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IDLE 4 – Are Your Magazines Empty Coffee Cups?

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IDLE 4 - Are Your Magazines Empty Coffee Cups?

Are your magazines empty coffee cups?

As a professional organizer, I am always trying to help my clients change how they think about their “stuff.” Magazines are often a hot clutter item.

Usually, it is because we buy them or subscribe to them, and “someday” we are going to read them.

I get that.  Kinda.

Once you pass 15 though, you lose me.


Anyway – last week, I was ready to launch into my magazine spiel with a client when she almost stumped me.

I was looking at stacks and stacks of magazines, which I assumed were yet to be read.

My first question is always “If you could only buy 3 magazines this week, what 3 would you pick?

As the color drained from her face, I quickly realized these magazines meant more to her than I had anticipated.

So, I doubled back. Which magazines do you sit down and read COVER to COVER as soon as you get them?

She said, “Yes. I read them all cover to cover as soon as I buy them.”

I was in shock – ALL these magazines are READ already?


I had to switch gears from finding TIME for her to enjoy what she had purchased or LIMITING her future reading options – to seeing that she had already consumed the content that she purchased.

And then it hit me…


That morning, I was 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Some of you may remember that I posted on Facebook that my first cup of coffee didn’t quite do it, so I stopped by Starbucks and got a tall Caramel Macchiato. Yum.

It was SO yummy and warm. And when it was gone – I THREW THE CUP AWAY. Even though I spent $3.55 on it…and even though I loved it. It was empty. I enjoyed and consumed the product.

At the end of my story, I said, “Your magazines are like empty Starbucks coffee cups.”

So then I asked, “Are there any titles you can part with?”

Her reply was, “All of them.”

She got rid of 95% of her magazines. With no pain, no guilt, and no regret.

Perspective is everything.

(Cool factoid. Starbucks cups are recyclable. Just found that out while searching for the picture above. Click on the picture to learn more.)

What are you holding on to that you have already “consumed?”

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