Marie Kondo is the creator of the KonMari method, which is an organization method for decluttering and adding a new level of organization to your home. Based on her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the method focuses on physically touching items in your home and asking one simple, yet powerful question: Does it spark joy?
Books, Books, and More Books!
For the book lovers out there, books are one item that can quickly grow out of control. Once you run out of shelf space, you’ll start stacking books anywhere; even in places where they can cause falls or simply don’t belong.
If you’re a bibliophile, you probably have a difficult time sorting through individual books and choosing those that need to be donated or recycled. It can be challenging to sort through your collection, especially when you’ve spent so much time and money on growing it.
How to Start
The first step to reorganizing your bookshelves is to touch each individual book. This physical connection with the item, according to Marie’s method, will help you identify whether or not that particular item brings joy into your life.
If you find that you answered yes to the question while holding the book, you will want to set it aside and keep it. Keep sorting through your books, holding each one and asking the same question. If you come across a book (perhaps an old college textbook) that doesn’t bring joy, you can decide what to do with it from there. If it’s a textbook, you can most likely sell it and make a little extra cash (here is a guide on where to sell text books).
Focus on whether or not your books are associated with memories, be it good or bad ones, whether or not the book contains valuable information, and what emotions are connected with reading it. Is the story moving, motivating, or saddening? Do you feel a special connection with any of the characters or the storyline?
Devote Time to the Task
An important part of the KonMari method is dedicating enough time to the project. You don’t want to begin tidying up, only to quit halfway through. This dampens motivation for the project, and can even cause procrastination or cause you to never complete the project at all.
Dedicate at least a few hours if you have a large book collection, as you’ll need to go through each book and make an individual decision on each book. This is a great project for a weekend or day off.
Visualize Your Outcome
According to Marie, part of the journey is visualizing the destination. Where do you want to be? Are you simply trying to rid yourself of a few out-of-place or unnecessary books, or completely overhauling your book collection? How much space do you want to save?
Answering these questions before beginning the process will ensure that you’re being efficient since you’ll have a tangible goal to meet.
There is an Order to All of This
Marie Kondo provides an outline for tidying up your home, and books actually fall second on the list. The order goes as follows:
- Sentimental Items
Once you’ve completed one part of the list, you’ll have inspiration and motivation to tackle the next. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done once you’ve completed a number on the checklist, bolstered by the success of your reorganization.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go
The hardest part of reorganizing is letting go of those items that don’t “spark joy” or are otherwise unnecessary. Getting past this challenging obstacle can open the flood gates to new experiences and further organization of your home.
Remind yourself why you need to let go of specific items, as well the benefits of no longer having these items in your home. Those old textbooks, for example, may never serve any other purpose than to gather dust on your shelves. Selling them will not only clear space but also put some cash into your pocket. Why not make some money during the reorganization process?
These Aren’t Rules, but Rather Guidelines
While the Marie Kondo method is an excellent resource for those looking to declutter their homes, the suggestions act more as guidelines than die-hard rules. You may have specific reasons for keeping certain books or other items, even if they don’t necessarily bring “joy”, and that’s ok. You are free to keep anything you like for any reason you like; just remember that decluttering your home can help reduce stress and improve focus and clarity.
Curb Buying Habits
Once you’ve managed to declutter your bookshelves, it’s important to not only keep a list of titles you own to avoid purchasing duplicates but also to curb your spending on such items. You don’t want to fill up your shelves all over again.
If you’re not opposed to renting books, try using a library card instead of purchasing all of your books. This will save you space, and library cards are free to use, so you’ll also be saving a lot of money.
Avoid tempting spots or websites where you know you spend a lot of money on books or other excess items. Once you’ve curbed your spending habits, you’ll be able to make more responsible purchases based on solidified wants and needs rather than impulse buys.
Article Submitted By Community Writer