Saturday, October 6, 2007

Magazine Madness

Researching ways to reduce my magazine clutter was one of the things that originally propelled me onto my DeKlutter Quest. In this blog's inaugural post What Yet Another Blog!? I wrote about the difficulty of finding new homes for still usable stuff, and I have definitely found this to be the case when it comes to magazines.

After scouring the Internet for magazine donation, reuse or exchange options, what I have mostly found are articles with generic laundry lists of theoretical suggestions such as senior citizens' homes, medical office waiting rooms, or your local library, but very few references to individuals or organizations who are actually accepting such donations in practice. Organizations tend to have specific needs and wants that don't necessarily include or overlap with the Packrat's need or desire to get rid of things.

Libraries, for example, to the extent that they accept magazine donations at all, tend to be very specific about either the titles they are willing to take or how old they can be. They prefer magazines of a substantive or serious nature such as National Geographic or Architectural Digest as opposed to more popular fare like Cosmo or People. They will probably also require that magazines be no more than 6 months to a year old, (Hahahahahaha! Yeah right!). Depending on the title and a given library's particular needs, they may incorporate such donations into their existing collections, but it is more likely that they will be used in a "Friends of the Library" type group book sale to raise money.

I was able to get rid of several years' worth of back issues of Threads, a high-end sewing magazine in this manner (also a component of my fascination with fabric, written about in these here pages; see also A Fair & Square Send Off). I listed them at® (see Throwing Away at® . Oddly enough, an animal rescue non-profit took them to sell on eBay! I'm hoping to strike similar gold with a stash of Brill's Content.

Other places may be looking for vintage magazines or those published before a certain date. One site that I found was only looking for magazines published before 1945. Thankfully, I don't have anything that old! There's also the swapping alternative, either locally based where you can bring the magazines you don't want and trade them for something else, or via an Internet forum where people post their magazine wants and offers. Haven't tried that yet. Of course, if you have the fortitude you too can try the eBay route. As for myself, I haven't quite felt up to that either.

Anyway, together, the two criteria of time and topic may tend to rule out a substantial number of options for many of us, so the traditional paper-recycling route may be the only alternative. However, your mileage may vary depending on the needs of organizations in your particular community, so it doesn't hurt to investigate first. Helpful search terms might include:

  • magazine donation programs
  • magazine donations
  • reading material(s) donation(s) programs
  • reading material(s) donations
Good luck!

Next up, Scaling Your Magazine Mountains. Why? Because they are there and in the way!

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