Decluttering Books (& a million other things): Week Four of {Sparking Joy}

Hello! And a very happy Sunday my friends!

Welcome back to Week Four of our {Sparking Joy} series!

I’ve teemed up with an amazing group of bloggers to share our journeys as we rid our lives of clutter!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: A Journey to Sparking Joy

A Journey to Sparking Joy with:

Anderson & Grant
Making it in the Mountains
DIY Passion
Dwelling in Happiness
Zevy Joy
Cupcakes & Crinoline
Lost in the Found
The Happy Housie


 

Turns out the real magic to tidying up doesn’t come from clever storage ideas or organizing tricks, it all starts with the act of decluttering. Makes sense. The less you have to keep organized, the less work it will be to keep it all in it’s place.

Easier said than done.

Following the principles outlined in the life-changing magic of tidying up, we’ll be working our way through the entire house to get rid of anything and everything that doesn’t spark joy. The ultimate goal of course is to simplify our life. Follow along as we share our journey to declutter … who knows, maybe it will even inspire you to start one of your own too!


 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: A Journey to Sparking Joy
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.*
 

My journey to {sparking joy} so far:

Week One: How Decluttering can Change your Life
Week Two: Decluttering the Closet
Week Three: Decluttering Make-up, Shoes & Accessories

I’ve worked my way through our closets, accessories, and make-up & I must say, tidying up has been so much easier than I could have ever imagined. I’m telling you – when you think of things in terms of keeping only what “sparks joy”, it completely transforms the decluttering process!

Week Four is all about books my friends and I’m so excited to jump in with y’all today!


So, here’s the thing about books – they all spark joy for me.

In fact, I really struggled when reading this section of the book because Kondo makes it all sound so simple. Discard any you have yet to read. Discard any that weren’t your absolute favourite. Discard any that might teach you something that you think you might someday want to learn. She just makes it sound so black and white. Which I guess is true for each of the categories, but for some reason this section of the book was a struggle just to read.

Thankfully, this was a journey I had already walked a few years ago, so I didn’t have many to go through this time around.

You see, we had shelves and shelves (and shelves) filled to the brim with books. I’m talking books lying sideways on top of books lined up in rows – every inch of that book case was spoken for. These shelves really couldn’t have held even one more. The adventurous folks we are, we found ourselves on the move 5 times in just 5 years and somewhere around move 3, I decided that packing, moving and unpacking those shelves and shelves of books was just not worth it anymore.

I loved reading each and every one of those books on that shelf, but would I ever choose to read any of them again? Probably not. I mean I’ve never in my life read the same book twice. Not even those Hall of Fame classics that Kondo chats about.

Thinking back now, I know that almost all had sparked joy for me, but seeing that bookshelf SO JAM PACKED with books gave me an overwhelming feeling that totally overshadowed that joy.

So, I boxed them up. Nearly every single one. And I was surprised when it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. The hardest part was figuring out what to do with the ones I hadn’t yet gotten around to reading. This is the part where I had to get real with myself. I mean let’s just be honest here, my time to read is limited and I don’t want to waste it reading something that I don’t love. How many of these books would I actually make the time to read? I also had to consider that new, must-read books would come along, knocking many of these further down my list. In the end, I was able to talk myself into keeping just a few select books that sounded like ones that I could really love and chose to rid my life of the rest.

Lugging these boxes and boxes (and boxes) of books to our local charity shop was made easier just knowing it was the very last time we would ever have to move them!

Since then, I’ve kept just a small pile of books that I plan to read. And then, I make darn sure that I do. And, once I’m done, I pass it along to someone else that might enjoy reading it too.

So, like I said, I didn’t have many to go through this time around. I did however have to round them up from a few different piles around the house like our spare room…

Decluttering Books
 

And of course my bedside table.

Decluttering Books
 

I noticed I had collected a few reference books (that I had yet to open), but with all of it available on the internet, I realized the likelihood of my looking through the books was slim. Off they went to the donate pile. I also found it easy to discard those books that I had saved from the last time, but hadn’t yet gotten around to reading because so many others had come along. I didn’t exactly count them, but I think in all I was left with maybe 20 books, all of which fit into 2 small cubbies with room to spare. A far cry from the four bookcases we used to have that’s for sure.

Because this is one area that I didn’t have much to work through (and mostly because I needed to find a shelf to store the keepers), I decided to take on my craft supplies as well. Now this my friends, made up for the easy time I had decluttering my books. My craft room has been an absolute disaster since moving in 7 short months ago. When I say disaster, this is by no means a stretch of the imagination. I know that crafters and DIYers often find the most creative ways to make use of the most useless crap, but my craft room was nothing but a chaotic mess filled with all sorts of things I couldn’t possibly find a use for, not even in my wildest, most creative dreams. I was sure of it.

And so I began…

In keeping with the Konmari Method, I emptied out each and every single thing from that closet…

Decluttering Books
 

And each and every thing from this shelf (you know, the one behind that giant picture frame!)…

Decluttering Books
 

Seriously, I cannot believe I’m posting these – SO embarrassing!

Okay. Empty closet and shelf in front of me, I grabbed myself a garbage bag (or ten) and started sorting. I kept only the things I could visualize a use for, only the things I could find a purpose for at this very moment. I piled the things I’d chosen to keep on a table and threw the rest into garbage bag after garbage bag to donate. Then, as I put each thing back into the closet, I took more care to organize everything so that it would be easier to find (and so I would no longer forget what I actually have in there!). It took me hours to go through it all, but if you ask me, it was time well spent.

 Decluttering Books
 

Everything fit easily back into that closet and I even had room to spare on my new shelf!

Decluttering Books
 

Everything now has a place.

Decluttering Books
 

And my tidy loving heart is happy once again!

Turns out the real magic to tidying up doesn't come from clever storage ideas or organizing tricks, it all starts with the act of decluttering.  See how I worked through decluttering my books on my journey to {Sparking Joy}!
 

Be sure to pop in next week to see how I’ve organized the piles of papers that had somehow taken on a life of their own.


The life-changing magic of tidying up.

Have you heard of it? Read it? Believe in it?

What are you waiting for? Go grab your copy now and join in the fun as we embark on A Journey to #SparkingJoy and make the KonMari Method work for us!
 


 
Did you miss something? Catch my entire journey to {sparking joy} below:


 

Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!
 
 
Ps. You can find me sharing here and Savvy Southern Style.

Happy Notes copy    

10 thoughts on “Decluttering Books (& a million other things): Week Four of {Sparking Joy}

  1. I’m impressed you were able to whittle your collection down. Books are the hardest for me. I’m an admitted book hoarder. At one point, I donated a bunch of clothes to make room in my bedroom closet for books!

    1. Ahhhh, I totally get it Lisa! It definitely took a shift in my thought process to realize that I had been holding on to them for all the wrong reasons. I’ve still got a few left to read, but I’m felling like I’ve got a bit more control over it all now πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you Mary Beth! Some weeks I feel like I’m kicking butt and then others (like this week) not so much. It’s definitely been one heck of a journey πŸ˜‰

  2. Wow, you are doing amazing Kristi! Your craft closet looks great. I read the book about a month ago and have also gotten rid of a ton and it feels wonderful!!! I still have a lot more to go through, it just takes a lot of time to take everything down go through it and donate and then put a few things back. This post is a good reminder that I still have a long way to go:). Thanks so much for sharing what you have been up to with Dream. Create. Inspire. Link, I hope you will join us again Tuesday night @ 8 EST. Take care, Tara

    1. Thanks Tara! It’s definitely not a very quick process, but so rewarding! Good on you for working through some things already, wishing you luck with the rest!!!

  3. Wow, I’m so impressed at how you whittled down your book collection! I also have trouble with books, though since I started working close to a library it’s gotten a bit easier. My problem is that I own a lot of books that I probably WILL re-read, either inspirational or just my favorite novels. I also like the idea of having really good books around that I can loan to my friends. What kind of books made the cut for you?

    1. Thanks Hannah! It’s definitely hard to get rid of those faves! If you’ve got the space for them, you should totally keep them! Honestly, the only books I kept were ones that I haven’t yet read and a few reference books and cookbooks that I use regularly, the rest I was happy to pass along to someone that might find some joy from them πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

    1. Thank you Maria! I totally hadn’t thought to hang on to any for future projects! Might have to sneak my next read into the craft closet when I’m done with it πŸ˜‰ Thanks again!

Leave a Reply