Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tidying Up Tuesday: Books

While watching Marie Kondo's Netflix show, I noticed that not a lot of airtime was spent on people organizing their books. I guess for most people organizing their books isn't a big dramatic thing? Well... for me it is.

Being a reader is a big part of my identity, and has been since I was a child. Owning lots of books is a huge part of who I am. I reread my books, so I've always said that I *needed* to keep all of them. But ever since I've gotten deeper into the writing world, more and more books pop up on my radar. My to-read list on Goodreads has almost two hundred and fifty books on it. I've noticed that as I've tried to stay on top of new books, I've been rereading my old books less frequently. What really makes me happy is reading new books, not necessarily owning many books. I tried to keep that in mind as I went through the bookshelves.

Here's a couple photos of the sorting piles:

I wish I took better photos so you could get a true sense of how many flipping books I had to go through.

I started with cookbooks; those were easy, because several of them I had never used. Then I went through magazines. Finally, I had to tackle the actual books. Something that helped me was having a plan for the books. I decided that some books would go to Goodwill, some to the library (donations that don't go into the stacks get used for the library's book sale fundraisers), and some would go to the Cathedral Home, which has programs for teens in need. I made boxes for each one, and as I sorted it was quick and easy to put the books in the correct boxes or my keep pile. I ended up with seven boxes of donation books.

Of course, I kept the books I love. It was easy to pick those out: the set of the Chronicles of Narnia I got as a kid, many of the Agatha Christie paperbacks my grandma handed down to me, my signed books. As I went through them I thought many times, "I should read that one again soon." And maybe now I will.

The best part, for me, was clearing enough space off the bookshelves to put our photo albums on display. My mom has made several gorgeous photo albums for us of our wedding and each of our kids' first year of life. They've been in a cupboard for years because it was a safe place for them. Now they are out and the kids can look at them whenever they want. Tidying really is about making space in your home for the things that truly bring you joy.

I don't have an after photo of the bookshelves yet; Ryan hasn't finished going through his books and putting them on the shelves. Hopefully I'll have one by next week!

Next project: the kids' bookshelves

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