Do you keep paper and hardback books, having every intention of reading or looking at them?
The reality is in today’s busy and online society most physical books gather more dust than readers.
I was working with a client who had an amazing collection of books, this was one of the last areas to declutter her home. A section that remained until the end because this was a challenging task for her.
The client was able to release over half of the collection, a fantastic achievement considering at the beginning of the process, she said she wouldn’t get rid of any.
It wasn’t an easy task and she was torn between what to keep as the reality is, she doesn’t need any of them – she reads on her kindle.
Many of our clients also keep an abundance of cookery books but go online for recipes…
Can you relate?
If you are someone who is overloaded with books, I would strongly suggest looking at what you have and be honest about why you are keeping them.
Are you putting yourself under unrealistic pressure to read the books, are they a ‘have’ to-do task?
Is it that you have an attachment to the books?
Even though my home is not overloaded, I can relate to having an attachment to books.
A strategy that I used was to reduce my storage and use this as a maximum.
Let me explain
I had 2 bookcases, one in the office and one in my living room. I only have a picture of the one in the living room, and it’s a bad one at that…the wall is a definite yikes!
I got rid of the 2 bookcases and purchased a much smaller bookcase for the living room and used this as my maximum. I only allow myself to keep what will fit on the bookcase. This really helped make sure I was clear on which books to keep.
The books are divided into categories and each shelf holds a category.
In my office I gave myself one cube for professional/personal development and a floating shelf for industry books.
What sort of maximum can you give yourself?
With the categories you could organise by subject, family member, author, genre, colour. If you have small children who enjoy reading, consider putting their books on lower shelves.
When looking at where to store the books, think about how frequently you look at the different books and arrange accordingly.
I don’t recommend making the titles in alphabetical order because it is time consuming to maintain.
If you are struggling to work out which reference books to keep, one solution is to put the undecided books in a box and every time you need to refer to one, take it out and put it back on the shelf – after one month, look at which books are still in the box and really consider whether you need them (think about how clutter makes you feel). If you do this, put a reminder in your calendar to look at the books after one month.
Don’t delay, start today