Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tame Catalog Chaos

As you may have noticed, there has been an influx of catalogs since Thanksgiving -- there are days I get a dozen of them. Hopefully, once Christmas comes and goes, the pile will begin to lessen in the mailbox. Until then, if you are having separation anxiety in trying to part from every catalog, here are some tips to handle all the tempting 'store magazines' you are getting. suggests "Separate these bulky items from your other mail before you even take off your coat. Put them in a designated basket or magazine tote so you can transport them easily from room to room for perusing, then to the recycling bin when you’re done. Pick a container that’s big enough to hold the month’s required reading but small enough to force you to purge the old issues to make room for the new." I tell clients to treat the catalogs like magazines or newspapers -- put them in a vertical magazine rack until you read them. The finite space will force you to be attentive to the contents and purge when there is no space left.

Keep in mind that 99% of the time there is a website address or phone number available on every page of a catalog -- you could pull out a page or pages that show items you plan to buy or consider and still have the needed information to place an order. Even if only the store name appears on the page(s) you ripped, you could search online. After pulling out the page(s), take a second to circle or mark the item you're considering so you avoid saying 'why did I want this?'

I do not recommend any fancy storage or filing system for this kind of stuff. Sometimes organizing tips will talk about filing catalogs, putting them into plastic sleeves in binders, etc., but I am not an advocate of that. To me, that is tantamount to ironing and folding underwear -- unnecessary.