Downsizing home bookshelves. Do you just stand and stare at all the piles and piles of books and magazines on your bookshelves? Are you facing a move soon, and you just don't know where to start? Do you have a room full of books that have to fit into another room 1/2 the size? Are your bookshelves bursting at the seams?
Then the time has come. It doesn't have to be done all in one day. But if you have decided to downsize your house, your apartment, or your life, and you are really having a good cleanout, then you had better start with downsizing home bookshelves first. Even before you tackle the kitchen or the closet or even the garage. This will take much longer!
Books are a huge weight, you can not put too many in a box, and they take up loads of room in a moving van. So, before I have all those book worms throwing the book at me! Here are a few ways to trim the heard of books you own:
First of all, I am a firm believer in recycling, and I love to read, so the way I look at it, there must be lots of other people out there that would enjoy one of my books that is collecting dust on the shelf.
So the first thing to do, is to get yourself a lot of empty boxes.
Label some as "donations"
Label the rest as "keepers"
Now get into the frame of mind that you are going to spend today downsizing home bookshelves. I mean ALL the bookshelves in your house. If you are anything like me, there will be many more books around the house.
Start with the biggest collection. Get a dusting cloth, because there will be dust! This is a great time to clean as well.
Start with novels
Look through all your bookshelves and find those paperbacks and hardback novels. You have read them, and are not likely to read them again, so why hang onto them? If you are still having problems letting go of a good hardback novel, just think of it this way. Is it worth the price it will cost to move it? That should help you decide. Remember these boxes of books are just adding to the weight of your cargo for moving.
So, toss the novels into the donation boxes. If you have a lot of novels, then this may just make a good sized dent in your bookshelves.
Next look at "how to do" books.
If they are ongoing, and you look at them all the time, then these are keepers. But if they are in a collection of dust, or behind other books, and have not been looked at in a good few years, since you have decided to call a plumber rather than do it yourself, or use the "do it yourself plumbing book" then you are not likely going to need these books. But someone else just might! So, let it go.
Next are your reference books.
Most likely you are going to want to keep these as you refer to them or will need them. But amongst this pile of reference books, could be those old sets of encyclopedias right? I had three sets, all the volumes, and they were taking up huge room.
They are never looked at, and much of the information was from the 50's and 60's. You could try and sell these off to second hand book collectors, but I found that they got picked up at the re-use part of my dump by people who love these books when I put them there.
If you are really partial to a set, keep one, but you don't need three different versions of the same thing. Encyclopedia Britannica was a popular one in the 60's I remember my parents made monthly payments on those. I have kept those, for sentimental reasons.
But if you have been given books over the years, simply because other people were moving, and you couldn't stand to see them get rid of books so now you have them, then you have to really look at these books, and say "are you worth the price it will cost to move you?" I am sure many times you are going to say NO.
Now take a look around, have you managed to cull the heard of books? Are the numbers down to the books you love? Well this is a good start. You collected these over years, it is not likely you can deal with them in one day. Downsizing home bookshelves, is a major event to a book lover!.
Another important factor to consider, are those magazines. Do you have them neatly stacked on the shelves with your books? Or are they in every corner of your living room? Many of the magazines on the market are almost like books, with a wealth of information in them, and cost the same as a book in many cases, so we are scared to throw them out.
But rather than have piles of magazines laying about, take some time each day, and go through the magazines to see what articles you found the most informative and the reason why you kept the magazine in the first place. Once you have found the articles or pictures you like, then cut them out of the magazine. Use a knife rather than scissors and then slice out the pages you want, and put them in a binder.
This works well if you put them into categories. Such as a binder for gardening etc. This way you can refer to this binder if you want to find an article you liked rather than trying to wade your way through piles of magazines.
If you can get yourself into this habit right after you have read the magazines, then this will stop the accumulation of "stuff" as I call it. We can quickly drown in our "stuff"
If the magazine does not hold any great information that you want to keep, then let someone else read it. Put it in the donation box, and take it with the novels etc.
Our local dump has a section in a small building for "re-use" many dumps are doing this now. I take any magazines and books and household items that are still in working condition there for others to use. If you go on a Saturday, many times they don't even end up in the building, it is almost like a "swap meet" in the parking lot!
Take a good couple of weeks to organize your book stash. Downsizing home bookshelves, will make your house look cleaner, and less cluttered.
This is a win win if you are trying to sell your house, as well as saving you money on the move. Now that you have got rid of the riff raff of books, you can enjoy your own special library without the clutter of magazines and castoffs. Happy reading!