Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Organize All Your Ripped Out Magazine Pages

I know this is the digital age, but I am seriously addicted to magazines.  Almost as much as I am addicted to Pinterest.  Almost.  I practically squeal with delight when I open up my mailbox and see the glossy, beautiful cover of Martha Stewart Living..... seriously makes my day.  I love to cuddle up in my covers at night with a good magazine.  


I find great ideas and inspiration in the plethora of magazines and catalogs that I get in the mail each month, but I find that my magazines start piling up really quickly.  When I do get the time to go through them and pull out the ideas that inspire me or that I want to try, I then have a huge paper stack of ripped out magazine pages, instead of magazines.  Not pretty!  

I needed a solution to my paper piles that were multiplying in my craft closet.  So here's what I came up with.... It's like Pinterest on paper!!

Binders, sheet protectors, and labels, oh my!  


STEP #1:  I bought a big binder for each main category I chose:  Holidays, Christmas, Kids, Recipes (needed 2 binders for those), and Home.  I found these binders in a multi-pack at Costco.  I also bought labeled tab dividers to organize each binder even further.  The sheet protectors I already had.


STEP #2:  I dug into my massive scrapbook paper stash and pulled out some cute patterned paper that worked with each theme, like Christmas paper for the Christmas binder, etc.  I used a sheet to slip inside the plastic cover of each binder, and then trimmed a matching piece to fit inside the plastic for the title.  I used scrapbook letters, numbers, or just plain scrapbook paper for the titles on the side, but if you didn't have any of those, you could just as easily type out a title, or even write one.


STEP #3:  Next I categorized each binder further so that it made sense to me, and was nice and organized. I printed out a label onto each tab, and put in my tab dividers, in alphabetical order, of course, because I'm anal like that ;)

*** Due to reader request, I'm including all of my binders and a list of all of my tabs that I used.  You can copy mine or come up with your own based on what types of pages you like to save! ***

KIDS Binder:
* Clothing
* Educational
* Food
* Gifts to Give
* Good Ideas
* Kids Fun
* Made by Mom
* Memories
* Outdoors
* Parties
* Travel
* Room
* Stages
* Stats & Quotes

HOME Binder:
* Candles
* Crafts
* Gifts to Give
* Health & Beauty
* Housekeeping
* Memories
* Outdoors
* Paper Crafts
* Party
* Table Decorations
* Websites
* Misc. (yes, the "M" is not ABC order, but I wanted "misc." last)

HOLIDAYS Binder: (This binder is in chronological order, not ABC order)
* Valentine's Day
* St. Patrick's Day
* April Fools' Day
* Easter Fourth of July
* Back to School
* Halloween
* Thanksgiving
* New Year's

CHRISTMAS Binder:
* Candles & Fire
* Crafts
* Decorations
* Food
* Gifts
* Kids
* Table
* Misc.

RECIPES Binder #1: (I have 2 recipe binders because I save so many recipes)
* Appetizers
* Breakfast
* Breads
* Cakes/Pies
* Candy
* Canning
* Cookies
* Desserts
* Dips & Spreads

RECIPES Binder #2:
* Drinks
* Fruits
* Frozen Desserts
* Meat
* Noodles/Pasta
* Pizza
* Poultry
* Salsas
* Sandwiches
* Sauces
* Soups
* Vegetables


STEP #4:  And lastly, my favorite part, is to go through all those magazines, recipes, and articles that you've been saving, and neatly rip or cut out anything that you want to save.  I used a glue stick to glue down every idea onto regular blank paper, and then stuck the pages into my binder under the right category.  I  glue multiple ideas on each page, as many as I can fit without it looking messy.


From my Kids ideas binder
I love being able to find each idea quickly because it is so organized and easy to find.  When it is summer time and the kids are bored, I pull out my kids binder and let the kids flip through and find an activity they'd like to do, or a craft that they'd like to make.  When it's almost Christmas time and I'm felling crafty, I turn to my Crafts section in my Christmas binder.

From my Christmas ideas binder
From my Home binder
I'm so happy with my new system of organizing all of my magazine ideas and inspiration.  I hope this helps you get organized too!!  So how do you organize your paper piles?  Leave a comment and let me know!


Be sure to check out my similair method for organizing my kids' art, school work, awards, letters, etc. It's really easy and has cut back on the piles of papers, especially at the end of the school year!

If you liked this project, please follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Bloglovin', and Instagram.

XO, Laura

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81 comments :

  1. I love magazines and ripping out the articles, pictures, recipes, and ideas also! How simple and easy to organize them all. Thanks for posting. My husband thanks you too! :)

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    1. You are most welcome! So glad this was helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. It's a great idea! I rip magazine pages for my daughter and created a fun way to display them in a cute zipper front notebook with the tabs. I see that I need to create her more than one! Keep the good ideas coming!

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  3. Thanks Cindy. Your method sounds similair to mine. If you're anything like me, then you probably will need more than one for her ;) I post new ideas daily Monday-Friday so come back soon!

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  4. I've been sticking pages into those accordion file folder things for YEARS, but I don't like that because they aren't neatly arranged or easy to see like this is. I've been meaning to do this for quite some time...gotta buckle down and do it soon because it's getting pretty thick! You are lucky yours is finished! Great job!!

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    1. Thanks Karen! I had all of my pages filed in file folders, but it was too hard to go through and my files were getting too massive. It takes a little while initially to do this, but is soooo worth it, and very easy to maintain and find what you are looking for. Good luck!!

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  5. I LOVE this. More organizational tips! You're so good at it.

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Plenty more tips to come, don't you worry ;)

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  6. I just scan all mine into the computer and organize them by category into files. Look Ma, no clutter!

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    1. That's a good idea, too. I personally like to keep the actual pages to flip through. It's all about finding what organization system works for you. I hate clutter, which is why I started organizing these in binders in the first place :)

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  7. Great idea! :) Looks like you put the pages in page sleeves, too, good for those of us who thumb through the books many, many times. Keeps the pages from tearing or getting rumply, lol!

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    1. Yep, those sheet protectors keep it all nice and neat. I tried it first without them, and it was a mess :) Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Great idea. What did you use to label each section of your notebook?

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    1. I used some of those tab dividers that were made specifically for sheet protectors. The regular ones are a little smaller, and you can't see the labels very well because the sheet protectors make the pages wider.

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  9. Your binders the the pinterest of real life - such a great idea.

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    1. Thanks Kate, That's how I see them too! I actually started these before Pinterest was around, so now I have a paper set of great ideas as well as a whole different set of digital ideas! Now I can never say that I have nothing to make :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Hey Laura, I feel so good to see that someone else had this great idea too! I started organizing my pieces of ripped out pages from magazines a few years ago and I am glad that I did. It is amazing on how fast the binder grows, but it is so informational. Your binders look nicer than mine though - I'm jealous!

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    1. Haha, thanks. They do grow quickly, don't they? The good thing is that you can find exactly what you're looking for when it's nice and organized, no matter how big it gets!

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  11. Mine are almost identical except I don't keep the pages in plastic sleeves. it is a great system and makes planing menus,parties, crafts, holiday activites even places to visit a breeze.

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    1. Isn't it nice to feel organized and be able to find the exact thing you are looking for quickly? Thanks for sharing, Michelle.

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  12. PS I would give you more comment love if you didnt the anti robot verification bit. The real comment took me 5 turns before I got it right. I can only hope this one doesn't take too many. Just a point from my own experience, I don't have verification on and I rarely get spam emails and those i do get are 'caught' by blogger and set aside for approval before being published! Just thought I would let you knkow. Regardless, I love your organizing blog! (I hope I didn't offend!)

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    1. No offense taken at all. I just changed the settings because I don't like typing all that nonsense in when I comment on other blogs, either, so why do it on my own? Thanks for the feedback!

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  13. I'm one of the most unorganized people on the earth and am trying to organize my life for once. Can you tell me what your tabs are? I'm hopeless when it comes to actually organizing in tabs. Please help.

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    1. Sure, just tell me which binder you would like to know about, and I'll tell you what the tabs are. :) I have one for Christmas, all other holidays, home decor and household stuff, recipes, and kids ideas. Which are you interested in?

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    2. Well actually all. I have stacks and stacks of magazine clippings that would probably fit in each binder.

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    3. Well actually all. I have stacks and stacks of magazine clippings that would probably fit in each binder.

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    4. Okay Margaret, I'm editing the post to add all of my labels for each of my books. Hope this helps you!

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  14. This article is a godsend! I was just looking at how many magazines I had and I thought about getting rid of them :[ Definitely going to do this!

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    1. Oh good, so glad I could help you! I love this system so much, I can find anything that I saved in a matter of seconds. Thank you for visiting Make Life Lovely.

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  15. I did something similar with all my rubber stamps, my old sizzix dies and hole punches. Now when I go shopping; I can flip through my binder and not make the mistake of buying something I already own. It also let's me know where its located in my office so I don't spend an hour looking for stamp

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    1. Great idea!! I do the same thing for my clear stamps as well. Isn't it great to be able to find just what you're looking for without having to dig around for hours?

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  16. Love this idea of organizing my massive stack of magazines. Just wondered where you found the tabs that you used in your binders. Thanks.

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    1. I found them at Target last year, but they were on clearance, so I'm not sure if they have the same ones now. I just bought some other good ones at Office Depot, so you could always give them a try! Good luck!

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  17. I love this idea! Can't wait to tame my massive stack of magazine goodies!!

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    1. Thanks, and good luck! It feel SO good to have it all organized and clean!

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  18. THANKS SO MUCH. I just printed out the categories so I feel better about organizing my ever growing stack of magazine pages.

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    1. Awesome, you're welcome! Glad I could help you get organized! :)

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  19. Oh, I love this idea! I've done it a time or two before in the past then quit, but then the magazines stack up. Martha Stewart and some of the other large size magazines make this a little trickier though. I end up having to trim them up a bit before they fit in the page protectors.

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    1. Yes, the Marthas definitely have to be trimmed, but I love that they take up the whole sheet protector. Some of the other magazine pages are smaller, and don't fill up the whole sheet protector, which kind of bugs me.

      I just rip the pages out as I read, toss the magazine, and then when I have some free time I take the ripped pages out of the magazine holder I keep them in, and trim and file away. Then the magazines are out of sight, which I love!

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  20. Thank you so much for this...I feel like I am an organized person, but now seeing this I know I can be more organized! Great idea to organize the magazine papers in binders all labelled!! I will definitely be trying this out!

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    1. So glad that you'll be trying this! It's worked really well for me, and has helped tame my stacks of magazines.

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  21. I've been doing something similar for years! I've used the old fashion 'magnetic' photo albums for recipes, but all my other goodies I've stashed in file folders - and never really been seen again. This not only makes it so much more practical - it actually looks beautiful. I'm off to dig out my glue sticks and get started! Thank you for sharing (and bringing me comfort in knowing I'm not the only one who still loves glossy magazines!)

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    1. I stashed mine in file folders, too, before I started doing this. It was such a mess, I would hardly ever pull out my pages, and I could never remember what I even had. This way I know right where things are, and I can find them in a few seconds without my pages falling all over the floor :) Thanks for your comment!

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  22. I've been doing this too. I started about 20 years ago, so they are in need of refreshing... I used the following Catagories: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Christmas, Gardening, and Household. For each Seasonal Binder I have these categories: Seasonal Foods, Childrens Activities, Holidays, Seasonal Decor, Seasonal Crafts. ( I am not counting my 5-6 Binders for Scrapbook ideas.)

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    1. It's a great system, isn't it? So simple, and yet such an easy way to stay organized!

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  23. how can you organize a ripped out page that contains info about two different things on each side of the page?

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    1. Here's what I do: If there is an article that I like that is a few pages long, then I just rip out the whole article, staple it, and then stick it in the sheet protector. If there are two seperate things I want to keep, one on each side, then I just make a copy of one side (or you can scan and print), and then I can keep both sides without having to pick. Hope that helps!!

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  24. Barbara in SeattleApril 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I've been organizing recipes like that for years. But, the big secret is to go through your binders once or twice a year and throw out recipes, etc. that you know you'll never make or do. Then you stay truly organized.

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    1. Yes, that's key! I should have added that to the post, because I go through mine every once in a while to pull out anything that I might not need anymore, or that I probably won't end up making. Also, I edit my magazine piles a few times before adding them to my binders. I try to be realistic and make sure that anything I keep I will actually use! Thanks for the tip!

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  25. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does this...

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    1. Haha, me too! Judging by the comments, there are a lot of people who still love their magazines :)

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  26. This is a fabulous idea! Thanks so much.

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    1. Thank you! It's really helped me to organize those ideas that I want to try so I don't lose them and can easily find them. Hope you try it!

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  27. Wow, I feel a lot better now. I have been doing this since I was a kid and thought I was weird. I enjoy the cutting and pasting as much as the information and then the great feeling of reducing the piles of clutter as well.

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  28. I had already started to do this somewhat although I really like how you set these up category-wise. But my main reason for messaging you today is to let you know that I tried twice before to check this out on your blog and was notified by Pinterest that this was a spam site so you might wanna check into that cuz I think your binder idea/blog would probably get alot more hits if people weren't deterred by the spam message. Good luck and keep creating! Rose in Michigan
    PS-I didn't have a "profile" to post this from but u can contact me at wylderthanyou@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me know Rose! I searched on Pinterest all of the pins for this idea, and sure enough one of them is blocked and says that it looks fishy, and my url on the pin ends in .mx, not .com, so I'm not sure what that means... I'll be contacting Pinterest tomorrow, though! Thanks so much for the heads up!!

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  29. Thank you so much for posting this! I have so many ripped out magazine papers it's not funny. And I never know how to store them so I usually end up throwing them away. But now I know what I need to do! Thanks!

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    1. Yes, that's how I was before I started doing this! Give it a try, you will love this system. It's such a great feeling when you can find the page you're looking for in a matter of seconds :)

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  30. I do this also but nothing as grand and cute as yours. I started mine a long time ago with a photo album that has the lift up clear plastic that you put the pictures under and they stick to the page.It makes it really easy to put small papers away.

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    1. That works too! Yes, those small papers can be annoying when they fall all over the place.

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  31. Replies
    1. YES, it's totally paper Pinterest! I started this before Pinterest, and I remember thinking that Pinterest was my digital way of doing what I was already doing with all the ideas I loved!! I'm addicted to both ways :)

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  32. I found this post on...Pinterest, of course. But oh my gosh!!!! You're like my twin. I thought I was the only crazy that continued to maintain binders in the digital age. Your method is JUST LIKE MINE. I have about 15 themed binders with subcategories in each. Sometimes I feel bad about taking up so much space with them but now that I know I'm not alone, I'm keepin' 'em, goshdarnit! Thank you for the affirmation!

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    1. Haha, glad to know I'm not the only one! Yes, keep them! I still use them ALL the time. They take up an entire shelf in my craft closet, but I think it's totally worth it. I keep my go to recipes and favorite craft ideas inside, and know exactly where to find them. I love Pinterest and my computed, but sometimes it's nice to hold the paper and read it and have it in a book.

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  33. What is the best way to remove articles or a page from a magazine so the bound edges are not a ragged mess when removed? What kind of tool or just scissors?

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    1. use an exacto (sp?) knife to cut article from magazine

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    2. Yes, you could use an exact knife. I just rip out my pages, and then trim the edges with a paper cutter. That seems to work the best for me!

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  34. Laura, thanks for sharing!! I LOVE magazines too and read them at night before I fall asleep just like you. I am going to start this but I have a question. What do you do when you want to save both sides of the magazine page? I guess you just make a copy. Oops, I answered my own question!!

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    1. Yes, it can get tricky when you want both sides! Sometimes it worked that I can trim parts out of both sides and keep them both. If not, then I just make a copy like you said, and then I get to keep them both! So glad I'm not the only one who still loves magazines! ;)

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  35. I love cutting from magazines too! I have kept binders but none as pretty or organized as yours.. Thank you for the information.

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  36. I'm a magazine addict too, and if there is a recipe section in a magazine that's the first place I go. I've been organizing recipes in photo albums for years, the ones that have the sheets you just peel back and then lay down. I bought binder divider pages with tabs to separate the recipes into meats, sides, etc.

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    1. Sounds like you've got a great system going, too! I found that I didn't ever use the recipes I cut out if they weren't in a binder, so this method has worked out really well for me.

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  37. Nicely done! I have sooo many years worth of "Real Simple" mags. Since my husband & I are trying to minimize everything (future house sale AND becoming minimalists!), I am starting to scan pages of interest into our computer. Might be more work..?..but that's my CURRENT method. Used to just file in foldeers...

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    1. Ooooh, I love Rea Simple magazine! Scanning is a great idea too. Then you don't have any paper at all to keep track of!

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  38. I like this idea. I've been using Scan a log software for years , I just scan the page and label it and put it in the catagory it belongs in. But this idea would be a lot better I think because then you can not only instantly see it but you wouldn't have to print it out to say to do a craft project where you can't leave your computer on all day. I tend to do crafts in between doing other things...I am going to try this system.

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    1. Yes, give it a try Cherie and let me know what you think! It has worked out really well for me. It is very easy to maintain once you get started, and is soooo easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Good luck!

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  39. What a great idea to keep this kind of paperwork neat and organized. I've tried a few other systems that were helpful but I think this will work much, much better. Thank you for sharing this idea!

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