Decluttering books fills people with dread. But guess what? It doesn't have to...
Slow Home BootCamp - Lite
Day Five: Love Books? How to Declutter Your Collection Without Crying

Bookshelves are beautiful things. When you can surround yourself with novels, texts and reference books that have changed and shaped you, you’re a lucky person indeed. With a mindfully curated bookshelf, inspiration is literally at your fingertips.

For Day Five of BootCamp Lite, we’re looking closely at your bookshelves – with the aim of achieving the above scenario, as opposed to what so many of us currently have. Which is overflowing shelves of books we never intend to read again (or at all).

Sound familiar?

Let’s get to it…

Get Yourself Prepared:

1. Grab 2 boxes:

  • one for books to donate/sell
  • one for books to recycle (please keep this to a minimum)

2. Clear a workspace near your shelves and, working from the top shelf down, pick up each book and decide what will be done with it, based on these questions:

  • Have I ever read this?
  • Will I really read it again?
  • Will I need to refer back to this?
  • Is it a literary classic?
  • Am I still passionate about the subject?
  • Will anyone else in the home want to read it?

You might notice that these questions are a little different to the ones you often ask yourself while decluttering. And that’s because, to me, books aren’t clutter.Well, books that we learn from or love are not clutter. Instead, books teach, delight, inspire and rescue us.

3. Place the books you are keeping in a pile and sort the others into groups that will be sold, donated and recycled.

4. Once each shelf is completely cleared, wipe it down.

5. When you’ve cleared the entire bookcase, it’s time to put back those books you are keeping.

Organise them by:

  • colour
  • size
  • topic
  • adult/children’s

Whatever it is that works in your home and is going to remain (relatively) organised.

6. As you put each book back on the shelf, double-check your decision to keep it. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to keep it?”

This final step will help weed out any that you may have kept in a weak moment, leaving you with only those books that are important and/or meaningful. 

7. Pack the books you are donating/selling into a box and put them in the car. Recycle the (hopefully) small amount that you need to.

8. Make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a glass of wine. Grab a book off that gorgeous bookcase and just lose yourself. Even for five minutes.



{If you have friends or family who would benefit from living a simpler, slower life, then feel free to forward this email to them. They will love you for it!}

Until tomorrow, when we look at creating an exit drawer for your home...

Brooke xx

Brooke McAlary // Blogger, Editor
Slow Your Home

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