Tackling Book Clutter

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

I was surprised by how easy it was going through my physical books. The process I used for sorting through my books worked well. These are the steps that I took.

1. To start the process I labeled 5 pieces of paper by writing "Keep," "Maybe," take to "Society" to donate, donate to the "Library", and "Recycling."

2. My next step was to gather every book I owned in one place. Then I sorted them into categories of genealogy, history, education, travel, and fun reads.

3. The fun reads piles were the first books tackle. Any books I read were placed automatically next to the donate area. I most likely would not read them again. If I wanted to read them again, I can just borrow them from the library. I did have a few that I wanted to pass of to friends so those were put aside.

For fun read books I had not read yet I took a little more time on. I read descriptions of the book and for a few of them, I went online and read the book's reviews to help me determine if I was wanted to read them. The books I chose not to keep went into the library pile. I love to read before bed and decided to keep about eight that would sit next to my bed until I had a chance to read them. I promised myself I will not purchase anymore until I read those.

4. Educational books were pretty easy to go through. I had a collection from my time earning my Bachelor's degree. I chose to let almost all the books go. My major was American History and I decided to keep a few historical theme books that could help me later with my genealogy research.

5. I had only a handful of travel books. When I looked at the date of publication I choose to let all of them go to the donation pile because chances are that more updated information will be able to be found online.

6. I hate cooking, therefore why would I keep cookbooks. Those books went in library pile.

7. Genealogy pile of books was my hardest to decide on. Any books that had been written about my ancestors I instantly knew I was keeping. I decided books I would never use or did not think I would use I would donate to the local genealogy society for their library. I would still be able to use them without them taking space in my home. Books that I used as a reference often were definitely going back on my bookshelf. I ended up with about 20 books but they were books that I knew I was using. There was a handful I wasn't sure I would still be using so I wrote today's date and if I did not use the book before the next time I decluttered my books again that I would let them go.

8. On each of my books I decided to write today's date in the cover. Each time I use it I will erase the old date and put the last date I used it. This will help me next time I need to go through my books to see how often I am using them.

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