September 18, 2010

The Taming of the Periodicals

I sat down tonight to work on one of my periodic "housekeeping" tasks and thought you all may be interested in some tips I use to manage my magazine and pattern stash.  You may be like me and get several magazine subscriptions plus advertisements.  I do find a lot of inspiration and ideas from advertisements such as Pottery Barn and Talbot's. 

Tip 1:  Try to read through them as soon as I get them, the longer they sit the less interested you may be in them.  If I can't get to them right away, I put them by my chair in the living room and will try to go through at least 1 magazine (unless I have a stitching project going) every time I sit down to watch TV.  I just feel more productive if I'm not just sitting watching TV.

Tip 2:  Pull out anything you could use for future reference, below are a few ideas of what I think are "keepers".  I would love to tell you I file them right away (see Tip 4 below), but I just pile them in a sort-of Incoming box and usually when it starts to get full, I'll sit down for 20 minutes and sort it all out.  It's kinda like Christmas because I've usually already forgotten most of the stuff I put in there!  :)
  • Keep things that inspire you in whatever you're in to - sewing/crafting, home/outdoor decor, ect.
  • Inspiration for DIY projects (there are so many beautiful things but so darn expensive, for me at least - Pottery Barn and Talbot's)
  • Patterns you would seriously consider making.  You can't keep everything you like, it would just be too overwhelming!
Tip 3:  Find friends that have different subscriptions than you and set up a swapping circle.  One caveat, however, do be aware of copyright laws and if you plan to use any patterns other than for personal use, you need to buy a copy of the magazine for yourself.

Tip 4:  Purchase some type of file organization system at your local office supply store and make categories to store all your tear-outs and purchased patterns.  Right now, I have a hanging folder basket.  I may need to move to a file cabinet before long, my little basket is getting heavy!  Just to get you started, these are the categories I created.
  • Gardening - Southern Living always has really great tips here, I just wish reading them would instantly give me a green thumb.  But, alas we can't all be like my Aunt Teresa - quilter AND gardener extraordinaire.  :)
  • Indoor Decor - ideas for wall art, holiday decorations, furniture, etc.
  • Outdoor Decor - this is mostly my honey-do stack!  :)  Honey, wouldn't it be great if we had an outdoor deck with a stone fireplace?  As he laughs because there are at least 3 cold (cold being a very relative term) nights in South Texas a year.  :) 
  • Paper Project Ideas
  • Apparel - this mostly comprises of all the Talbot's clothes I would love to make for myself if I could ever gather the skill set.
  • Needlework - for me, this is embroidery, wool work, crochet, and knitting patterns
  • Quilt Patterns - I really need to subdivide this guy!
  • Small Projects - this one is subdivided into
    • pincushions
    • stuffed animals
    • bags/purses/lunch boxes
    • mini quilts and table runners
    • decorative pillows
  • Baby Projects
How do you manage your magazine and pattern clutter?  Do you have any tips to share?

1 comment:

  1. Check out the cute shirt.