Follow the Decluttering:
Hopefully you’re here because you’ve gone through your book collection and now have a box or two you’ve decided to part with. Now what? How do you get rid of those extra books and how do you store those you just can’t bare to let go of?
First, let’s tackle the ones you’re getting rid of. Aside from the obvious places I mentioned in my previous post like the local library, here are some other places to take your books. This is easiest if we break them up into groups.
How about all those books you want to keep?
For starters, don’t store them on the floor of the basement with a water pipe above them like I did. I decided to go to the experts in storing books and look at the American Library Association. They actually have quite a bit of information on the proper care and storage of books. We may not all be able to carefully control the temperature and humidity level where we’re storing our books but I did find some useful tips that we can all probably use.
I haven’t watched the entire thing yet, but the ALA has an hour long recorded webinar on the Care and Handling of Books and Scrapbooks. Also, every April the ALA recognizes Preservation Week with loads of resources on how to care for not just your books, but photos, scrapbooks, and other family heirlooms.
The simplest tips I found came from AbeBooks though:
After reading some of the storage recommendations, I’m shocked that the books I rescued from my grandparents’ attic are in the condition they are in. To be fair, even though I grabbed a bunch that were in good condition, I left many others that had damage from mold, insects, or water. My next task after writing this is to follow my own advice and get them off my basement floor.
Feel free to let everyone else know in the comments how your decluttering is going and if you have any of your own suggestions on decluttering your books.
Thanks as always for reading and good luck.
I have a love/hate relationship with books.
I guess it’s mostly a love for them, but now and then, I look at the overflowing bookshelves in my house that seem to collect more dust than should be possible and I just want to start throwing them into the donation box. I never seem to have as much time to read them as I would like so they just represent one more thing that I want to do but can’t make the time for.
This week, we’re going to find some motivation to declutter the books, where to get rid of them, and what to do with the ones you decide to keep. If you’re like me, the books are still flowing into the house even as you fill a box of them to donate. Books are one item that I usually don’t mind having a lot of, as long as they fit on the shelves that we currently have. I refuse to go out and buy more bookshelves so that I can store more of them.
One of the main reasons for the number of books we own is because many years ago I worked at the corporate office of Borders Books. I couldn’t resist when a fresh cart load of free books, magazines, and CDs would show up in the cafeteria. Not long ago I decluttered our CD collection and was amazed at how many I had picked up at Borders and never even listened to. Some were still in plastic.
CDs that haven’t been opened in 10 years are a pretty easy thing to ditch, but how do we convince ourselves to reduce the number of books we own? Here’s a few suggestions.
So you’re ready to declutter the book collection, but what do you do with them?
This post is getting too long, so next time I’ll give you more details on what to do with them as well as some tips for properly storing the books you decide you just can’t part with. Here’s a quick list though to get started.
The obvious place to take your extra books is the local library but I would also encourage you to donate to other organizations and to check with friends and relatives. When we cleared out some of the old board books, we brought them to church and gave them to a young couple starting their family. Another idea would be to start your own Little Free Library in your yard. If you would rather sell them, there’s always Facebook, Craigslist, etc.
I know books can be a tough thing to part with for many people but remember the value is in the story or information contained in the book, not in holding on to the physical book itself. Read it. Then pass it on unless you really are going to read it again.
A year ago I made a few resolutions for 2016. You can read the whole thing in January 2016 as well as my follow-up in April, but suffice it to say I didn’t do a very good job of sticking to them. Briefly, they were to continue the purge of unnecessary things from my house, learn to play the piano and guitar, and finally to write more.
I don’t feel like I was overly successful with any of these, especially the musical ones. We continue to remove things from our home, but increasingly there are disagreements about what we can get rid of. I haven’t touched the piano but one of the Christmas presents I received was a computer program called Rocksmith to connect my electric guitar to my computer. It’s been a lot of fun so far. There are lessons, games, and songs to play along with and the computer gives instant feedback as to how you’re doing. I’m expecting the kids to want a guitar soon so that they can play the games too. As far as writing more, I definitely have been doing that. I find myself more often having conversations with friends about their own decluttering endeavors and feel like I’m making an impact on at least a few people.
Am I making new resolutions for 2017 then?
Yes and no.
The more I read about resolutions, the more I feel like I’m just setting myself up to feel guilty about no following through on something. I guess you could say I’m keeping my old resolutions to continue decluttering, write more, and learn some guitar but what I think we all really want is to just be better and happier people than we were last year.
I think I have a good idea of my faults. I’m probably unaware of some and my wife could likely add to the list if she wasn’t so nice. I know I’m impatient, probably not as thankful as I should be for things I have, and I constantly badger my family about having too much stuff laying around the house that they never seem to put away. I have searched around the internet for ideas and one list of resolutions resonated with me from CatholicStewardship.com. I’m going to adopt part their list of resolutions for this year.
Ask the Lord for guidance, strength and perseverance in achieving your resolutions. In his letter to the Phillipians, Saint Paul writes: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13). If God is the center of our New Year's resolutions, they have a better chance for success.
Thanks for reading. Wish me luck and if you would like to see the full list of resolution ideas on CatholicStewardship.com you can check them out here.
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Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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