The second step in the KonMari method is to declutter your books. Marie states that this is the category that a lot of people struggle with. Books are the one of the things that people find hardest to throw out. Here’s how she recommends dealing with them.
You can find previous posts in the KonMari series here.
The process of decluttering your books with the KonMari method is pretty much the same as the process for clothes.
Take all your books off the shelves and pile them on the floor. I recommend taking this opportunity to wipe down your shelves. This saves having to take the books off again to clean them later.
Hold each book in turn and decide whether or not it sparks joy. Those that do can be put back on the shelf, and you should discard the ones that don’t.
Declutter your books
Marie firmly believes that the perfect time to read a book is the moment you get it. You should let go of any books that have been sitting on your shelves just waiting for you to read them. She also states that there are very few books that people read more than once; after you’ve read them, you should let them go.
Depending on how many books you have in your collection, you can either tackle them as one category or split them up as such:
- General – books you read for pleasure
- Practical – reference, cookbooks, etc.
- Visual – photograph collections etc.
My collection didn’t require me to split it into categories. Thankfully, I went through them before we moved into our current home and pared them down somewhat.
I recently gave away my collection of Terry Pratchett books to a friend who enjoys them as much as I do. I did this purely because I now own the entire set as audiobooks, which means that I don’t have to make time to sit quietly. Now I can listen to them while I’m doing mundane tasks like washing dishes, cooking dinner or picking up the unspeakable amount of toys that my toddler enjoys scattering around the house. If you struggle to find time for reading, audiobooks are a great alternative!
Here’s what I pulled off my own shelves:
This category was a hard one for me; I love my books, and the idea of not having them saddens me a little. For me, there’s something about books that provides a sense of comfort and peace. However, I rarely get the opportunity to sit and read anymore, so I suppose that downsizing my collection does make some sense.
The vast majority of my collection consists of reference books. The fiction books that I do own are all books that I have read more than once, and will more than likely read again.
I managed to pick out a pile of old magazines and 36 books to get rid of, the majority of which were reference books that I don’t have any need for at this point in my life.
Going through the kids’ books was a little easier – our toddler has recently started taking a real interest in stories, and so it was just a case of picking out the ones that are now too young for him. Their bookshelves still have as many books as the children’s section at our local library, but I can live with that. I’m happy that our youngest is already learning to enjoy the written word, and I’m prepared to live with picking up endless piles of books if it means that I can nurture his love of reading.
Have you used the KonMari method to declutter your books? Drop me a comment and let me know how it went!