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Posted on Aug 30, 2013 in How to simplify, My Journey | 0 comments

Simplify Your Living Area: End-of-Summer Cleanup Part 11



I left this room for last because I was hoping that three weeks of practice would help me prepare for this moment.  I’m going to address my books and two bookshelves.  Those two large bookshelves are too wide for the space on the wall, so they sit several inches out from the wall.  They take up more space in the room than they deserve, and who knows what has fallen behind there over the years?  They need to find a new home and be replaced by a smaller shelf.  Besides, it seems that stuff tends to build up to fill the space available, so having less space will help me accumulate less stuff.

It’s kind of silly to worry about this for a few reasons:

Since having to save for home repairs and a replacement car, I have stopped purchasing books, and started checking them out at the library.  The only new books I have added to my collection were gifts.

A lot of the things on the bookshelf are not books, but things that just landed there including a broken clock, a box of tissues and some candles.

If I love a book when I read it I ALWAYS give it away.  I want someone to enjoy it as much as I did, and I want someone to read it so they can talk with me about it.

Some of books on my bookshelf are there for reference.  This is fine, but for the most part, I have put them there and they stay for years without being needed.  Many are outdated computer books, or books about hiking trails for places I haven’t lived for almost a decade.

What’s left on the shelf are books I meant to read, but haven’t been interested enough, and books I read, but didn’t like.  Why keep those?  Like old clothes, they collect dust and guilt.

So why have I been dreading this room?  I think because I was brought up to see wasting or harming books and wasting food is a sin. This should not be a problem, right?  I’ll donate them.

First a couple of warm-up exercises:

  • Sort, replace and reduce CDs in the music binders
  • Then, update the monthly receipts and records in the files.  Shred the receipts from last summer’s files
  • Remove the clutter that has drifted to the bookshelf and put things away or give them away

OK, Here goes.  And done.

There is nothing gone that I will regret.

I still have my favorite books that I look at regularly.  I kept my old yearbooks, although I know I will be able to let go of them at some point.  I kept most of my cookbooks.

It’s much easier to streamline once you have decided to do it.  

Photo credit: bibliothekarin

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