Declutter Your Books

Let me just start out by saying I love books. I have three degrees in English. I have a library in my house. So, the advice I’m about to give you is from someone who understands why you love your books and don’t want to get rid of them. And yet, I am going to advise you to declutter your books anyway.


They’re heavy. They collect dust. They’re hard to move. And probably, most of the books on your shelves aren’t books you’ve read in awhile. In fact, you’re likely to not ever read them again.

Bookshelves are like galleries. People look at our titles and can tell something about us.  Yet, most bookcases say more about where we’ve been than who we are now. And they’re often cluttered up with stacks so overflowing the titles can’t even be seen clearly.

So, in keeping with my general advice to let go of what no longer serves you, this week I’d like you to take a look at your books and ask yourself some pretty straightforward questions.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself to Declutter Your Books

  1. Have I ever read this book? If so, did I like it when I read it? Would I like it now?
  2. Would I read it again?
  3. Do I need this book as a reference? Does it have current information or information that won’t become outdated? Would I think to look something up in this book or would I be more likely to Google the information?
  4. Am I keeping this book to loan to people? Do I actually loan it out? If I loan it out again, do I need it back?
  5. Would anyone else in the house read this book? Am I keeping it for my kids? Or my grand kids?

Make decluttering your books a Saturday project or adopt a one in, one out rule. Declutter your books to the point where they fit on the  bookcases without being jammed in. Then, when you want to add a book to your collection, take out one that doesn’t fit your life anymore.

You can donate or sell your books or host a book exchange. In Austin, you can donate the books to Recycled Reads, the Austin Public Library bookstore, sell them at Half Price Books, or find a school, senior center, or prison to donate to so someone who will actually read the book.

If you would like decluttering, organizing, or design help from spaceWise, call 512-591-8129 to get started. 

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