Does it seem like every home organization project involves me getting my husband to get rid of his stuff? That’s what he said! (Literally, he said that.) Seriously, this week we sorted all of our books and it looked like we were having an estate sale on the dining room table with all of the stacks of books!
Brad loves to buy books. Seriously. He loves to read them, too. Plutarch and his many lives? Yes, we’ve got them all and he’d love to tell you all about them. Shakespeare’s entire works? Those, too. Poetry, anyone? We’re set. Federalist papers? We are your source. Abraham Lincoln – or any president for that matter – check that.
We had books everywhere. Well, we still do but now they’re all organized and sorted. We had books in the office – which we needed to move out before we started the re-do in there – and in our dining room we have books in a cabinet.
- Weekly. This week’s project: Books!
- Small. This wasn’t small because we have loads of books but we did get them all together on the dining room table.
- Clear and clean. After clearing out and off all of the book shelves, I wiped them down and then put back what we’re keeping.
- Get set. We sorted by keep, donate, and sell. The keep pile stayed on the table and we grouped all like subjects together.
- Pack it out. One load has gone to be donated and more are getting sold. No second thoughts. OK, a few but not many came back out.
- Stop buying. Honestly, who has 3 copies of the same book? (“Jane Eyre”) What about 2 copies of the same book? (“Teaching Your Children Values”) Please! We love the library and need to focus on borrowing rather than buying.
- Less is more. How many books do we really “need” in life? We do read books – and no, neither of us is going digital – we can only buy a book if we get rid of one.
That was painful! Even though it looks like a disaster, it didn’t take as long as I thought – unlike the pantry that went on and on – but the college text books we kept from the ’80s? Really? Sell your text books, people!
If you’re wondering, we eliminated 142 books! The second-hand store, a local bookstore that buys used books, and eBay are all recipients of our prized collection. Progress. It’s slow but happening.
How are your home organization projects coming along?
Go Gingham related links:
What every room needs: a tissue box slipcover
Toilet tank slipcovers – I know this is wrong but I couldn’t help myself
A tray table with a slipcover – because tables need slipcovers, too
Pretty lanterns – perfect for a backyard or a wedding celebration
How to arrange flowers – this was my first attempt, too!
As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
16 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 11”
Love,love,love progress! I , too, am a book hoarder. A new used book store came to town so I have made 5 trips there to sell and donated the rest. Still have too many and plan to do one more sort – traumatic for me to get rid of them but I haven’t missed any of them yet.
Jill, the progress is slow but thank you for your vote of confidence! It’s hard to be a book hoarder…It sounds like you are making real progress. Well done! Thanks for writing in…. 🙂
What a cute window seat! I would love one but we don’t really have a good place for one.
I love to read. My mom always encouraged using the library rather than buying books–as an adult with a small-ish home, I now understand why! It’s a little harder with kids … my 2 voracious readers do love the library but I often suggest people buy books for my kids for gifts as I’d rather store books than little doo-dad toys that get lost and broken. We pick our poison, don’t we? 🙂
So true about picking the poison! My kids have a love for books, too. They’re good gifts.
Brad made the window seats and I sewed the cushions. We needed more space for books! 🙂
This is one area in which I am ahead of the game. There is a four-shelf built-in bookcase in the living area; only one shelf has books. Six are cookbooks, down from about 15. The remainder are reference books, plus four poetry books that I received as a teenager.
When I read now it is on a device. It is much easier to manipulate the viewing screen to my needs.
Karen, that is impressive! I wish that was me – including the cookbooks. My daughter just brought home 2 cookbooks from the library and I’m hoping we do that more than buying books.
thanks, Karen! 🙂
We have a little free library in the neighborhood that I loaded up when we purged books last summer. It was hard for a librarian to let go, but I did it.
I stopped buying books several years ago when we were saving money for a trip to Africa. Now I pretty much use the library exclusively, and I usually buy books only as gifts. It’s amazing how much money I save!
EFB ~ I’m noticing a theme here with the librarians having lots of books 😉
Those little neighborhood stands are adorable! I love the sharing of books and how they are so organic.
I was a second generation book hoarder. As a child I built towers of books instead of blocks.
And then decades later when aging parents needed to move and pare down possessions I had the job of packing, moving and selling those books. Hundreds and hundreds of them. That’s when I decided that 4 small dedicated shelves would hold only the books I couldn’t part with. If I can’t find room on those shelves the book can’t stay.
You can find just about anything at the library.
Very smart! I like the idea of “if it doesn’t fit in here it has to go” but we’re not there – yet!
There’s so much less stuff our home is feeling lighter which feels so good.
Thanks, Auntie M!!
We have a Little Free Library that is a great place to offload our books and the books of our neighbors. My daughter & I have a hobby of buying old hardcover books with unusual titles at estate sales. We stack them up and use them in our decorating. Now she is turning some of them into purses and selling them at her high school trade show this spring. I have made a couple of wreaths from the pages of the books, too! So there is a lot you can do with those old books!
This project of your daughter’s sounds amazing. I’d love to see pictures. I love reuse going on with it!
Thanks for sharing ~
I “collected” books, too, until I became a librarian. I no longer buy fiction; I check them out at the library, which also has eBooks. I do have to buy books for school, I’m a Ph.D. student, but that’s a necessity right now. Before my last move, I sorted and got rid of most of my fiction collection and I am so relieved not to be owned by all those books anymore. Good job, Sara!
Thanks, Vanessa! Moving does have its benefits, doesn’t it? It forces you to unload those not-needed items in life.
I can’t do the e-reader but maybe someday. I’d feel bad drooling on a machine! LOL! 🙂
As an ex – bookstore manager I am a book hoarder to the extreme! Unfortunately, our small little abode with 2 preschoolers necessitated the need to weed my collection. Being the OCD bibliophile I am. I was thrilled to find site library thing which let’s you catalog your collection- super helpful to have especially at bookstore or book fair to eliminate that duplicate purchase.
Oh my this is one my mother needs. I did say ‘every time I come, I’ll take 5 books’ (not to throw away, or for me to have, just to rehome, somewhere!). She was aghast, but half the time I see her she wants to declutter.
When i was living there, I found multiple duplicate titles! I was allowed to liberate those. The killer is, we have so many books, we can’t find the one we need when we need it (and then, someone buys more, and we end up with duplicates).
An offshoot of this, I have next to no books in my home. I still read a lot, but I’m largely reliant on the library.
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