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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Going Kondo on the Bookshelves

You've heard of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I assume. My book club read it last fall, and I enjoyed it. In it, Marie Kondo suggests going through all your possessions one category (not room!) at a time. I'm in the middle of doing this, and it is strangely both easy and hard at the same time.

She says that if one category is overwhelmingly largetoo large to bring it all together in one place at one timethat you break it up into sub-categories. So that's what I've done with my books. I've completed the board books, picture books, and early chapter books. I've also completed the Graphic Novels, both MG and YA. Yeah! It feels great and looks great, and as my sister Clare reminded me when I said I didn't even want to start on it, "You get to keep ALL the books you want to keep, you know?" And it's true that Kondo doesn't put limits on the amount of things you can have. If they all bring you joy, they all stay.


Here are some fun stats I recorded for the board books:
Board books before the cleanout: 63
Said thanks and goodbye:19
Kept on the shelf:44
Time: 30 min, including some repairs to books

I did take a picture of the picture books, but I didn't record numbers:
In hindsight I wish I had recorded the numbers, just for fun, but at the moment I was like "look I'm not making this any harder than it already is." This category had more books and took significantly longer to complete.

Because I consider our picture book collection not to belong to me exclusively, and because Marie Kondo advocates against decluttering other people's stuff, here's what I did.

Random tangent: I would like to take a moment here to tell you that I just finished eating a Knoppers. I had never heard of these before but I found them at Aldi and decided to take a risk. Live dangerously. (When I said this yesterday, Jacob scoffed, "That doesn't look dangerous at all." Well, it wasn't.)
It's like if a Kit-Kat and a Ferrero Rocher had a baby. It's delicious. That's all. Maybe I should reward myself with one of these every time I finish a category of my library! Genius. Looks like the Amazon price is the same as the Aldi price, for you unlucky folks who have no Aldi. 

First I went through all the picture books and piled up all the ones that didn't bring me joy.  
Then, I let the kids each go through that stack and say which ones they really wanted to keep. 
Last, while the kids weren't looking, I went through their "keep" stack one more time and snagged a couple of books that I truly did not ever want to have to pick up/read again, and put those back in the donate pile. 

So maybe I cheated a little? But I think it's fine because I've had zero complaints.

I did the "Pokemon books" separately, and let the kids decide on all of those. only one of the dozen we owned found a new home.

We donated our surplus to the library, and I added the surplus graphic novels in there as well. I think it was three tote bags of books.

We love our library. 
So anyway, I've still got the MG fiction, MG Fantasy, YA (fiction and fantasy combined, since I don't have tons of YA) and Adult fiction. Then I've got MG non-fiction and adult non-fiction and the religion section. Then all the boring ones that I pretty much did when we moved two years ago and haven't acquired more: cookbooks, phone books, magazines, textbooks.

And then, like, all the rest of the Kondo list that comes after that. The "komono."

Have you cleaned out your bookshelves? Have you done a Kondo style "tidy up"? I would LOVE to hear about it. 
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