How to Declutter your Books is a surprisingly tricky topic!

People love books!

The problem is they can:

  • Take up a lot of space
  • Look messy
  • Gather a lot of dust
  • Become easily outdated
  • Start to take over the house if not culled!

So read on for my step by step guide on how to Declutter your books.

Step 1: Sort

Gather up all your books into one central place and sort into piles.

  • Keep
  • Give Away
  • Donate / Recycle
  • Valuable Books

You are only allowed these 4 piles!

Step 2: Keep Pile

The Keep Pile has to be dependant on where you want to keep your books (see Step 6).

Stating the obvious; the more space you have the more you can keep. The less space you have, the more lethal you will need to be in culling your collection.

Only keep the books that you:

  • Actively use
  • Have sentimental value / you love
  • Are valuable

Please remember that the internet can be used now for most things so don’t hang onto books “just in case” you really don’t need too.

To repeat, be really strict, only keep the books you really need or love! Get rid of the rest.

Step 3; Gift Pile

Identify those books that you can gift to someone else.

Personally I love to receive books, so don’t under estimate the pleasure someone will get from an impromptu book gift from you!

Step 4: Donate Pile

Please don’t dump all your old books on the charity shop door step! It’s not fair.

Split into two piles:

  • Books in good condition
  • Books out of date or very poor condition

Those books in a good condition can be donated to your local charity shop.

Those books that are out of date or in poor condition can be recycled at the local tip.

If you are more mercenary there are places that will buy your old books off you. I haven’t tried any so can’t recommend a particular one but they all look good and appear to be really easy to use:

Step 5: Valuable Books

If you think you have valuable book then it’s worth getting it looked at properly by a reputable expert.

The first port of call can be website services who may be able to provide an indicative value based on similar second hand books they sell.

Look at:

Or go to the nearest second hand book shop, the owner will be a fountain of knowledge.

Again not to state the obvious, but if you believe you are in possession of a valuable book (after research on line and talking to the second hand book shop owner) pay to get an independent valuation from an expert.

Step 6: House your Books

Decluttering 101 is that every item in your house has to have its own home, so where do you want to keep your books?

They deserve to have a proper home.

It needs to be a place where they can easily be:

  1. Be Displayed
  2. Be Accessed
  3. Be Dusted

I like a traditional free standing book shelf but if you don’t have the room try:

  • Wall Shelves
  • On top of mantle
  • On top of a chest of drawers secured by book ends
  • Cook books in the kitchen next to a lamp to add a cosy feel
  • Stacked on coffee table

There are loads n loads of ways to display books. Look for inspiration on Pinterest.

Going forward

Review your book collection every year.

Physical books are a nice to have and as I say above, they can look great decoratively. But dare I say it, the best way to keep book clutter to a minimal is to start using Electronic Books!

I resisted getting an electronic book until last year when I went on holiday and saw the merit of packing one electronic book v 7 heavy books!

Ever since then I’ve been a convert.

The electronic book doesn’t detract from the reading experience at all. In fact it’s improved mine. It’s far lighter to hold when reading in bed and the back light makes it far easier to read than a conventional book. Plus the obvious benefit of holding multiple books on one small machine.

If you go for a Kobo like I have you can borrow books from the library. Brilliant.



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