Oh, how we love magazines. We subscribe to a lot and, when we have the time, really do enjoy reading about cooking, home decor, music, and all sorts of things. But what happens when you want to save an article that you really like - what do you do?
It just so happens that we love binders, too. Rows and rows of nicely labeled binders. They can turn your piles of old magazines, torn out articles lying around, and loose papers into a magically sorted system. All you need is a binder, a package of page protectors, scissors, a sharpie (or labelmaker) and some file tabs. Here's the magic recipe:
Step 1: Gather together all, and we do mean all, of your loose magazines and loose magazine cutouts. It's much easier to put everything together and then do it in small pieces like an assembly line, instead of starting over every time you find more paper in another room.
Step 2: Decide upon the topic of your binder. We have them for recipes, holiday ideas, home decor articles, work ideas, inspirational thoughts, etc. You can make a binder for anything. Just start with one - your favorite topic.
Step 3: Sort through all of your papers and find anything relevant to your theme. You can do this while watching TV even if you feel like multitasking. Pull out articles from the magazines - don't save the entire magazine, just the good parts. Trim or cut the articles if need be to a smaller size - you are aiming for 1 or more articles per 8.5 x 11 page.
Step 4: After you've gathered them all together, decide if the articles are all general (just any recipe) or need to be broken down into categories (sandwich, dessert, and salad recipes). If you choose different categories, then put them all into separate groups.
Step 5: Insert all loose articles into page protectors and put them in a binder. Several small articles (especially recipes that are index card sized) can be put together on 1 page. Label the spine of the binder and inside add file tabs for categories if necesary.
Now why does this system work? For recipes, it's easy to find the exact one you are looking for when you categorize them just like a cook book. Plus it protects them in the kitchen from food splatters. For holiday ideas, it's easy to find that Pottery Barn Christmas living room you wanted to recreate because it's at your fingertips in your holiday binder. No more searching through piles of ideas mixed with bills, medical records, and school papers. For travel ideas, it's easier to find the hotel you wanted to try before your trip (not after) because it was in your travel binder and you could access it easily.
Try it and see. Your coffee table will thank you for finally clearing it off.