You can say a lot of things about me in relation to my cleanliness or organization. I'm a piler. I keep thing sentimentally. I always know where really obscure things are (except for Sean's slippers) at any given time. Point being I'm far from perfect in the housekeeping arena but I know where it all is.

Magazineclipostosort There is, however, one form of clutter that bugs me: magazines. I love reading them but a week or less after I get them, I need to decide whether I keep them intact forever or rip and recycle. Criteria for keeping a magazine intact involves 1) an article written by or about me (and even then, I may just keep "my article") or 2) more then half the ideas in the magazine being fantastic. I think the second one happened once with a Martha Stewart volume.

So a favorite ritual is going through my magazine one last time (lovingly, of course) and ripping out pages I like. It could be a scarf, it could be a piece of furniture, it could be a future Too Cute Tuesday idea that I just want to remember. Then I organize them. Ah, the simple joys of my life.

Cocktail of Choice: Monaco. Pour a shot of grenadine syrup in a tall beer glass, pour beer on top. Good way to use those random beers people leave behind from parties that you don't love on their own!

Materials needed:
Stack of magazines and catalogs to sort
Pretty accordian file (I got my graphic print one at Target, isn't organizing fun? And it was less then $10)

  Ideafolder 1. Pour yourself a Monaco and find a comfy place to sit. Place your Monaco on a coaster, because you are a polite person who protects furniture.

2. Go through your magazines, cutting out things you like. You can rip but if there is one small tidbit on a page you like, you may want to snip it. Sip beer, this is the fun part!

3. Get your pretty accordian file ready to go (write labels in pencil in case you think of better ones). Here are my categories: Ideas- Living room (though general ideas go in here too), Ideas- Bathroom, Ideas- Bedroom, Ideas- Relationships (for those advice pieces), Ideas- Health, Ideas- Beauty, Ideas-Money, Ideas- Gifts, Projects, Recipes, Ideas-Entertaining, Ideas-Fashion, and Ideas-Garden. Pick the categories that work best for you, with your more frequently accessed items taking up the front compartments of your file.

4. File your articles according to your new system.

5. Once a week or month, repeat your ritual.

Waaaaay later…

6. The next time you are thinking of updating your wardrobe or picking a paint color for the bathroom, open up your idea file. You'll be surprised what will be there to inspire you!

Showing my idea file to people is a big deal. I still remember showing mine to Sean. It's kind of a personal thing because it's all things that I like. And what if the other person doesn't like it? The point is no one else has to.

I was cleaning out my idea file a few months ago when I found a picture of a cute dog with short legs sniffing around a pool. It was an ad for a financial planning company but I had liked the dog. Oddly, that dog looked oddly like the one that is whining at me right now. Ideas are powerful things so keep track because they can help you remember what you want.

You're so crafty!

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