Declutter 101: Books

old-booksSo many of us collect books. As a (mostly) reformed book hoarder collector myself, I totally understand this. They’re pretty. They hold beloved friends and amazing adventures. And they can make us feel important. Some may not admit this, but I’ve heard it from others and it was true for myself. We think “If people come to my house and see my shelf full of wonderful books they’re going to think I’m smart and well read”.

So we all agree, books are great. The problem is if you’re an avid reader, books can start to take up a lot of space. And for the most part they only ever get used once. Think about that. You use this thing once, put it on a shelf and NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN. Except for dusting it, and moving it around to make space for other books you probably won’t touch again. And yet I so often hear that books are among the hardest things to let go of.

If you’re working on downsizing or reducing clutter, and can’t seem to part with your books, here’s a few tips to help you through the process.

  • Start with the easy ones! Books you did not finish. Any book you started and could not get through can go in the donation pile immediately. Any book you struggled through in hopes it would get better but it never did can go too.
  • Next take a stab at your To Be Read pile. This one can be tough, but if it’s been sitting on your shelf unopened for a long time, you’re probably not going to read it. I let go of any book that had been sitting unread for more than a year. Depending on how big the pile or how fast you read, you may want to adjust that number. But set a limit and stick to it. Then stop buying new books until you either finish or have donated all the unread ones you already have.
  • Do you have Reference books? Do you reference them anymore? Is the information still up to date and relevant? Is the information better than what’s available online? If you answered no to those last 3 questions, you can let those books go too. I had a thesaurus and a dictionary that were quite large but I always kept because everyone should have a thesaurus and a dictionary right? Then one day I decided to put them to use and realized they were both very dated and limited in the information they offered. I have a fantastic dictionary app on my phone and the internet has your back if you’re not that nerdy. 
  • Will you re-read it? Some of us read our favourites over and over. If you have books like that, great! By all means keep and enjoy them. If you liked a book but it won’t make it to your favourites shelf, pass it on! Let someone else read that good story and then tell them to pass it on too. There are too many great books out there waiting to be discovered to spend your time re-reading.
  • Go digital! Yeah, Yeah… I’ve heard the but “I just love the feel of a book in my hands” argument. To my experience that usually comes from people who haven’t really tried it. E-reading is fantastic! Books are lighter (if you’ve ever fallen asleep reading in bed, you’ll know why this matters!), easier to hold and transport, and you can fit your whole library in your hand. I will say that I don’t like reading on my phone or tablet, but with an e-reader using e-ink (not backlit) it’s great.
  • If you refuse to go digital, you can go to the library to ease the pressure on your shelves. All the choices, none of the clutter.
  • If you want to get really serious with your book purge, remove a bookcase. Suddenly that valuable book real estate has more meaning and you’ll be more selective with what you decide to keep. I found this made it easier to reduce my books and gave me back some much needed space in my living room!

By following these steps, you should be able to get your book mountain down to a sizeable heap. Are you a book collector? Do you have any other helpful tips to reduce your book collection?

If you’ve pared down your collection and now have a pile of books that need a new home, let us help you get rid of them responsibly! 

Declutter, Inspiration

Finding the Real You Under all that Clutter

Ocean Hd Wallpaper Beach Dawn Dusk NatureWe spend our lives gathering things that might be useful or that portray the person we want to be. But what if you let go of all that baggage from your past? Without all the stuff that belongs to the person you think you should be getting in the way, you can focus on the things you really love.

The workout gear you bought when you decided to get in shape but never use, only serves to remind you that you let that gym membership go to waste and makes you feel guilty.

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12 Surprising Ways Clutter Is Ruining Your Life

Note: This is a Guest Post from MakeSpace.

The dog-eared duplicates of your favorite book. The stray, lonely earring you’re hoping you’ll one day find the partner for. The stack of CDs you listened to… 17 years ago, before Napster even hit the scene.

Clutter: It comes in many shapes and sizes.

But sometimes, the very items we think we’ll need “just in case” are actually not only useless, but they’re also taking up space in our home… and causing us significant stress.

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Declutter, Getting Started, Inspiration

Decluttering: 6 Easy Next Steps

NextStepsYou’ve started decluttering and have done the really easy things. (See 5 Easy First Steps) Your shelves have a bit more room and your closet door almost opens all the way now. But you still have so much more stuff than you really need. So, what next? Now you’re ready to move onto the next level! Try letting go of some of the things below to free up even more space.

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Declutter, Fill Your Bins, Getting Started

Declutter 101: Electronic Waste

vintage-electronicsWith the rate at which technology advances, electronic waste can quickly become clutter and take up a lot of space in your home. If you’re able to repair or upgrade your electronics, that’s obviously the best option to minimize harmful electronic waste in our landfills and save you money. But lets face it, we aren’t all that handy! Rest assured, there are other options to dispose of those unwanted electronics without adding to landfills. Because of this constantly growing problem, companies like Staples and BestBuy now have drop off programs that recycle e-waste. And you can sometimes find people in your area looking for electronic items to repair on resale sites like Kijiji.

If you have old electronics piling up, here are some tips to help you purge e-waste from your home:

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Declutter, Getting Started

5 Easy First Steps

FirstStepsSo you’ve decided you’re going to declutter. You’re ready to let go of your things and can’t wait to remove everything that doesn’t serve a purpose or bring you joy. And then you look around at all your stuff and think… “Where do I begin?” Below are five quick tips to help you get started in a big way. Decluttering, like many other things in life gets easier the more you do it. Letting go is easier when you’ve seen the results, and knowing what doesn’t serve a purpose becomes clearer when you have less things to deal with. So get started by removing some of the easy items listed below. Once you tackle these things, you’ll be ready to move on to some more meaningful items.

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Declutter, Fill Your Bins, Reuse/Recycle

Declutter 101: Dresses

dressesLooking for a quick and easy way to make some space in your closet? Declutter your dresses! For many women, these seldom used items are taking up a lot of real estate. 

How often do we go to events and buy a new dress? If you’re like me, almost every time there’s a fancy holiday party, someone gets married, or there’s some other life event requiring formal attire, a new dress is purchased for the occasion. And how often do we reuse those dresses? For most of us, the answer is almost never. It’s either out of season, not appropriate for the event (too dark, too short, too flowery, etc.) or has already been seen by the people attending the event.

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