Right-Size Reading Materials

Here's how to pare the library down to reduce reading material.

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Pare the library down with these ideas to declutter reading material:

  • Assess magazine subscriptions. Issues that are devoured within a day of hitting the mailbox are fine, but cancel subscriptions to periodicals that you don't really read.
  • Set limits. When a new catalog arrives, recycle any older offerings from the same firm. Store magazines in magazine holders. When the holder is full, recycle the oldest issue to make room for the newest one. A roomy (but not too roomy) basket provides active storage for current magazines. Place unread issues in the basket; when it's full, weed it of older editions.
  • Store where useful. Issues of "Threads" are most usefully housed in the sewing area, while "Popular Mechanics" can be assigned to the car repair area of the garage.
  • Say no to catalogs. In the U.S., register with the Direct Mail Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service to remove your address from mailing lists (for further information, visit dmaconsumers.org). In Canada, contact the Canadian Marketing Association at www.the-cma.org. Alternately, call the catalog company directly and ask to be removed from the mailing list.
  • Borrow, not buy. Reduce book clutter the old-fashioned way: borrow reading materials from the local library.
  • Sell online. Use online sales sites to recoup your investment in hot titles that you've already read — somebody out there will pay a respectable price to read that blockbuster, so sell it after you've read it!

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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