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How To Declutter Books (Simple Techniques For Busy People)

Books are valued for many reasons, all throughout the world. They provide worthy information, they allow us to explore our imaginations, teach us about wisdom, help us improve our communication, increase focus, and we can even rely on them for relief and entertainment.

The reasons why we should read books are endless, but if you’re anything like me and enjoy nothing more than unwinding with a good read, you have found yourself with an enormous collection over the years.

If you have more books than you can read, sort through, or even be aware of your possession of them, then it’s probably a clutter problem (I’m proud to be guilty).

Finding the time and motivation to declutter can be challenging. However, by learning about these tips and tricks below, you’ll be able to keep a more organized bookshelf (and promote more reading!).

Organize Your Books By Categories.

I found that the best place to start is by organizing your books by categories.

For example, put all your recipe books together, fiction within another pile, non-fiction another, romance, faith, favorites, etc.

By achieving this you will know what you have, not just that, but it will also make it easier to find the specific book you are looking for. Simply go to the category, ( you can even alphabetize them; this takes a little more effort) and you’ll be able to get through them a lot more time-efficient.

Define How Many You Actually Need To Keep

By breaking down your books into categories, and defining each category, you have created an awareness of what books you can easily let go of and which you’d like to keep.

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For example, maybe you’ve learned that you want to keep the majority of your hobby books because there are things in that category you have scheduled to learn about in the near future. And have realized that you’re still holding on to old college class textbooks that can be donated or resold to students at a more affordable price.

Ask yourself the following questions for each category:

  • Do I need this book? or Do I want this book?
  • Will I ever read this? or Will I ever read this again?
  • Does this book hold sentimental value ?

Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out which books you can keep and which ones you can get rid of.

Go Digital!

Another alternative is to find the books that you want and keep them in a digital format.

I’ve not only been able to save on physical space, but since I’ve got them all on my kindle, it makes them readily available for me whenever I can squeeze in the time (waiting in the doctor’s office, for my hubby to pick me up, or while traveling).

I’ve been able to transfer an entire category collection into my kindle for future reads. I reduced the tremendous amount of shelf space I was wasting by holding them there.

I was surprised to realize that I rarely read an entire category of books, mostly because I could find that same information using the internet via my smartphone.

Because I was able to relocate a lot of them onto my kindle, I am now reading many more books because I can access them immediately anywhere, and the more important bonus is more free space on my bookshelves.

How To Declutter Books – One Book At A Time

Many times, you’ll get stuck in the middle of the process, and just want to throw out a bunch of books all at once.

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Before you do that though, take a deep breath, take a break, and then come back to it, continue to work on which ones you want to keep slowly.

Taking each book and asking yourself how you feel about the book, how you like the feeling of the book, and what you like about the book, will help you be able to decide much more convincingly why you want (or need) to keep the book.

For example, when I was going through my books, I asked myself whether or not I enjoyed the book. Did I like the way felt in my hand? Was it pleasing to my eyes?

If it did then I would usually keep it, if I felt that I needed it. If I thought the book was great but knew I didn’t need it, then I would get rid of it.

Additionally going through each book individually and not chucking a bunch of books out at once helps make sure you don’t throw any books out on accident.

So make sure you go through each book, individually, one at a time!

Schedule time for Books You’re Going To Read In The ‘Future’

One of the biggest hurdles is getting rid of all those books that you think you are going to read in the future.

I had several series that I just knew I wanted to read, and told myself that I was going to read them at some point when I was less busy.

Well, I never got less busy, and only found myself becoming a lot more occupied. And consequently, I didn’t get around to reading those books I intended to. They only took up space and collected dust.

I managed this problem by penciling in the time to read the book. By blocking off time in my busy schedule I worked around an already set plan.

As a non-perfect human, I noticed a pattern of specific time blocks getting written over. Meaning it wasn’t as important to me as I once believed. It naturally occurred to me to get rid of those too.

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If you have books that you’re holding onto because you want to read them (and you still haven’t read them), then the best course of action is to find a good point in your calendar and commit to having to read the books you’ve selected by that point in time. If not, you know what to do.

*Bonus Tip* – Where To Get Rid Of Your Books

I know some people who really want to get rid of their books, but they don’t know where (or who) to give them to. Their books have sentimental meaning to them, and so they want to find someone who will take good care of them, and enjoy them as much as they did.

A great place to start would be at your local library or online and checking locally to see if there are any reading clubs that would be interested in your books.

Another place to find others who will enjoy them is in the local freecycle or ‘free’ groups in your area. Some of those groups have a lot of people who will take care of your books and enjoy them as much as you did.

Start Today To Declutter Your Books!

Decluttering anything has to start somewhere, and now is a good time to start. Many of the tips given above are pretty easy to start with right now.

Take some time today, and start to put your books into different categories. Or maybe start researching where you can find digital copies of the books you want to keep.

Or maybe you just want to actually start decluttering, and so pick up one of your books and put it in the ‘keep’ or ‘toss’ pile.

Whatever the case, get started today!

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1 thought on “How To Declutter Books (Simple Techniques For Busy People)”

  1. This was the key for me to declutter books: I put books into two categories – Books I read and liked but would not read again and Books I read and loved and would read again. I was able to donate 150 books using these two categories. I was even able to donate a bookcase too.


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