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HELP... Cooking magazine overflow emergency...

d
debbypo Apr 20, 2013 07:20 AM

If this wasn't Chowhound I'd be embarassed to discuss this but I strongly suspect my problem will meet with nods and understanding.
Due to a remodeling project I have to do something about my roughly 12-14 years of about 5 different cooking magazines including Saveur, Fine Cooking, Cooks Illustrated, Eating Well and Cooking Light plus a couple of years of long gone start ups like Kitchen Garden.
They are stacked in bins and, as such I never go back to them even though I'm sure there are recipes I'd love. Also, the last 4-6 months of them are 'cluttering' the kitchen (I'm told). Can someone offer me some ideas on how to proceed? In an ideal world, I'd take a couple months off of work and cull them, cutting out the recipes I most want to try. Not going to happen alas.
Thanks for any ideas you have.

  1. f
    foodieX2 Apr 20, 2013 07:43 AM

    Well this takes a lot of time too but a friend gave me the idea and now I use my old mags much more often. I did it over a period a weeks (4? 6? I can't remember), spending no more than couple of hours each weekend.

    Get assorted plastic bins that will hold the magazines the way your prefer (stacked or spines up). Plastic with tight fitting are best so you can stack them. Sounds like you might have these already?

    Start sorting your magazines BY SEASON and HOLIDAY. So instead of having boxes of CI, Gourmet, etc I now have boxes organized and labeled as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

    I store them under a bed in the guest room (you can now get lots of storage bins on wheels, brilliant idea!) so I can get at them easily. This time of year if I am looking for ideas for spring types meals I can pullout my spring bins. I loved being able to pull out Thanksgiving bins in October.

    The other idea she had that I implemented with any new mags that come in the house (I only get CI and CL now) is to have those little colored sticky tabs nearby when I read them. I tab the recipes I made/liked (one color) or want to try (another color) so that when they get packed up at the end of the season I can refer to tabs the next time I pull them out.

    Of course all this is pointless if you don't have room to store them or think you will ever use them. If that is the case list them on craigs or freecycle. I bet someone out there would love them!

    1. juliejulez Apr 20, 2013 10:54 AM

      I don't have much suggestions for your old ones, but for new ones, after I read it, I go online and look up the recipes I've marked... they're all available online. Then I save them (for me it's on Pinterest, but you can do it with whatever method you prefer). That way I still have access to all the recipes I'm interested in, but I don't have tons of magazines laying around. I'm also more likely to actually MAKE the recipes because it's right there in front of me... I don't have to page through a dozen magazines to find the recipe I was thinking of.

      1. pamf Apr 21, 2013 10:49 AM

        I also have a lot of magazines taking up space, so I understand.

        If your magazines are in good condition and you have good sets of them you can sell them on Ebay (or other auction site of your choice). Saveur in particular goes for a pretty good price. (Although I personally will keep all my Saveurs.) So check there to see if anything you have is worth selling.

        Eat Your Books is a web site that indexes cookbooks and magazines. When you join you can create a personalized list of the books and magazines that you own and then use their site to search your collection. They do change for this service, but I find it well worth the $25 annual fee. They only have a few years worth of magazine back issues indexed though, so that doesn't help with the old issues.

        I also have lot of old magazines to go through and I will probably put most of them up on Freecycle and just keep any issues that are of particular interest. I am also fond of the old obscure magazines, so I will probably keep those too.

        As for the more mainstream publications, like Cooking Light for example, I don't feel very nostalgic about most of them. The recipes from ten years back in that type of magazine seem very dated.

        1. Kris in Beijing Apr 21, 2013 06:59 PM

          Contact a local boy scout/ girl scout troop and see if they have an "Organizing" badge that a few members could earn by helping you. Then have them sort and index your collection.

          Alternatively, most high schools now have "Service Hour" graduation requirements, so you could call the CAS Director [Community Action Service] or Guidance Office and ask them to recommend a student.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kris in Beijing
            d
            debbypo Apr 22, 2013 08:29 PM

            Great ideas... whether I follow through or not. As a former high school teacher I should have thought of the latter myself. Thanks all for your input.

          2. p
            pine time Apr 23, 2013 01:31 PM

            I have a Tough Love approach: if you haven't looked at or referenced them in ages, it's time to purge and purge hard. Either recycle, or, as someone suggested, e-bay them. I figure I'll never miss what I really didn't use anyway, so out they go. (Altho' I do have the 1st issue of Ms magazine that I refuse to depart with.)

            1. r
              rasputina Apr 24, 2013 08:03 AM

              The recipes are on line, there is no need to hang on to old magazines anymore. Having said that I have 1 box I need to take out to the trash.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rasputina
                Kris in Beijing Apr 24, 2013 08:07 AM

                If you're putting it on the curb, list it on Craig's List too as a free-until- the rash run??

                1. re: Kris in Beijing
                  melpy Apr 24, 2013 08:10 AM

                  Or on freecycle!

                  1. re: melpy
                    Terrie H. Apr 29, 2013 06:12 AM

                    Freecycle is my new way to receive and share magazines. It works beautifully!

              2. w
                wyogal Apr 24, 2013 08:46 AM

                Ask at your local library if they do a "Friends of the Library" type sale. Ask if you can donate them. Also, you could donate them to a school's cooking class.
                I tied mine up, several years' worth, according to months. So, all the themed issues were together. I think I got rid of most of mine at a garage sale.

                1. s
                  sparky403 Apr 26, 2013 11:43 AM

                  In the past - I have taken the ones I don't want to dr; offices and local coffee shops. If you want to get rid of some I'm I'm sure a local hound would help you with that!

                  I like having the hard copies but really it's only the bbq issue and assorted others that I am interested in.

                  I agree with the others - the internet is my source for recipes these days.

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