Simplify, Just an hour a day!

A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.–Eleanor Roosevelt

This is my goal for the next two weeks. Simplify. Isn’t that a wonderful word? It’s been used a lot in fabric names and patterns lately. Must be significant of our times.

My friend Anne and I were talking and she suggested taking an hour a day to work on cleaning out the “stuff”. You know, the stuff that collects all over the house? You’ll find it when you open a drawer, open your closet or look at that stack of papers by your desk that have piled up.


I HATE to show you my mess, but I realized that in order to get my point across you have to look. I’m taking an hour each day to work on these kind of projects and I’m starting with my magazines, and catalogs. I can’t believe how quickly they pile up! They are in every room, calling my name, collecting a bit of dust, and waiting for me to rescue them from the stacks!




After stack,

After stack,

After stack!

And the solution? I have a few that I’ll share, but I’d love to hear yours! What do you do with those magazines you subscribe to?

I have two magazines that I love and I can’t part with a single issue, “Victoria” and “American Patchwork and Quilting”. I keep these in magazine holders on my book shelves, arranged by date and year. I need to add labels and this will be part of my one hour a day cleaning session. (:


Next, I go through the rest of the magazines and tear out the articles I want to keep. Some I glue into sketch books so I can easily flip through the pages for ideas,


And some go into plastic pages in 3 ring binders

I have a binder for each subject. Part of the process of simplifying is to add beauty to your life. I have to do something to dress up these binders! Add that to my one hour a day…

Oh no! I think I hear the mail truck coming! NOT MORE MAGAZINES! Help! What should I do? My husband says I get more catalogs and magazines than anyone on earth. He can’t be right, it would be the first time!

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  • Nanette Merrill and daughters - Anne, you do just what I do. Some go into organizeers, some I put in protectasheets in a binder and some I toss. I’ve gotten so I don’t resubscribe to some of my magazines if I don’t LOVE them. If there is a particular issue I see that I like I buy just that issue. I agree. Simple is best in all ways in life.ReplyCancel

  • julia - Ha, I wish I had your problems – here you can only get the national magazines easily…and they aren’t good…(that’s what I think – well it’s a question of taste)…if I want to have the real pretty magazines I have to spent lots of money — so I don’t have much of them = problem solved ;o)
    But you shouldn’t ask me about my free online pattern collection…no order at all…
    I love the pink polka dot magazine holders!
    Good luck for the rest of simplifying your home,
    greetings from Germany,

  • Mary - I think this magazine thing could be a disease … and I have a very, very bad case. (I recognized each one of those pictures you posted, how sick is that?) I do defend (justify?) myself just a little by the fact I look at those magazines over and over again before carefully cutting them up and putting certain pictures into notebooks. (Is that a disease too?)

    But, I’m with Nanette. I have simplified just a little by subscribing to a lot less than I used to.ReplyCancel

  • PamKittyMorning - I have a magazine ‘thing’ as well. But I do pass them on almost immediately if they don’t have anything I want to save.. I send them to my mom who reads them and passes them along to friends. Those folders and holders look cool, but like a lot of work!
    I’m with Mary, I recognized those photos! We must all like the same stuff!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - I just did that with all my magazines a little bit ago. You can read about it here:

    And just so you know – your husband is wrong – I have more magazines than anyone else I’m sure.ReplyCancel

  • driftwood shack - What a clever idea- I have mine in a very neat pile or two or more! lovely neat white spines-and 5 large folders for when I cant find any magazines in the shops- then i look through my old ones!ReplyCancel

  • mascanlon - Nope…I have more magazines…lol. I get about 10 subscriptions. Not entirely my fault my granddaughters are in the jr high stage one right after each other so the fund raiser is, yep you guessed it! And of course they have to have enough credits to go on the limo ride for ice cream. I am calling my local senior center to see if they’d enjoy a few piles! And I’m going to look for such lovely files, the brown ones just aren’t cutting it!ReplyCancel

  • Jean C. - The idea of sharing w/senior citizens is a familiar one. Also, take some and drop them off at your local dr.’s office when you go! Just make sure and take off your address! I’m always wanting to take home receipes out of those magazines… I like your way of getting them organized though. Very Pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - I thought to myself as I began reading your post, “oh, this is no surprise, we read the same magazines.” but, then it got a little wierd when i saw that we cut out the same articles!! isn’t that funny? good luck with the sorting…it’s a never-ending drama around here, too!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - First I think your magazine stacks are beautiful! I also have magazine organizers and a notebook with protector sheets; not as many as you. If I don’t tear anything out or perhaps only one thing…I donate the magazines to friends and they pass them along. The rest goes to recycling.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Anne, I love your pink and white magazine holders and the binder idea is great! I do something to that effect…except my binders are huge! I can’t throw anything away! lol :) So, I stopped subscribing to magazines…now I will buy the occasional one.ReplyCancel

  • periwinkle - I tear out the pages and put them in plastic covers too but I have stopped buying a lot of magazines
    Lisa xReplyCancel

  • Irma's Rose Cottage - OMG! I know I have this disease. I have magazines all over. In my house, in the living room, in my bedroom, in the kitchen, bathroom, well, you guessed all over. I even have stacks and book cases full in my cottage. My DH jokes that he will be putting them in the burn pile. Heh! Heh! I’ve locked the door to my cottage and have hidden the key. I’ll know if he gets in as he will need to break in and I will hear the broken glass. Ha! Ha!
    Truly, I must get organized and learn to not fear to cleanse my home and cottage of magazines. One day, OK? But not today.

    Irma :)ReplyCancel

  • yellowfarmhouse - Oh ya I have the magazine addiction also and end up piling them up in different places waiting for me to rip out what’s important. I like your system and would work better than my manila folder and basket that I put them in. I’m struggling with getting organized also and I’m going to try your method – 1 hour a day – I bet I will be surprised at what I get done. Keep up the great ideas – I can use them :).

    Hugs – karenReplyCancel

  • Susie - Anne, This has been on my mind over the last few days to a point where I am thinking of ‘bartering’ goods for time. Ask a friend to come help me sift and sort and organize my paperwork. Yikes. I think it multiplies during the night. I love your magazine holders and binders. I usually pass some of my magazines along so others can enjoy or have them dropped off to hospitals, etc. where people have to sit and wait. Happy Organizing!
    Susie ~ The Polka Dot RoseReplyCancel

  • Julie Isa - I am so glad I’m not the only magazine fanatic! I organize mine exactly like yours, although, I don’t have those great pink holders!ReplyCancel

  • Red Geranium Cottage - I hear ya!! My magazine stacks are out of control. They are everywhere and lots are still in the plastic that the mailman delivered them in. I have cancelled subscriptions even cause I can not read them fast enough. I love your polka dotted binders.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - I have major magazine issues too. Love your storage boxes!ReplyCancel

  • Rachael Rabbit - I vowed to spend 1 hr a day weeding in the garden – I’ve been pretty good … but not perfect. When it comes to cleaning out stuff from my work room … well I haven’t managed to face that one yet ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Helz - I actually bought a sign saying SIMPLIFY… French Provicial Whitewash looks gorgeous – now for the next big step !!!ReplyCancel