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The Organizette!, Issue #71 -- Downsize your book collection
September 06, 2014

Welcome to the Plan-and-Organize-Life.com Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!

Table of Contents

-Introduction
-Did you know?
-Monthly Mission – Kids Stuff
-Check Out These Pages! – Relevant pages and new site additions
-Downsizing Your Book Collection

Introduction

The major upheaval of the new carpet is thankfully over. Most things are back in their places. Many things were purged, but getting organized and decluttering is a never ending process. I’m still working on my bookshelf (read below).

The kids are also back in school and the calendar is all filled up with school meetings, volunteering and kids after school activities. Let the fun begin!


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Did you know…

The average cost of raising a child born in the U.S. in 2013 is $245,340! This includes food, housing, childcare, education and other child rearing costs up to the age of 18. This does not include the cost of college and beyond, yet, I don’t know many children who become fully financially independent the day they turn 18, do you?

Source: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/08/18/how-much-will-it-cost-to-raise-a-child/



The Monthly Mission – Kids Stuff

It’s time to help our kids go through their stuff to let some of it go (or a lot) and to help them organize their belongings. How will they learn if we don’t guide them and set an example? To read more about September’s monthly mission, click here.



I Can't Wait!

If you’re in a hurry to put some order back into your home, perhaps Mimi Tanner's unique method will give you that jumpstart. Check out her method at Declutter Fast: How To Get Your Home In Order Almost Immediately.



Check Out These Pages!

Here are some pertinent pages on the website you may have missed along with any new pages.

Home Filing System - Keep all your paperwork in order so you can find what you need at a moments notice, and learn what to keep and what to toss.

Organizing Children's Artwork - School is over and you have piles of artwork that your talented kids brought home. What should you do with it all?

Travel Planning Tips - Are you planning a trip over the summer break? Here are some tips to make your planning and packing go a lot smoother.

Organizing Your Day - Suggestions on how to better organize your day so you can get more done in less time and with less stress.

Garage Makeover - before and after photos of my personal garage makeover. See how we tackled the problems and ended up with a functional garage.

Streamline Your Morning Routine - Ideas to help you get out the door in the morning and be on time for work or school.





Organize It Kitchen






Downsizing Your Book Collection

With the installation of carpet, I needed to empty my book shelf so we could move it. It only has five shelves, and it’s shared with the entire family.

One of the key rules of being organized is living within your space limits. You can’t own more clothes, dishes, furniture or books than you physically have space for! And, after gathering books from around the house during the upheaval, there are simply too many books to fit on this bookcase.

Therefore, I need to purge more books. I say “more” because it seems like I’m always letting go of books to make this bookshelf less cluttered. But at the same time, I love books and continue to buy more. I even bought a Kindle hoping that would reduce my book space, but some books are best in physical form.

I agree with the idea that a bookcase should not be more than 75 – 85% full, in order to make it easier to find books, and because the visual spaces help the bookshelf feel less overwhelming. (When mine has spaces, it looks nice, but when it’s packed full, I put a curtain over it because it’s so overbearing.) This rule also applies to file cabinets, closets and various storage containers.

I decided to look for help this time around because I was convinced there was simply no more books I could let go of. The basic instructions of “get rid of books you don’t use” wasn’t enough. I needed to ask myself some tough questions about my books, some of which have significant meaning to me. Here is a collection of some of the most helpful tips I found to downsize our book collections:

Gather your books. Collect all your books so you can actually see what you’ve got in relation to how much designated space you have to store them.

Take your time! Give yourself time to fully think about your decisions. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting.



Here are 10 questions to ask yourself about your books:


1. Is it outdated? This can apply to books about travel, health, computers, text books, etc.

2. Do I still reference it? Even if a medical book or text book is still relevant, do you still actually use it?

3. Is this book’s information available on the internet? Do you typically grab for a book or hit the internet to find the answer to something?

4. Cookbooks… do you actually use it? If not, don’t be tempted to look through it because you’ll just want to keep it, I know. I looked through certain books years ago and still haven’t made anything from them, so it’s time to let them go. If there is a recipe or two from a book you must have, copy them down or scan them and get rid of the book.

5. Instruction books…do you actually use it? This includes home improvements, craft projects, garden projects, etc. Did you ever do the project? If not, how likely is it that you actually will at this point? If you did, do you plan to repeat the project? Can you find this information at the library or online instead?

6. Does the library have this book? If so, you can go borrow a copy should you need it.

7. Is this book worth buying in electrical format? Could you keep it on your eReader to save space?

8. Will I ever actually read this book again?

9. Does this book relate to my current life, or help me get to where I want to be?

10. What’s the worst that can happen if I get rid of this book?

I am still whittling down my book collection a little at a time. These questions are helping give me a little more perspective on my books. I hope they help you as well.

When you’re done, you can donate your books to charity or perhaps your local library. Or, depending on the types of books, you might be able to sell them for cash through a site like Cash4books.net. I have successfully used them in the past to earn a few dollars. They make it easy to look up your books, print your free shipping label and earn a little cash.



Until next time, happy organizing!

Tracy Greene
Plan-and-Organize-Life.com



Sell textbooks at Cash4Books.net



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