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Magazines and Idea Books


by Andrea Steed and Lindsay Teague

Scrapbookers tend to accumulate magazines and idea books as quickly as they buy new products.  Paper, stickers and embellishments are eventually used on layouts, but magazines and idea books seem to take up more and more space as time goes on. 

Too often, a scrapbooker will browse through a magazine when it first arrives in the mail only to then put it on a shelf, never to pick it up again. While the magazines contain hundreds of ideas and information worth referring to, having them all just sit on a shelf makes it difficult to know which magazine to pick up when searching for a specific idea. Finding a system that helps you get the most out of these inspirational and educational books can benefit both your scrapbooking and your storage situation.

Essentially, there are three options for how to approach the magazine and idea book storage dilemma:

  1. Clip your favorite articles and ideas to create a custom idea file and recycle the remainder of the magazine.
  2. Index the articles and ideas that interest you so that you know which issue to pick up when you need an idea.
  3. Keep only the most recent and favorite issues and recycle or donate the rest.

Compile a Custom Idea File
To really reduce the amount of space magazines and idea books take up, consider this approach and save only the articles and ideas that truly interest you in your own custom idea file.  This is a four-step process, but is fairly easy to maintain once you have the system in place.

Step 1 – Read
Whether it is the day the magazine arrives or several weeks or even months later, the first step should be to read the magazine.  Relax in a favorite chair, soak up the ideas and simply enjoy reading it.  Then, unless of course you are instantly inspired to use an idea from the magazine, set it aside for a while.

Step 2 - Re-visit
Every three months or so, flip through the magazines that have collected. Decide if there are any articles or ideas that you want to keep for your own idea file. If there are, set it to the side for Step 3.  If nothing jumps out at you, recycle or donate the magazine.  After collecting three months of magazines, it’s possible that some of the ideas will no longer be interesting to you. If it doesn’t inspire you after three months, let it go.

If you subscribe to several magazines, you’ll also find that many of the magazines cover similar material. Rather than keeping duplicate information, you can choose your favorite articles and toss the others. Make note of which magazine you tend to save the most of, because it might help you decide whether or not to re-subscribe to the ones you don’t use as often.

Step 3 – Clip and Rip

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