Blissfully Organised – Decluttering Your Book Collection
Why do we hold a special attachment to our books?
The books that we own form part of our life story. As well as looking attractive on a shelf our book collection is personal to us and represents many things about our personality such as intellect, interests, culture and travel experience to name but a few.
Decluttering a book collection involves breaking our sentimental attachment to books.
What makes people hold onto books?
1. Sentimentality: It was a gift, it is part of a set, reminds me of special times or people in my life
2. Cost: hardback books, first editions or rare editions may have incurred a significant investment
3. It looks good on the shelf: reflects your experience and interests
Why do we need to declutter our book collection?
Whether you buy several books to binge read on holidays or if you are an avid book collector who spends hours perusing the shelves of second hand book shops, it’s very easy to build up a sizeable collection of books at home. If you do not regularly review the books you own, you may find that your home is overrun with books.
Books are heavy items to move when stored in a loft or garage and can take up valuable storage space. A regular book audit will help you to:
1. Create a collection of books that are truly important to you
2. Order and store your books so that you can easily reference the books that you have and avoid purchasing duplicates
3. Avoid taking up valuable storage space in your home to store books that you no longer have space to display
4. Books are meant to be read. Donate your unwanted books to a library or charity shop to ensure that it keeps being read
5. Reduce the time spent cleaning busy book shelves
If your home is overrun with books, it’s time to go through your books and consolidate your collection.
Where do I start?
Collate all books in your home into one space:
1. Arrange non-fiction books by topic: this will make it much easier to see which topics have accumulated the most books
2. Sort out any duplicates: my clients are often surprised by how many duplicates they have accumulated
3. Purge out of date books i.e. guide books, old travel books, school/university books
4. Gifts/Inherited Books: Review any books that you have been gifted or inherited from a loved one. Be honest if you are going to read the books
5. Get ruthless with your yet to read books: How long have you had the book? Schedule 6 months to read your unread books. If you haven’t read them during this period donate to a friend, charity shop or library.
6. Identify areas in your home for book storage. You may want to have one space in the living room or home office to store all your books or you may opt for several smaller spaces i.e. a hallway, children’s bedrooms etc.
7. Create a compact shelf of books that you can never get rid of
8. Literature: Will you reread it or reference this book again? If not donate to a friend, library or charity shop
9. Self- development books: these books have been purchased to support you with specific goals (self-help, business support, diet, health, exercise etc.) in mind. Assess if you still need to reference the books and only keep the books that inspired you the most.
If you are overwhelmed with books and don’t know where to start I would be very happy to support you to create a manageable book collection.