Monday, March 4, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 9- Books

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

We are now 9 weeks into 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, several times. 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. 16 moves later, and we still have a book problem.  (Yes, we are a little slow.)

It may have been a packer telling me that all of our weight was in our books, but we have slowly made some changes.  (Luckily for him I did not take it personally.)  But my husband took it seriously and we have since scaled down several times. It was hard and my oldest even blogged about it.

However, since then, someone (probably me, but let's also blame the kids) 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. 

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 assignment-

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.

I know this seems like a small pile to move out, but remember we do this yearly.  And now we are in the habit of reading a book and moving it out quickly!
  • Use a hair dryer to dust off the pages of books that have been sitting for a while.  Even our allergist 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! ;)

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.  Here is a peek at a few of our favorites.

If you head to more than several rooms with this project, be careful not to get distracted like my helper did.  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 look at each book in your hand and ask yourself-

  • do I love this book?

  • 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- or bookless, I want to show you our bookcases.  This first one is a bookcase I keep in our loft 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 bottom two shelves house science and history based books we use for school or that the boys just love.

In our new home we have been blessed with a room we call the library.  It houses 26 years of beautiful memories of my husband's military career as well as most of our books.  Thanks to my oldest daughter, they are arranged on the shelves in categories, as well as spruced up a bit with accessories.  I have always dreamed of a house with walls of bookcases, but have decided that I am happy being surrounded with just the ones I love.

For years I have enjoyed collecting old books where ever we have lived.  They are now housed in this sweet bookcase we had built into an otherwise useless space and it makes me happy.

These are the girls' book cases.  For those who know us, bet you can guess whose is whose!

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

Don't forget to add your pictures to our Family, Faith and Fridays Facebook page!  We love seeing others' progress!


Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
Week 2-The Pantry
Week 3-Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers   

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room

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