SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, January 11, 2010

Magazine File Folders | Family Economics

By Cathe Holden

Magazine hoarding. Are you guilty of it? I used to be. Home decorating magazines, craft magazines, decor catalogs. You get the idea. How could I possibly throw out such great inspiration? I may need it again one day! But finally after realizing that I never really delve back  into them because it was too much trouble to try to find an idea I once saw and have no idea which magazine or issue it was in, I took charge.

I spent one entire afternoon and evening tearing out ideas from my stacks of magazines, page by page. Ideas that I wanted to try one day, ideas that inspired me in a different direction and created Files of Inspiration that I pore through often.

Magazine File Folders

So if you have been stacking magazines and catalogs with the hopes of revisiting them one day, set aside some time and follow these easy steps towards creating a simple and neat little library of inspiration specific to you.

Purchase inexpensive pocket folders from the school and office section of your favorite discount store. Choose multiple colors for easy reference, or one color for all for a more uniform look when done.  Grab a few more than you think you’ll need, chances are that you’ll need them, as you will likely think of new categories as you go.

Begin by tearing out pages of magazines you want to keep, you may choose to carefully remove pages with a craft knife for less ragged edge. Have a stapler handy for combining multiple pages of an article. As you tear, place pages in a separate pile if there is only a small section of that page you wish to cut out. Once all your magazine pages have been torn out, trim out the images or articles from the extra stack you made. Place your magazines and catalog discards out for recycling.

Label your folders by category. I have included some label blanks for you to use. Simply print and glue, or print onto full sheets of label stock, trim out and adhere to folders as shown folding label around the spine of each folder.

A few of my own folder categories are:
• Living rooms
• Bedrooms
• Kitchen & Bath
• Studio/Office
• Landscaping
• Sewing
• Crafts
• Kid Projects
• Holiday Decor
• Entertaining
• Recipes
• Art & Design
• To Read
• To File (for tucking tear-sheets over time that will need to be sorted 
and filed)

Lay all labeled folders out, side by side onto a table and begin sorting your tear sheets. Placing each sheet or cutout on the labeled folder that best describes the inspiration, but do not cover up the folder label, as it will make sorting easier as you go.

Once sorted, tuck each pile of tear sheets into the pockets of the folders.

Place all of your neatly labeled folders into a magazine holder, shelf organizer or simply line them up on your bookshelf for your favorite inspiration at hand.

Then, the next time you finish a magazine or catalog, instead of  stacking it somewhere, tear out your favorite pages and place them into the folder marked TO FILE. Then, every month or so, file your tear sheets into the appropriate folders.

Label template for download.

22 Comments so far

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On Tuesday, November 8, 2011, Ms. J from Georgia wrote

Is there anyway that I can type on the labels instead of writing on them?

On Wednesday, August 3, 2011, Tammie Donaldson Modesto, CA wrote

Oh my, I thought I was the only freak for magazines. I just found this post on a Johnson & Johnson page. Mimi I can totally understand magazines putting you into a depression. I think the same way, They are always around no matter where you go in your house. I even very unwillingly threw them all away a couple of times. I have some now that I don't even get to read before more comes in. I love this idea of organizing them. I'm going to walmart tomorrow to pick up the supplies.

On Monday, November 22, 2010, Jeanne wrote

It's not so much hoarding as I can't get time to read the magazines so I end up moving piles from one place to another. They're in the bathroom, bedroom, den, livingroom... And when grandkids visit they have to be out of reach or they'll be torn to shreds. I've done the clipping, but I love the idea of simply photographing the articles and filing them on my pc. Thanks for that tip!

On Thursday, February 11, 2010, Rebecca in Los Angeles wrote

I take digital photos of things I want to save/remember, then they get filed away on my computer and they are even searchable. I can also look throguh my files in thumbnail view for a quick glance at the images.

On Monday, February 1, 2010, Dee- wrote

Great idea! When you're finished with your magazines you can donate them to the Goodwill or other charities to re-sell. Schools and Elder Care facilites will take them as well. Ask ahead!

On Monday, January 18, 2010, Mermaid Debbie from The Inland NW wrote

Well, I just love that idea!!! Thank you for sharing it.

On Friday, January 15, 2010, Secret Pal wrote

Great idea! I have so many clippings that I fumble through over and over finding the one I'm looking for based on my project. This will save me so much time and frustration.

On Thursday, January 14, 2010, Karen wrote

So I'm not the only hoarder? Thank you for sharing your lovely labels.

On Thursday, January 14, 2010, Kathy from Canada wrote

Thanks for this idea and the labels too! This makes all of those great ideas accessible.

On Thursday, January 14, 2010, Tanya from FTC, CO wrote

I do this and then take the rest of the magazine in to work and leave it in the breakroom for others to flip through. I have stopped saving recipes now though, because I never have time to go back and make them and if I need an idea, I can always google it.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Kimberly Gold Star Mother wrote

Thank you for making the chore of organization a bit easier & stylish at the same time.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Patty from Iowa wrote

I did something similar by using the clear plastic page holders and a 3 ring binder. I have several binders divided into categories like you listed for the folders.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, catherine s in the midwest wrote

Great idea! Love those labels. I too started this being a designer and inspired by oh, all things printed...and I now have moved up to the large 3" three-ring binders with the plastic sheet covers inside. I have my tearsheets categorized...a home binder with separate room categories for inspiration, a design folder with separate categories for cool businesses, related business info and inspirations, etc., etc. Being organized like this really helps me find what I am looking for in that moment of needed inspiration or if I'm trying to find something specific...I know exactly where to go. Thanks for sharing all your good tips!

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Mimi from Yakima, WA wrote

YOU. ARE. BRILLIANT!! I am a huge hoarder of all kinds of things: magazines, books, craft supplies, fabric (or old clothes to be cut up for fabric), etc. It drives my husband crazy but more important it drives ME crazy! It adds such a weight to my life that can send me into depression... To be able to do something like this will be a huge, HUGE I tell you, relief. Thank you. (By the way, I work at a bookstore where hoarding is encouraged. That's always a struggle.)

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, westsidewedding wrote

Thank you for sharing your labels, I love them!!!

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, maria! wrote

JUST what I needed. My husband will be so thrilled to see me working on this!

On Monday, January 11, 2010, d. from Seattle wrote

How timely! I just started going through my piles of magazines the other night and was trying to figure out how best to organize the clippings. Thanks so much for the great idea, the labels and the suggested categories. phew!

On Monday, January 11, 2010, Pat in NYC wrote

Wonderful idea!

On Monday, January 11, 2010, Mary from Oklahoma City wrote

Love Love the idea. I'm going to Office Depot tomorrow to be my folders. I have a linen closet full of magazines/scrapbook idea books.

On Monday, January 11, 2010, Amy wrote

Perfect! I like the use of the folders, instead of big binders. :)

On Monday, January 11, 2010, Olive Tree ( wrote

Very neat!

On Monday, January 11, 2010, vanessa @ silly eagle books wrote

I am guilty of both hoarding magazines and also tearing out my favorite pages and NOT filing them. This has inspired me to finally do something about it. Thank you!


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