Monday, March 6, 2017

34 Weeks of Clean Rinse and Repeat- Week 9- Books

 Before we move on, a note from me to you-

We are now 9 weeks onto this project (that's two whole months) and I know the tendency is to slow down or drop out.  Don't do it!  Just like those New Year's resolutions we try to make, the excitement and newness wears off and the fun is gone.  Don't give up!  Ladies, we can do this!  I know it is not easy, but I promise it is so worth it.  At the end of this journey you will have a cleaner, more organized home, hopefully a lighter load both physically and mentally, and a HUGE sense of accomplishment.  I know because I have done it. And so have others that will attest to the same things.  Keep up the good fight to take our homes back - one room at a time.  Deep-clean, de-clutter and reorganize- let's go!

Hi, my name is Michele and I have a book problem.  I love to read and I love books.  OK, that is not really the problem.  The problem is that I like to buy books, keep books, and oh, buy more books. After 14 moves we realized we had a book problem.  (Yes, we are a little slow.) 

It may have been the packer telling me that all of our weight was in the books.  Luckily for him I did not take it personally. But my husband took it seriously and we have since scaled down. It was hard and my oldest even blogged about it.

However, since then, someone (probably me) has bought a few more books.  Plus (read- this is my excuse) I review a lot of books so they sneak their way into my house.  Add that to the fact that one of the last times we moved we had to scale back and move out two bookcases.  Less space, fewer books.  I know, I know - boo hiss.

But here is the deal.  Books take up space. Books not being read collect dust.  Books cost money.

Libraries are full of beautiful books.  I can read them without owning them.  I can also store more on other devices, taking up less space.

So this week's goal Organize your books throughout the house, get rid of those you do not love and decide which ones you MUST keep, and clean off those bookshelves. In every room they reside in your house!

  • Take all of the books off the bookshelf.  Sometimes once you actually lay your hands on them, you will decide you really don't need that particular one.  This also helps you get a realistic view of how many books you really own.
  • If you are a little OCD like me, you can categorize your books! ;)  If I am looking for a certain book I can usually locate it pretty quickly. 
  • Only keep what you LOVE!  If you just enjoyed it, pass it on and let someone else have a turn enjoying it.  Hospitals, nursing homes, and health clinics welcome donations.  Even some hotels will accept book donations to have for their guests.
  • Use a hair dryer to dust off the pages of books that have been sitting for a while.  Even our allergists warned us that books are a collector of all things dusty.  Old books can even be set outside on a warm, sunny day to air out.
  • Dust the bookshelf, top to bottom and even the outside.  Think spring cleaning here, not just your weekly fly-by dusting!
  • Replace the books you decide to keep and enjoy the empty space.  You do have some empty space, don't you?  If not, start at the top and do it again! ;)
    After. See, the pile is shorter!
  • Got another bookshelf?  Or two? Or more?  Find the next one and start the process over again! Psst- homeschoolers- hold off on THOSE books! ;)  But, yes, even go through the books in your children's rooms.
If you head to more than several rooms with this project, be careful not to get distracted.  Stick to books only this week.  Promise?!

Let me just say, I KNOW this is a hard project for many of you.   Most women I know love books.  I am one of those guilty ones.   Really, I am.  But too many books can take up precious space in our homes.  If each book you own thrills your heart then by all means keep them.  But I challenge you to hold each book in your hand and ask yourself-
  • does this bring me true joy?
  • will I read this over and over again?
  • does this book add value to my life?
If the answer is no, pass it on.  Let's don't allow books to give us value, to make us feel more scholarly or learned somehow, or to just take up space and collect dust!  

And just so you know I am not heartless, I want to show you our two packed bookcases.  The first one is a bookcase I keep in our storage space with all of the "little kid" books from my kids' childhood.  We bring them out when little people visit and someday I hope to snuggle up with grandchildren and read them.  The second has many of my husband's books on leadership and Lord willing will go into a home library in our someday permanent house.

Ok, get to work...I am off to read a book. ;)

Don't forget to add your pictures to our Facebook page!  We love seeing others' progress! Plus our friends at 621 Gifts and Redeemed are graciously providing some fun gifts for one lucky participant who shares a picture of their progress each week.  In addition, I have a box of some of our favorite cleaning projects for you, as well as a few treats just because!



  1. I've been boxing books up into packing boxes over the last month. Occasionally throwing a few out along the way. I have also curbed my book spending { except for a one time splurge, like yesterday } but overall I've started embracing minimialistic tendencies, which is helping me to curb buying and storing more books.

  2. I've been finishing up the livingroom and am excited to see the next cleaning project. I really need to purge our books. I like books too, but sometimes you just have to pass them on. We have a small local library and when I have a lot of books I am not keeping I pass them to our library. I often see books from our shelves on their shelves and am happy to know that others can enjoy them too. The other ones make it into a library sale which benefits our library as well.


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