Books: Part 1 - Organize One Shelf Per Day

If you're anything like me, books seem to make their way into your home, regardless of how many Kindle enabled devices you have.  I love them, but man oh man do they multiply.  I find a must read on Amazon, a neighbor lends me her favorite, and of course there are always one or two that come home with me from the library.  

Eek. 

It also seems that in addition to the ones that continue to creep in each month, there are all those still on the bookshelves.  The ones that may or may not have been gathering dust for years.  

Well, a few months ago I decided to tackle those and I found a painless way to do it:

Pick one shelf. 

Just one. 

Now follow these steps to an orderly shelf (and soon, an orderly bookcase):

  1. Pull all the books off one shelf and pile them on the ground
  2. If there are any books you absolutely love? Put those back on the shelf: Autographed copies? Baby's first book? Family history? First edition of Huckleberry Finn with pristine dust jacket? Yeah...those.
  3. Put any borrowed books aside in a basket next to the bookshelf - these don't need to live on your bookshelf as they are only in your home temporarily.
  4. Have a serious talk with the books still on floor.  They don't "spark joy"?  You're no longer interested in the subject matter?  Your house is on fire and you wouldn't stop to save them? Then why are they still on your bookshelf?  And be honest with yourself - the books you own do not represent your intelligence.  You can have empty shelves and still be a genius! 
  5. Now that you've had The Talk, put any books you're ready to part with in a Goodwill bag near the bookshelf.  You'll need it tomorrow when you tackle the next shelf. 

In many of the homes I've worked in, each person has their own bookcase, so assuming 5 - 7 shelves of books, you'll be done purging and organizing those bad boys in a week!