How to Declutter your Books the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Welcome everyone to day two of our Seven Day Konmari Declutter Challenge!
If you haven’t been following along to the challenge, let’s get you caught up.
Decluttering your space is easiest when tackled by categories, organized in order of easiest items to discard, to hardest, like sentimental things. This is why the Konmari Method was developed. Marie Kondo, a Japanese Decluttering Consultant, is an expert of her work, helping hoarders to declutter things they could previously never part with and in turn shift their lives around because as they let go of their unwanted items, they simultaneously seem to let go of their unwanted thoughts, release negative people, and shake bad habits as well.
In the book she wrote “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” she walks the reader through the same process she walks her clients through. The method is more deeply illustrated in my previous article How to Declutter the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo but, in short she guides the reader to start with the one category, take all the items from that category out from anywhere in the home and place it out so you can see the mass of all the items you have in that category, then to hold each object and see if it sparks any joy to you. Going with your intuition, you will discard anything that doesn’t spark joy! For whatever reason, regardless of any excuse, it has to go.
This is the second category we are addressing now, so if you missed the first of the series go ahead and click here to tackle that one. If you’re all caught up to speed, let begin with category two:
This tended to be a difficult category for me when I began minimizing my life because I have a bit of an attachment to my books… Or the books I once had.
Yes, I made it out alive!
After listening to the audiobook “Goodbye Things” by Fumio Sasaki, I was able to clear away quite a bit because he said something I really identified with. Basically, he explained that the books you keep and showcase are mostly a representation of apart of your ego self that says “I’m intellectual and interested/knowledgable in all these diverse areas.”
Besides sentimental books, and those books which you reference frequently and that you whole-heartedly love and return to, that’s pretty much the extent of the reason why you hold on to a book you no longer use or love.
Once I understood this about my self, and once I discovered the magic of audiobooks, it was a little easier to get rid of some of these books I’ve attached to my persona.
If you are one of those bibliophiles who needs to hold the book and smell it, well, I feel you. I really do. I never was able to read an ebook. It just didn’t do the same for me. But, I assure you, there are a few ways to keep the joyous moments you feel when holding a book in your hands. You can always visit your public library, or buy the books then donate them once you’ve finished so they don’t begin stacking up.
If you don’t mind digitizing your approach to reading, my new favorite way is to download this amazing, and not boasted about enough app called Libby” Libby is an app that connects to your local library and allows you to download and stream audiobooks, and ebooks straight to your device. Then, after you finish, you return it just like a normal library book. The best thing is you don’t have to worry about not returning it in time, because upon the due date, it is automatically returned for you. You can always renew it if you need.
Now, I do have a few books left, mostly cookbooks I use regularly, and reference books I use, but I did keep some books that I truly love as well. If you find yourself not actually using the reference books you have, I recommend just letting them go and using google and other websites to get the info you need, when you need it.
“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
This quote by Marie Kondo speaks for more than just the items in our homes I’d say, and is symbolically and literally intertwined with the reason that after we declutter, we are also met with a release of much of the mental clutter we fell into.
So, Just like we did with our first category of clothing, go ahead and take out every single book you have in any area of the house.
- Reference and Textbooks
- Novels and other general books
- Children’s books
- Phone books
Now, one by one begin your process of decluttering by holding each item and asking yourself if it brings you any joy.
Start creating your two piles, one for the books you love, and one for the books that you are apathetic about, or just don’t care about at all.
Once you are through with all the items, pack up the books you are parting with and be sure to discard them in a conscious way. You can donate them to the local library, or a thrift shop works as well.
Bask in the space you’ve created in your mind and shelves as you see that you no longer have that book you will never end up reading cluttering your life.
It is going to be exponentially easier for you to focus on the present tasks at hand when you only keep the books you are currently using.
Tomorrow, be ready to tackle another category.
Or, if your ready for the next category now, click here.