Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Decluttering I: The Calm Before the Storm

We're going to declutter our library this weekend.

We have a lot of books. Thirteen hundred of them, at least. That's about how many we had when we Dewey Decimal'd them in 2009. And I've gone one a few too many shopping sprees since then.

Oh, amazon. Why do I feel tempted, right now, to log on and order six books on decluttering?

Sigh. Don't go there, Nina. Just don't go there. Stay away from At all costs.

Our house goes "live" on April 1 (meaning it will be on the market and available for viewing). And, even though I love a house full of books (really? do you think?), we have two very good reasons to declutter our book collection:

1. An uncluttered house makes a better impression on potential buyers.
2. Books are heavy. If this house sells and we need to move, I don't want to have to move them.

I'm not looking forward to this. Sure, it will take a lot of time, but that's not my concern.

My concern is that so much of my sense of who I am, and my sense of self-worth, is wrapped up in all those books.

It's true. I like being Someone Who Owns Lots Of Books. I like what that says about me. Or what I imagine it does.

When I'm gazing at my bookcases (not that I've had time for that in a while), I feel a cozy sense of security and well-being. I feel a sense of fulfillment.

It's true. My books make me feel good. They make me feel whole.

They also make me feel smart. And oh, how I love feeling smart.

I'll admit something else: If I visit your house and see that you don't have a lot of books, or you don't have the right books, I'll be tempted to judge you.

(Oh, great. Now I’ll never get invited anywhere again.)

Seriously, though. Getting rid of books this weekend will be like getting rid of my fingers.

I’ve been preparing myself, mentally and emotionally, for this. One thing I did was surf the Internet earlier this week for tips on book-decluttering. I found some good tips. My favorite (and I don't remember where I found it) was to write down the title of each book I don't want to part with because "I'm planning to read it someday."

Then, start an wish list with those titles. Or just store them somewhere.

If I ever decide I really, really, really need the book, I can always buy it again.

And if I've had the book for 20 years and still haven't read it yet ... chances are I won't want to buy it again anyway.

If I think about it and can find the camera, I'll plan to take some pictures of the decluttering process. It ain't gonna be pretty. If I post the pics here, I'll be sure and have a "Warning" message at the top of the post.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Jammie J. said...

You ARE going to be busy this weekend. Wow.

Ha - all my books are behind cupboard doors, so unless you go busting through those, we should be OK. :)

Kim said...

Oh my, the thought of having to de-clutter my books gives me a stomach already! When my mom was here at Christmas, she complained about my too many books, "It's like living in a library!" Yes, mother, that is true. Don't you know me at all?

I wish you well with that. I know it will be hard when I have to do it!

lifeinlimits said...

I can't wait to see pictures! =D This sounds like a tough job, but maybe it'll be a little fun too? I'd love to own more books myself, but we *seriously* need a new bookcase before I go on a spree. :) Have fun!

Rene said...

Good luck! Looking forward to pictures.

The dB family said...

I've often thought of Dewey Decimal-ing our books.
Libraries are good. I love libraries.


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