Magazines: Save the Best – Get Rid of the Rest

I was trying to straighten up some bookshelves a few days ago and realized I had been hoarding magazines. Now, I am not about to let myself get as bad as my maternal grandmother who had magazines (and she subscribed to many) piled up behind things, cascading across the floor, shoved in a basket. etc. We as children loved browsing through them (although I question the advisability of letting an 11 y/o read Redbook) but I don’t have grandchildren yet so I have many years before I have to build a stash like that. In the meantime, they were taking up valuable room that could be used for books. Serious business in our house.

I know people tend to lovingly cut articles, snip photographs of room for inspiration, collect different photographs of chairs and fabrics, etc. I didn’t do that. I took the entire stack of Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living (the ones that survived the last purge) and Southern Living. I flipped rapidly through each one looking for things I would miss if I chucked the magazine. I wound up pulling out a surprisingly small stack of pages. And no cutting – rip, rip, rip (I was careful on the recipe pages). I sorted them as I went: recipes, decorating, craft, gardening and organization.

Today I sorted through the things I had ripped out and threw several away. Then I started putting them in clear page protectors, using both sides, useful part facing out. Some articles that I decided to keep several pages of I put in one sheet protector. For the recipes, I used only two protectors. I slid a plain piece of paper in each one and labeled each side: Breads, Desserts, Sides, Main. Then I just sorted each page into the appropriate place. These are generally recipes I have not tried. If I try them and like them I’ll transfer the recipe to a card and file it in my card index.

Which brings me to another part of today’s project: cleaning out recipes. (Ugh.) I had two recipe boxes of different sizes. Not helpful. I took all the recipes I wanted to keep out of the small box and gave that one to the girls. Then I started working on the large box. I should note that I also have a 3-ring binder full of various hole-punched pages, cards, etc. with recipes. I stopped punching (poking) holes in index cards some time ago and started shoving them in the front pocket of the notebook. So much for organized, ha ha.

SO, I started going through the notebook. I sorted all the cards into the appropriate sections of the box and now I’m transcribing things off of ratty ends of paper onto cards. At some point (NOT today) I will actually go through every card in the box and ditch all the ones that failed, we didn’t like, I’m not going to use, etc. Then I should have a truly useful box of recipes.

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