Q&A: Storing A Magazine Collection with Minimal Space

Question: I know latching onto back issues of magazines is a problem in itself and someday I hope to address that!  Meantime, I want to store them, but also have access to them.  I’d like to have some system that saves space (i.e. goes up instead of out) as I live in a studio apartment with minimal closet/storage space.  The best solution would keep the old mags out of sight, though decorative containers are fine for view.  Any ideas?

spacesavers_2084_112739985Answer:  I think it is safe to say that most people who have a magazine subscription also have a problem letting go of their back issues.  But don’t assume it’s a problem you have to solve.  It doesn’t become clutter unless it either doesn’t have a place in your home or it doesn’t make you happy.  I’m not sure how many back issues you have, but if you’re like me, it’s a lot.  I have issues I keep for gardening, cooking, crafts, etc. At one point, I started tearing out articles and recipes I wanted to keep but soon realized I was keeping most of them and was just mutilating the magazines with the whole process.

If you have tall bookshelves, high shelves, or just simply, shelf space: In order to keep your magazines stored, organized, AND accessible, my first suggestion is to get magazine organizers.  I would suggest sturdy cardboard, basketweave, even metal…magazine holders that would stand up on their own even when filled with floppy, heavy magazines.  There are other less-expensive yet attractive plastic magazine holders, but those would work best if they are contained on an enclosed bookshelf.

The magazine holders work well because in most cases you can fit an entire year of issues (or more) in one holder.  If you want to be able to easily see the magazines, face the holders with the magazine spines facing out.  If you would rather the magazine issues be hidden during storage, you can flip the holders around and have the tall, solid side of the holders facing outward.  Many magazine holders also come with label pockets on one side so you can quickly find the issues you need even when the magazines themselves are hidden from view.

If you don’t currently have enough shelf space, but like this option, you can find a tall, narrow shelving unit with a small footprint.  In a small space on your floor (sometime just 12″ x 12″), you can fit a tall shelving unit that will hold a large number of magazines.

spacesavers_2084_97571749Create a Magazine Basket: You could also keep lots of magazines tucked away in a large basket.  Magazines can sit upright so they are easy to flip through until you find the issue you need. Slide the basket under a coffee table or end table.

Spread out the collection: Don’t think you have to keep all your magazines together. I’ve got my gardening magazines next to my gardening books, my cooking magazines in the kitchen next to my cookbooks, my craft magazines near the kids’ craft table, etc.  Keeping them spread out where they are most relevant increases the chances of them being opened and read again.

There are other storage options out there (underbed storage totes, magazine storage bags, file boxes), but they would make your magazine collection much harder to get to.  If it’s going to be difficult to access your magazines, you will be less likely to read them again.  If you aren’t going to read them, you may as well toss them.

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