Getting Out From The Magazine Slushpile

Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.

Photo by theseanster93

Slush piles are the piles of manuscripts that appear on editor’s desks. I realized the other week that with the addition of my daughter’s recent magazine subscriptions, our common room is beginning to have a very large slush pile in the corner. Since this is my daughter’s first venture into regular magazines, I am teaching her how to get out from under the pile of magazines. These tips also apply to catalogs and newspapers, so read on if you are buried in paper!

Corral The Paper

The first thing to do is get all the material together. Magazines and catalogs have a tendency to wander around if not properly corralled. If you’ve never done this before, the pile might be large. Don’t worry about it too much. Just make a pile (or two) of all the magazines, catalogs and newspapers you find around the house. Places to look will include the living room, mail area, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms…anywhere you might have put something down. Even check your car and your briefcase!

Sort and Order

If you have a backlog, you will need to get the items sorted. Sort by title of the publication for magazines and newspapers, and store for catalogs. Once you have your piles, put them in date order, oldest on top.

Purge The Piles

Let’s face it — if you have a slush pile, it means you haven’t had time to read. That time is not going to magically appear for you to read the backlog. So let’s be realistic and get rid of the old publications. If you have more than one item of any publication, throw out all but the most recent. For catalogs, you should do this too, but then take the added step of asking yourself if you will order from the catalog in the next month. If not, toss it. Most stores have an online catalog that you can use should you need to order something before the next one arrives in your mailbox.

One In, One Out

Now you should have a reasonable amount of reading material. Your job is now to read the publication before the next one arrives. This should be easily do-able; if it isn’t you might want to consider cutting some of the publications you receive. When you are finished reading, toss the item. If the last item is still in your reading pile when the next issue arrives, toss the old one. This will keep the level to a reasonable amount.

Cutting/Scanning Articles

If you have to keep an article, don’t keep the whole magazine or newspaper. Clip it out and file it properly (we don’t want to turn this cleanup into another pile to maintain!). Even better, scan the article into your computer and eliminate the paper altogether.

Periodicals can get out of hand quickly. If you find piles of magazines, newspapers or catalogs around your home, take steps to get them under control. Do you have ways to handle periodicals? Share below.

Photo by theseanster93