Magazine storage or just cool storage
April 10, 2005 4:05 PM   Subscribe

I have tons of magazines. They are my facvorite thing...each week I buy about 5-10. I am wondering if anyone has any great shelving for magazines or just great examples of storage that I can see online? I'm really looking for a great home office type solution. I read ReadyMade every month hoping to my find my dream solution but never do. Does anyone have any sites they recommend?
posted by rje7 to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've always admired the set-up that Carrie has on Sex and the City. It's basically a wall of bookshelves with smaller containers to file the magazines. Come to think of it, it's similar to the way the library does it, too. I know IKEA has the little cardboard dealies, but I imagine you can get similar things other places (Target, the Container Store, Crate and Barrel, etc.)
posted by bonheur at 5:08 PM on April 10, 2005

At the rate of 5-10 a week, you will be buying 260 - 520 magazines a year; a quantity that will quickly overwhelm any storage solution you come up with.

I know, I speak as a fellow sufferer.

You must learn before it is too late! Throw away! Recycle! Clip articles if you absolutely must save!

Good luck!
posted by extrabox at 5:31 PM on April 10, 2005

I use the wooden IKEA versions of those Sex in the City things which are about £1 each. They must have a proper name. Good for alphabetic or chronological classification, and they neatly contain magazines that would otherwise not file so uniformly.
posted by fire&wings at 5:43 PM on April 10, 2005

IKEA calls them magazine files, and they have a variety of them, in cardboard, wood, plastic and metal. So do other office supply stores.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:49 PM on April 10, 2005

To be extremely frugal, you can angle-cut empty cereal boxes to hold magazines. It's shabby chic.
posted by unixrat at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2005

I have actually tried tearing off the cover and the relevant articles but then that leads to the question of best way to store that. I also find that sometimes the context of the whole magazine comes back to help me at later times. The best thing to ease my magazine habit has actually been the Internet. I save COUNTLESS articles I read online and never buy newspapers anymore.

Thanks for all the answers so far everyone...
posted by rje7 at 7:26 PM on April 10, 2005

As a fellow magazine-holic, I agree with extrabox (funny name for someone who tells you don't need more boxes). You don't want the magazines once you've read them, but you might want to keep specific articles. (Despite the current idea, myth really, that everything can be found on-line.) Buy a nice filing cabinet, some file folders, and toss the magazine pages you don't need. Don't save the covers, unless they go with a specific article you're saving; they just confuse matters. File each article under the best name that will help you remember it.

Admittedly, this can be difficult. For example, if you have a Bill Bryson article about the time Thomas Jefferson went to France and went skiing, is that to be filed under B, J, F, or S? (Not that there is such an article.) If you make up the category, though, you should be able to remember where you put it.

Filing cabinet tips.

Beware, though, of getting carried away. I have seven large filing cabinets in this room already (and need a few more).
posted by LeLiLo at 9:09 PM on April 10, 2005

I read a number of magazines a month, and keep various articles, and newspaper for periods of time.
I have made it a habit to give my magazines to friends, family and dentist offices when I'm through with them (having removed any must-have articles). I really dislike clutter.

However, before I made the above a regular practice; I read somewhere about six years ago, that wine bottle racks make good storage for mags. I bought a simple but elegant one from a kitchen warehouse store and used it. Only frustrating bit was it curved the mags/news.

a simiilar contraption to what I had is here:

Mine was less ornate, and certainly cheaper, but just so you get the idea.

Good luck! And don't forget to recycle :)

posted by Radio7 at 3:25 AM on April 11, 2005

I keep an expanding file folder where I save articles, labelled by area of interest (i.e. fitness, money, decorating, gardening, organizing, etc.). Every 6 months or so (more like once a year) I go through and throw away any that are no longer relevant -- i.e. I can't remember why I saved it. I have another file folder just for recipes, sorted by type.
posted by SashaPT at 3:26 AM on April 11, 2005

If you can find online versions of the magazines you enjoy, consider keeping a blog with links to and excerpts from the relevant articles. Half the time, I just post in my blog so that I'll know I can find it later!

Pros: searchable, accessible from anywhere with internet access, space-saving.

Cons: many magazines aren't online or don't have persistent links (i.e. your links will "break" after a period of time), can be tedious for non-computer savvy, reading paper is more fun than reading screens.

I'm sure there are more that I haven't though of, but I'm sure you get the idea! Good luck!
posted by joshuaconner at 3:49 AM on April 11, 2005

I got clear plastic sleeves and a 3 ring binder for my New Yorker articles that I rip out before I throw the magazine away. I guess I don't clip as many as some people here because one or two (stories/essays) binders is enough for me. Every year when I buy the "Best American Short Stories"/"Best American Essays" etc. collections, I go through and throw out any articles that duplicate ones in the anthologies (unless the article has some really great pictures that aren't in the book).

For stuff like Cooks Illustrated where I keep the whole issue, I just put a magazine holder on the shelf, you can get them from Storables, Office Depot, Ikea, etc., in various levels of durability and cost.
posted by matildaben at 9:46 AM on April 11, 2005

My advice about clipping -- and I bet it will be the opposite of some other peoples', who I hope will comment too -- is to wait six months or a year before cutting up a magazine. This will most likely require you to reread the magazine. Either that means you reenjoy it (so, a good thing) or you don't, and if not it's a sign that keeping it is silly! But also, you're very likely to clip less, only the articles with some lasting value.

My sister has a button: "I don't need a speedreading course -- I need a speed-bookshelf-building course."
posted by Aknaton at 10:21 AM on April 11, 2005

I'm a fellow magazine junkie and have finally, after years of resisting, taken to cutting out articles and pictures I want to keep and pitching the rest. I've gotten rid of 10 large boxes of music, graphic design, entertainment, and home magazines and condensed them into one and a half file drawers. Not only is the space savings wonderful, but I can also actually find an article when I need to. I'm sure that's still too much to keep, but I'm a packrat and am taking babysteps. And like Aknaton, I also wait a bit before taking the razor to the magazines.

The first few magazines are the hardest, but once you get going it's pretty easy. I started with Mojo magazine - I had every single issue and once I "broke up the set" it was easy to purge. I also find that now that I'm no longer maintaining a complete collection of a magazine I'm not so inclined to buy every single damn issue even if I don't think I'll have time to read it.

My book and CD shelves come from IKEA and have suited my needs perfectly (for the CDs I had to cut an extra set of shelves to maximize the space). The cardboard magazine boxes from IKEA house the few hundred magazines I didn't want to cut up. They are affordable and fit right on the bookshelf and are practical to refer to later with ease.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:40 AM on April 11, 2005

Have you thought of scanning the articles you like? A lot of scanners these days come with some kind of OCR software, or at least I think they do. Then you can throw away the whole magazine.

(That said, however, I'm the person who bought a book called Freedom From Clutter and promptly lost it in a pile of junk, so...)
posted by Grangousier at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2005

I have six large boxes full of New Yorkers, NYRBs, et al, down in the basement of my housing co-op. I am neurotically unable to get rid of them. These days I'm thinking a bonfire in the back alley. That or a small nuke. It's the only way to make sure.

That's not very helpful, sorry. But I do have to examine the reasons why I hold onto them, when I could easily access the same articles at the library, and when there are undoubtedly entire magazines which contain nothing I want to read again. For me, I think, the answer is in psychotherapy. For you, perhaps, more storage. Magazine files, file folders, and a system to deal with the paper as it enters your house, rather than trying to deal with the aftermath a year later. Good luck.
posted by jokeefe at 3:30 PM on April 11, 2005

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