My year of Less is More: decluttering our books
|Our kids books all laid out before we sorted them|
While a lot of my thinking and headspace has been taken up with decluttering our schedule, I've also been thinking a lot about decluttering our possessions.
To be honest, I like getting rid of things and I find it freeing to declutter our house. But my house is far from a minimalist paradise. Seven people live in our three bedroom house and part of the motivation for decluttering is actually so that we can cope with living in our house. I think if you can keep the clutter to a minimum it makes you more content with the space you have, instead of a constant feeling that what you have isn't big enough.
But I have failed miserably with our books. I'm a librarian. And I'm not just a librarian, I'm a children's librarian with five reading offspring. So we have A LOT of children's books. We also have a lot of other books.
I really wanted to do a cull of the books but I couldn't even consider downsizing our books. It felt sacrilegious. Having books around makes me feel happy. Plus I have a blog that is about reading (at times ...!).
Well I bit the bullet. And in the end it wasn't all that painful. We managed to move from four large bookshelves, to two.
|After: it looks like we're moving out!|
1. To keep the book, we had to either love the book or need it (this is my new baseline principle for all decluttering decisions).
2. To keep the book, we had to think that we liked it enough that we'd like to lend the book to someone else or keep it for a younger sibling.
3. If it was a book that every second person we knew probably owns (or was easily available in a library), it went.
4. We got rid of doubles (a surprising number of these in the kids books).
5. Even if someone gave us the book as a present, the above applied. We thought that the gift-giver wouldn't want us to be lumbered with something that we didn't love or need.
6. If it was a book we'd bought/got but not read it in the last year because we never got around to it, it went (shocking, I know, but sooo liberating).
7. We (including the kids) asked ourselves all these questions many times while going through the books.
Going through this whole painful process (including get them into boxes, into the garage - we're keeping them for the next school fete) is a strong deterrent to bringing in more books. It was such a pain to get them out of the house.