Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Magazine: Mess or Muse?

It's April which means I'm in Spring cleaning mode. I do this every year. Go through piles of papers and throw away what feels like hundreds of pounds of clutter. It feels so good. This year I have a goal: to remove negative space from my apartment and replace it with positive space. Negative space is what I refer to as those areas that have no purpose: that rocking chair that gets littered with clothing, that one corner that has a vacancy sign for dust bunnies, or that kitchen drawer filled with junk and old candy. Maybe now you can see why my apartment needs a face-lift?

One way to create positive space is to put to use all of the inspiration I've "collected" over time. As it happens, I've aquired some magazines over the past year. Lots of Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, Bazaar. Some bought for long flights, some bought in moments of weakness, when I just needed to smile. Needless to say, they served their purpose. In the wake of new beginnings, is it possible that they can be re-purposed?

In the midst of cleaning my apartment I realized I don't need them anymore (French Vogue excluded) because they take up too much space and I can't picture flipping through them ever again. Side note: when I was younger, I used to collect magazines (mostly Bride magazines ;) and stack them high as towers. It became hoarder-esque and I'm forever fearful of recreating such bad habits.

Thus, the magazines must go. The inspiration doesn't have to though! I went through the magazines and ripped out the images that spoke to me. I'm planning to make an inspiration board out of what I find. Here's the takeaway: negative space = these gorgeous images inside magazines, unopened, suffocated and stuffed in a closet. Positive space = these images, out in the open, breathing positive energy into my apartment. And so the inspiration begins!

Here are some of the gems I've collected:

Inspired by her summery look.

Inspired by Liv Tyler's poise, bottom right corner.

Inspired by how these women lean.

Inspired by the fun and flirty way these women take the street.

This spread was epic. Need I say more?

Inspired by the set-up of this bathroom and the copper ware in the kitchen.

Inspired by these beautifully natural actresses.

Inspired by the flower burst!

Inspired by this reminder of forever summer.

Inspired by Gwyneth always, especially this sweater.

Inspired by this exquisitely dressed woman on a bicycle.

Inspired by Bardot.

It took a few days, but I finally got rid of all of the magazines! Already my apartment feels lighter, fresher, and happier. While organizing, I've taken all of my clippings and placed them in gorgeous new folders I bought at my local art store, Flax, for this very purpose.

Tell me, readers, how's your magazine stack these days? Organized like antique books on a bookshelf? Or waiting to be opened, in search of inspiration?


  1. You have motivated me to do the very same thing. I am going to tackle my magazine stack and get control of the mess! I will probably save a few "treasures," but mostly tear out and file the pages of inspiration. It is such a liberating thing to do, spring cleaning. I know I will feel better. Thanks for the little nudge.

  2. i LOVE this post! what used to be mess is now muse! i moved stacks and stacks and stacks of magazines from texas to california in my u-haul, and dragged them from apartment to apartment until finally i (and darryl) couldn't handle it anymore. i spent three months going through all of them and ripping out what i loved and organized them in huge binders. it was so liberating! and inspiring! out with the negative space, in with positive! love you. xo

  3. my magazine stack has prollems.

    MEGAN! I've missed poem sweet poem. can't wait to catch up on it!!

  4. sissy, you have inspired me to go through my mags! this is beautiful. love you!

  5. i am going home to do this RIGHT NOW.

  6. I really only buy magazines for airplane flights now. And on those, I tear out what I want to save, recipes, whatever - and leave them on board for other passengers. I used to be a magazine hoarder, but I've learned.

  7. Problem: What to do with files of inspiration that threaten to burst? I have both the stack issue and the too many papers/files/folders problem.

  8. Oh, I love the photo of Gwyneth! I know exactly what you mean with the magazine collection becoming hoarder-esque. A few years ago, after moving a couple times and packing up boxes and boxes of my magazines, I did what you just did - I went through them and ripped out the inspiration. :) I also kept a few file holders of what I deemed "the greatest hits": the magazines that were perfection from front to back. It was such a relief to get rid of the load! I put the tear sheets in plastic sheet protectors and have 3-ring binders by category (home, beauty, style, inspirational profiles and interviews, plus one for current faves). Much more organized and way less cluttered. Happy spring cleaning!

  9. @Joanna: You are my inspiration board inspiration by the way!!

    @Anne: I know!!! I mean, I would just organize those. Make separate filed for each. Maybe see if one piece of inspiration can fill you for the day and if it doesn't, maybe it's time to let it go...