This is one of the hardest areas of my house I’ve ever had to declutter. I thought clothing was hard, but once I got into the capsule wardrobe and then, especially when I started using the Cladwell app, clothing was a breeze.
Books and baby toys are my current arch nemesis. I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, but of course I didn’t 100% follow everything as she said to do it. I couldn’t. I didn’t have the willpower to force myself through the pain.
Parting with books is really hard for me, because every book I have looks like it could be a very good, maybe even a life changing, read. I have a lot of non-fiction books, how to books, like everything you could ever want to know about herb gardening, and how to make your own wreaths. I can totally see the entire family getting all wintered up, hats, scarves, mitts… and going for a nice walk in the sunny but chilled afternoon holiday air, collecting festive items that nature has left for us, to bring home and make our beautiful wreaths with.
I don’t see it happening this year, because the kids are 6, 4, and 2. The idea of wintering them all up, lugging half the house for all their needs, as we attempt a walk, with kids whining and complaining because they just want to go to the park or back home. It’s not worth it. Maybe I can go for a walk on my own in beautiful peace and quite and bring the items back. But then I’d need a glue gun, and safe glue for the kids to use.
Any ways, my point is this beautiful book on wreaths that I’ve had for over 10 years and never made a wreath once, it would be a shame to toss it now. We are so close to creating a wreath making, holiday tradition. Maybe.
And my real point of this whole blog post, was to tell you that I think I’m ready to take each book in my hands and ask the question, does this book spark joy or add value to my life. If the answer is no, I will put it in the “no pile”.
Then after I am done, I will go through the “no pile”, and do a search online at my public library, if the book is available through the library or through any of their online apps, I will donate them. If at any point I really feel like I’m ready to read that book I can just borrow it.
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Super easy, no guilt, no fear of missing out. Just lots more open space in my bookshelf. I can’t wait to show you before and after pictures.
If the book is not available at the library, I have no idea what I’ll do. I might just keep it. I am so weak. But it’s a start.
Get moving, get doing.
Improving your life 1% at a time.
It was surprisingly easy to get rid of the a lot of books. As I started out, I grabbed a pile of books and searched the library database first. If it was there, it made the decision easy. A few books that were available at the library, I decide to still keep.
I put over 100 books in the “no pile”. I was surprised that even with the number of books I got rid of, the space it cleared up didn’t feel as open as I thought it would. I’ve cleared clutter before that left me feel so much freer. Not so this time.
But with that open space, I was motivated to do something about the toys. I had this green toy box that everything got tossed into, and once a toy was in there, no one played with them, they didn’t know what was in there and would rarely bother to dig in and look.
I decided to go through the toy box, see what if I could get rid of the baby, baby toys. Like Sophie, my two year old doesn’t need chew toys any more. Then I displayed all the toys my two year old loves to play with on the open spaces in the book shelf.
Right away, he was playing with a greater variety of toys because he could see them.
This also made me rethink keeping the board games in the closet. The games are up high, the kids can’t reach them. I can’t reach them. When they ask to play them, I feel the groan inside me. I decided to pull out the games they enjoy and the ones I enjoy too, and put them on the shelf where they are easy to get and easy to see.
I think I will move some of the less used craft supplies into the closet.
I’m really becoming aware of the things we don’t use because we have too much. There is often the fear of missing out that makes us hold on to everything. I’ve finally experienced this mind shift where I’m look at items and asking, “what will it distract me from?” What will I miss out on if I keep this or if I bring this into my house?
Originally I thought I would just drop the books off at the local donation center. But, I had a better idea. Bookcrossing.com. I’ve always wanted to do this.
BookCrossing is the act of releasing your books “into the wild” for a stranger to find, or via “controlled release” to another BookCrossing member, and tracking where they go via journal entries from around the world.
Image from bookcrossing.com
All of my books are now in a big bin in my husbands shop, which is currently the home for everything we’ve decided we might no longer need.
I’ve registered a few books and labeled them. Now, when I’m going somewhere I can grab a book to release into the wild. This does make for a bit of work. But it makes getting rid of my books much more interesting and rewarding.