As I told you about earlier, I’ve been on a decluttering spree of my own. No area of my home is off-limits! Yes, my house is organized, neat, tidy and well-appointed, but there are things that had to go! Stuff starts to accumulate. Our needs, interests and lifestyles change too so our surroundings should change along with it. A tool I’ve been using was the feature of my June newsletter, Is It Special? This week’s project recap…my books and bookshelves!
I love books! (I do have a Kindle so I accrue fewer books these days). Cookbooks, coffee table books, books on art, novels, non-fiction, travel books, etc. But over the years, I realized many books just sat there. Although my shelves looked pretty as their contents reflected my interests….those books had become less important to me (and dusty). I also realized I wanted more open space and space to add photos to my shelves. So I took every book off my shelf, dusting and vacuuming as I went and opened the books to see if I even liked them. What I discovered is:
- Many of my large artsy coffee table books were more text than photos. I knew if I wanted to read or reread that material, I didn’t want to read a giant book. I’d get a digital version, go to the library or do research online.
- Many of my special interest books (gems, minerals, marine biology) were redundant. They were also old. The photos looked dated and although some info is still relevant, some must not be current.
- Those books I was saving because I read and had all the hardcover versions by an author does not mean I have to keep them. Yes, I kept my John Grisham, Jean Auel and Harry Potter collections, but I let go of Emily Giffin and some other novels I wouldn’t reread.
- I have a shelf of old books and I pared some of those down. They look neat, but I can’t read books printed in French.
- I don’t need an entire shelf of unread books taunting me to become smarter ; ) — I got rid of some historical books and biographies…that I hadn’t read. I wanted to learn more about certain subjects and people, but there are other ways to do so when I decide to take the time…
- I don’t need how-to books — caring for orchids, saltwater aquariums, water gardens, etc. because I can easily get that info online if I ever need it (don’t currently need).
- I was tired of some of the knick-knacks so they got donated.
I now have the space I wanted, I’ve lightened my load and my belongings are more current and relevant to me (and my shelves are clean!). Remember — I love books, I am still interested in the books’ subjects although they were donated and that I liked the books I had….but those aren’t the only reasons, nor the best reasons, to keep anything. What shelves can you edit?