There is nothing that attributes to clutter faster than our mail. Magazines, catalogs, letters and bills add up so fast, that to miss a day or more can leave your mailbox busting at the seams! You can’t even escape by shopping online. One purchase, and your on the list of a "million" other shops, and you begin to receive catalogs you’ve never even heard of!
As far as magazines go, the easiest thing to keep the clutter gone, is to only have the current issue in your home. Now… if you don’t have time to be reading every magazine you’re currently subscribed to… then it’s time to cancel some subscriptions! (You CAN do it!) Magazines "fool" us. We think because they’re magazines, that we can read them faster than, let’s say, BOOKS… With books we don’t go out and purchase six books with the idea that we’re going to read them in a couple of weeks… yet, that’s essentially what we do with magazines. Just like books on many topics, there are many good magazines on different (or similar) topics. Don’t fool yourself in thinking that you "need" them all. There may be "pretty pictures" and wonderful content… but we must guard our time and evaluate how we’re spending it and every magazine you read takes time.
Another thing to look at when thinking about what subscriptions to keep, is to evaluate magazine content. How much is stuff you’re reading, and how much are you skimming? In other words, is there more that you’re not paying attention to then what you’re actually looking at. If you’re reading less than 50% of the magazine, then you really need to evaluate the money being spent on the subscription. There are many good books out there (that you can get from the library for FREE) that you can get helpful information about.
If you’re keeping magazines for kids to make projects from, chances are good that you have a friend or family member (maybe even at church) where you could ask to use an old magazine of theirs (therefore not needing a subscription at all!). Any articles you would like to keep for their information content or otherwise, put in a folder to keep organized, but be sure to evaluate doing this as well. By keeping these articles, are you really going to come back to them and read them? There is so much good information out there and you need to trust the Lord to bring you the answers you seek when you need them. Make sure you’re not keeping things out of the FEAR of not having them when you WANT. Creating a folder for school and only a FEW pages for projects would be helpful as well.
Subscriptions also cost money so to help in that area you can find out who has a subscription and ask if you could have their copy after they’re done (which would help in their clutter too)! Or, share a subscription with a friend by splitting the cost and holding each other accountable to getting rid of the magazine when done reading! If it’s a great magazine that you continually find great stuff in, then take turns clipping things out every other month.
Catalogs are to be treated similarly, and can add up even faster (as you seem to get a catalog from almost anything and everyone once you buy something through a catalog or online). When you go through your mail, literally stand by the garbage can and go through it… throwing any and every catalog away (or recycling)! Seriously! If I don’t have the money to get something, why do you want to look? Not to mention the fact, you don’t need to look so you can become discontent with what you have! Now, occasionally you could keep a few to look for decorating ideas and such, but if you can’t do anything (paint, sew, whatever) because money is tight, then there’s no reason to even keep the clutter.. ah… catalog. Put it straight into the garbage (or better yet, recycle)! If it’s something you decide to keep, then be sure you look it over in the next couple of days. If it’s something you want to keep (for sale reasons or such) then make sure you have a spot for it, whether it be in the bathroom on a rack, in a basket in the livingroom, or by your nightstand… and maintain the pile by making sure you don’t have too many catalogs.
Looking into these problems and resolving them will be a HUGE help in the area of de-cluttering your heart and home! Keep fighting the good fight!
Bless your heart and home,