Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 3: Books

It's the weekend!

And Day 3 of 31 Days to Decluttering and Organizing!

Reading material comes into our lives in many forms. Some of it is hand selected and it seems the rest of it is marketing in some form or another. The three forms I'm going to suggest you take a look at this weekend are the accumulation of books, magazines and newspapers in your home.

I realize that if I were to poll each of you reading we would have a wide range of numbers of these items we have in our home. For example, I currently don't have any newspapers in our home since we don't have a subscription. But I have two magazines. And our home is probably filled with over 100 books...probably more if we got them all together in one room. Some of you may have triple or more of the numbers I just mentioned in books.

Reading material can be quite personal and emotional. We connect with the stories and characters. It's often a past time for many of us. Even material from a seminar or class may be a souvenir of the time we invested in learning. And if it the book was a gift, we may feel an obligation to keep it.

While I understand the emotional connections, I want you to also consider how much space the books are taking up in your home. Are you running out of room to store these books? Are they stacked or piled in areas that books don't belong? When was the last time you read them? If you got rid of the book, would it be one you could easily find again to read at the library? Did you even remember you had the book?

Today may not the day to decide about ALL of your books. It can take time. But it is a day to start. You can pick one shelf or pile to make decisions about. If you feel you may be letting go of most of the books, you could pull and set aside the books you know you are keeping. Or if you know there are a few to go, just pull those out.

Boxes are the best place to put books that you know you are getting rid of. Books are heavy. If you use plastic or paper to corral them for donation, just put a few books in so each bag doesn't get too heavy. You may also consider that books can be sold for garage sale prices to used book stores. Most are set up to take them any time, but a call ahead if you have a car load full might be appreciated. If any of the books you are letting go of seem to have mold or water damage, those are probably best thrown in the trash or recycled.

As you look at your books today, know that if I were sitting beside you  assisting you in your decision making that I would encourage you to keep only the books with the deepest meaning, and those you would absolutely read again and again. The rest were important at one time, but that time has now past. The books are taking up space, and collecting dust. If the book was a gift, and you are feeling guilty about parting I would ask you to let that guilt go, along with the book, and know that most people wouldn't want you to feel any guilt or obligation about the item.

How many books did you get rid of today? Did you donate or sell them? Remember that you may need to revisit your books again if you didn't look at all of them today. At least you started though!

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