CLEANING THE ATTIC Tip#4: Magazine Drop

I’m a magazine fanatic–can’t get enough of them. I love getting stuff in the mail. Especially a pristine issue of a magazine that promises to help you change your life in seven easy steps.

I love them all: Home magazines. Art magazines. Craft magazines. Business magazines. Craft business magazines. News magazines. Essay magazines. Environmental magazines. Lifestyle magazines. Women’s magazines. I love O and W, and MSL. My secret guilty pleasure is People magazine at my dentist’s office. (“I’m not ready for my cleaning, I have to find out what Britney did next!”) (And why can’t she spell her name right??)

I pore over the articles and dog-ear the ones that especially speak to me. I drool over the photo layouts, dreaming that someday my hair/body/home/wardrobe/closet could look just like theirs.

I save magazines, going back to read and reread those same articles. If they are “how-to” or craft magazines, I keep them until the projects and styles are so outdated, they’re retro.

Consequently, I’m always drowning in magazines. As I clean my attic, I find boxes, laundry baskets and suitcases filled with magazines. Yes, suitcases. You know those stacks of vintage suitcases you see in home style magazines? The stacks that make great end tables? You’re supposed to get “extra storage” outta them by stuffing your magazines inside the suitcases? Well, do they ever say what you’re supposed to do when those suitcases are full??

Now it’s time to move those wonderful issues on to some other unsuspecting…er…deserving…person.

Sometimes I find homes for them on Freecycle. Sometimes they get stashed out in the garage til I figure out what to do with them. Then, after they’ve been dripped on, tripped over and ripped up, I haul them out to the recycling bin. (The cardboard boxes won’t hold up under those conditions, hence the laundry baskets….)

But there’s one way to move magazines on that feels a little Robin Hood-ish, a little outlaw-ish….

I sneak them into public waiting rooms.

This idea came to me after spending eons of time in our local clinic last winter. I went through an endless period of testing, follow-up testing, surgeries, surgical follow-ups and check-ups. I felt like I was spending 90% of my time in waiting rooms.

And there was never anything interesting to read.

The worst was the pediatrician’s office. Okay, that wasn’t for me, that was for one of my kids. But I couldn’t get into the baby mags (my youngest is 16) and I couldn’t even bear to look at the pregnancy mags. (And oddly, the best magazine selection was in the orthopedics department’s waiting room….. What’s up with that?!)

It was then the connection was made in my brain. Hmmmm…..dearth of magazines….plethora of magazines…yessss!

So on my next visit, I brought an armload of my own magazines. And surreptitiously left them behind.

I even snuck in a few issues of the now-defunct CraftsBusiness magazine, the on I wrote a regular column for. Self-promotion! AmericanStyle, if your subscription rate suddenly spikes, you have me to thank for it.

I know they must be appreciated, because the last time I had to wait for a doctor’s appointment, I was surprised to see they had some good magazines to read.

Then I realized they were the ones I’d left the last time I was there.

I happily settled in to reread those great articles until the nurse came for me.

Now I carry a small bag of magazines in my car, ready to leave a few behind wherever I go. I’m taking some today to my appointment for new tires.

I will bet you a silk pajama they won’t have More or Country Living in their waiting room….

But there will be after I leave.

P.S. If you worry about possible repercussions, remove your subscription label from each copy before you leave them. Although why letting bad people know I subscribe to Mare Englebreit’s Home Companion would leave me more vulnerable to a potential home invasion, I have no idea.

P.S.S. Dube’s Tire loved the magazine donation!

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5 Comments

Filed under action steps, art, cleaning the studio, life, recycling, recycling tip, self promotion

5 responses to “CLEANING THE ATTIC Tip#4: Magazine Drop

  1. I have the same problem – Old magazine can also be donated to senior housing facilities and centers!

  2. I work part-time at medical facility that’s a nonprofit and we’re always asking for magazine donations. Try hospitals and clinics where they need their money for more important things.

  3. Oh my gosh, I could have written this post! I too love new fresh magazines – the exact same ones you mentioned. I’m pretty good about passing them along (friends, family, Freecycle or the library I set up in our office). I like the waiting room idea.

    That’s where I read my own secret guilty pleasure – same as you – People! I’ve developed this habit at my dentist’s office of bringing the People into the exam room. I continue reading it while my teeth are being cleaned. Even though I’m practically lying down and you would think my arms would get tired, oddly they don’t. I think the hygienist appreciates it too. Gives HER something to talk about since I can’t. Makes the appointment fly by!

  4. You guys all have great ideas for magazine drops! When my piles hit critical levels again, I am going to try them.

    Stefani, I’m trying to visualize your dental reading experience… You’ve got to get a photograph of that someday! :^D

  5. 1eyedmonkee

    Yes, I have the vintage-suitcase-side-table doodaa. One is empty, one is not. BUT my major accomplishment of last Wednesday night while awaiting the new episode of Project Runway was a quick trip to the hospital drop box with my trunk FULL (ok, I’m exaggerating) of magazines that had been stacked in a quiet corner my dining room. OMG some from 2001!!!

    I recycle bi-monthly so why is it so hard to get rid of the really really old ones back to mother earth??? ‘Coz I think someone could “use” them for one more ounce of inspiration or something before certain death.

    I’m sure I’ll find more mags stashed elsewhere this week…it’s a start…and I hope I don’t break my own arm patting myself on the back!

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