Magazine swaps eliminate waste and reduce clutter

I love magazines. That’s probably an understatement. I write for the web and work in front of a computer all day. In the evening, I like to sit down, hold my newspaper and read without glare and with the ability to sprawl out where ever I want. However, this magazines can really pile up. I started giving them away to friends and trying to find people to swap with. This arrangement has cut down on my clutter and eliminated the amount of paper I throw away each month.

I subscribe to Parents, Parenting the Early Years, Real Simple, Working Mother, Redbook and Good Housekeeping. It’s be way more if my budget would allow it and I had nothing but time to read.

Each month, they all come to my mailbox. My favorite day is when they all arrive at one time and I feel like I’m hitting the jackpot. That doesn’t happen too often, but I love it when it does. I try to read them within a week (this rarely happens). While I’m reading, I pull out quotes I like, items that might make great gifts for my family and friends, recipes that look tasty or crafts I think my kids would enjoy. I cut them down, throw out the scraps and then paste the cutouts into a little thing I like to call The Idea Folder.

It sounds so preschool, but it’s honestly just a binder that I reference when I’m looking for that book from Good Housekeeping or referring to the beauty tips in Real Simple. It just makes it to much easier for me to find things when I want to see them.

I also pull out gift ideas and the websites or stores they can be found out. When I paste them into the binder, I write the name of the person I would like to buy it for. That makes it easy for me to find those when I’m making Christmas shopping lists or searching for a birthday gift idea.

Once I’ve been through all of the magazines, I sent an e-mail out to my family, friends and coworkers and the magazines are available on a first come, first served basis. Sometimes I’ll even ship them via media mail to those outside of our area. I always tell the recipient that they should recycle the magazine or pass it on.

I feel that by doing this, I’m creating much less waste and really getting my money’s worth out of those subscriptions. I’d really like to get into more of a swap situation, but most of my friends don’t subscribe to as many of the magazines I do, if any at all, do they don’t generally offer them up.

So if any of you out there subscribe to People and want to set up a trade, well, you know who to contact!

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She runs Detroit Mommies and Discovering Arkansas, runs the Community Projects for Collective Bias and has 3 girls under 12 years old. Courtney is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Arkansas. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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