment shop/ the recycle bin, so I have the chance to rescue them back if necessary.

  63. Linda

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Cut out your fav articles and pictures and save them in binders. Like you, I lugged boxes of magazines from house to house. Then, one day, as I unpacked the boxes for what seemed like the billionth time, the light bulb went on and I had that, “YES!” brain flash, “Save only what I REALLY like in binders.!”. Now, I take down my binders and I can find what I want fast, without going through all those magazines that I had marked with, what else, paper towels. (What a mess that looked like on my bookshelves!) Well, Emily, lighten up on the excess detritus in your life. You will never regret it! Oh, and libraries and charities stores love to have your old magazines, even if they have been cannibalized. Good luck!

  64. Julie

    I am having the same problem. First, I became a landscape designer and decided to purchase every book about landscape design ever printed. I have 3 bookcases full of books, some that I haven't looked at in years. Now I've decided to get rid of some, at least the simple ones, like "Containers for Dummies" and stuff that I'm well beyond in my career. But my newest passion is fixing up my parent's old farmhouse; so I get every design magazine I can find, and have saved them all for the past 3 years, and I'm getting overwhelmed. I can't keep all the landscape books AND the magazines AND the "When Pigs Fly" gold pig that you made me buy on OpenSky, Emily. BTW, its kinda rose-gold. I also have no room to keep the magazines fashionable in a pile on the floor, like I see people do IN the magazines. Doesn't work in my 10 x 10 office. Here's the solution: Get an iPad and subscribe to all the magazines on it, and then you can clip and save anything and everything on the iPad forever. I also found a cool app for my iPhone and Mac called EverNote. You can take a picture of the pertinent info in the magazine, and then write however much of a note about it, and it updates on your iPhone, iPad, and computer, all at once, so its always accessible. Although, if you have the room, I vote you KEEP THEM, and style them pretty in boxes and on shelves, like only you can do. My 2 cents.

  65. Hayley

    Before my last move I spent weeks cutting out magazines and putting images in books. I got rid of a ton of magazines, BUT I have not once looked at the books I labored over. Something about the impermanence of magazines? The accessibility of online images with CONSTANT inspiration that is better than the last? Not sure. But you might find it better to either toss or keep, but skip the books.
    Cheers!

  66. Molly

    Clip out what you love and file it. I had a huge pile of inside outs, a huge pile of Vogues, Elle Decors, and then a bunch of randoms. I started a filing system, and let me tell you, it is exhilarating to get rid of clutter. Of course you love them–they are beautiful. But they are just magazines.

  67. HK

    Keep them and in their original form. It's like listening to an album, not just a song from an album. Yes, there's inspiration or a great idea in a photo but the magazine tells a story and if you're keeping things over time, it's best to keep something in the original state. You have ideas of your own and through your work, I think keeping magazines serves a different purpose.

    I'm not a designer but the only magazines I read are about design and I just made this decision – Domino, House Beautiful and Elle Decor are all organized chronologically where I can access them and I think it was the right choice.

    Good luck!

  68. Kelly

    I really loved Susan's idea of taking them to a print shop!!! A lot of people don't know but print shops have these giant machines that will cut thousands of pages stacked together at a time (for CHEAP like $1.00 a cut). So you could probably get hundreds cut for like $10.00 and then they could also hole-punch them. That would make it soooooooooooo much easier to organzie them. The organization system you choose have to be easy so I think stuffing them in a plastic protector is going to make it more work.

    If I did that, I would just make it a goal to go through one magazine a night keeping things I like and tossing the ads. Then maybe just have someone (an intern?) organize into room types (bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens). I would love a project like that (I am an organization freak! And can you imagine being able to pull a binder off the shelf and its full of 100 different bedrooms that you loved???? That would be SO great to have! Highly productive.

    I guess it depends if you want the magazines because they are "pretty" all on their own or if you need them for design inspiration. If you wanted them because they are "pretty", unfortunately you probably have to keep lugging them around. If you want them for inspiration, It would definitely be worth the 1-2 days to organize.

  69. Kelly

    Love the Ikea box idea too instead of a binder. Even easier than a binder!!

  70. I don't know if this has been previously mentioned, but instead of creating binder stacks of inspirational images, choose a nice sunny table and take a photo of each spread that you love, then categorize on your computer with the rest of your Pinterest, Houzz and other virtual folders. It's even cleaner and easier!

  71. PS I keep a pretty metal basked on my bookshelf for tearing purposes these days. Now when I get a favorite magazine that I don't plan on keeping, I tear out the good stuff right then and there and into the basket it goes. I then sort, photograph, etc once every couple of weeks (or… months :)).

  72. Deborah

    Oh, please don't rip up your Gourmet magazines. Those are the magazines to treasure and lovingly display on your shelves.

  73. Emily, there come's a time in your life when you come to a crossroads. Let's take a moment to reflect…

    …enough reflecting. Keep it all.

    Or at least most of it. If I were you, I'd go through each issue and catalog your favorites (WHOLE issues) into magazine binders. The one's that aren't your favorites: cut THOSE up! Maybe try to get your collection down by 50%. Who knows, there might be a few that you totally throw away.

    As for me, I have a hard time getting rid of creative magazines, but I justify it by claiming that they are a tool of the field. I'm a graphic designer, so it's easy to say that about literally anything that has been designed. Muahahahahahaha! *evil laugh*

    (side note: I looked on ebay the other day for an issue of Domino, and people are selling them for BANK! Or maybe you could have a blog drawing for a small stack of them.)

  74. rok

    I have all my Domino's, and I got them bound by a library service (remember those old periodicals at your college library?). I did the same to MSWeddings, but that is more overwhelming b/c it keeps going :)

    -R

  75. Juliet W

    Oh I just did this, after moving my gigantic "in memorium" stacks of Domino from under my bed to over my desk for the millionth time. I've never been able to bring myself to actually cutting an image out of one…how do you decide which folder to put a magazine image in when that one page captures "candles", "lucite", "tabletop", and "color themes" with equal success? I finally stopped grieving and ripped out the pages I DON'T want (ads, plaids, ultra modern), leaving the intact spines behind. It cut the bulk down by about a third which helped a lot on my limited space and I am planning to make a "master" issue in a 4" binder with pages slipped into sheet protectors so I can enjoy flipping through them whenever I need the old Needleman inspiration. The instant bonus was ending up with a folder full of Domino's little sticky tab pages to use in other magazines and books.

  76. Emily – I had this same issue a few years back and am glad you decided to follow the "tear" method. It's so easy to be sucked into a design magazine just for a few key pages (that picture of a painted tall boy with one color slightly different than the rest, for example) when most of the time there is only one or two publications that design my love and devotion from cover to cover. I have torn and cut and glued all the inspiring pieces from magazines into a large sketchbook for years. It's too big to lie flat any more, but my labor of inspiration love is now only the best of the best. My tip: read once through and then flip through a second time with the intention to tear, then recycle. Good luck with the project!

  77. Did you seriously read Gravity's Rainbow? I applaud you.

  78. "Dave"

    Get evernote and just take pictures of the stuff you like with your phone. Toss the paper magazines…