Books are usually not the easiest part of decluttering a house. They belong to a part of your life, they have become part of the furnishing, they are your memory, and they form a trusted environment. But they can take up a lot of space, collect dust, and be damaged by silverfish …
Do you want to make space, or find room for new books? Here are some tips to help choose. If the answer to the question is ‘yes’, the book stays, and if ‘no’ it goes:
- Is there a chance that you will read the book again?
- Is the book precious, a memento of a special person?
- Is it a reference work that you consult (while you can also do this digitally)?
- Is the content of the book timeless?
Work shelf by shelf, or pile by pile. Make new piles or fill boxes with:
A – keep
B – give away
C – sell
D – throw away
You can give books away to a ‘Minibieb’ in your area (literally a mini-library – a small exchange point for books), a good cause or a charity shop)(in the Netherlands, a kringloopwinkel – recycling shop), or some supermarkets have a shelf for donated books. If you have attractive children’s books, perhaps a local school would be interested. You can sell books via Bol.com, Marktplaats or ebay. This costs a bit of effort, and perhaps you can find someone else who would enjoy doing it.
Next, decide which shelves or places are to stay filled with books. This remains then a demarcated area.
Arrange the chosen books by type, size, colour, alphabetically or however you want them.
If you want to keep to the same quantity of books in the future, then follow the rule: one in, one out.