It’s time to get real with your to-read stack

If you’re like many people you have plenty of unread reading material piling up in your home and office. Holding on to this longterm can have its disadvantages.

These unread materials easily get mixed in with other paperwork making it difficult to locate important documents when you need them. It takes up space that might be better used for something else and if you think about it, it probably makes you feel badly. You may feel guilty for spending money on magazines still in the wrapper many months later or overwhelmed when you look at the stacks. Is this unread material really worth keeping?

When it comes to unread magazines and other reading material we often live in our fantasy life which says, “I am going have time to read everything that enters my home and office.” For most of us, our reality is we’ll never have time to read everything that crosses our desk. So now it’s time to get real.

When organizing your space collect all of your unread magazines and reading material into one area. Now take a look at the piles and ask yourself, “How many minutes a day do I read?”

Then ask, “How much of this can I get through if I’m reading that amount of time on a daily basis?”

What’s the worse thing that would happen if you let go of most of it right now? I’m guessing you would continue to get more current information delivered to you or you could go to the internet and locate the information when you need it.

Now that you’ve pared down to what you realistically have time to read, don’t leave it on your kitchen counter or on your desk unless that is where you actually read. Instead put it in the places where you are more likely to get through it; next to your favorite chair in the family room, on your nightstand, in the bathroom, or in the car to be read while you wait for your child’s sporting practice to end.

To keep the clutter from piling up in the future set some guidelines. A guideline might be, “I will only keep two months worth of magazines and part with any unread ones when the new issue arrives. Or, I will only keep enough reading materials that fit into this box and once it’s full I’ll read or part with something before I use second box.

Remember, even free magazine subscriptions can take up space and get in your way. It’s time to get selective about what reading materials you allow into your life. If you focus on what you’ll gain by letting them go - a more organized and cleaner space - you’ll quickly realize how these unread materials could be holding you back from doing the things that really matter.

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