Tidying up: Books and Book-like things

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After clothing and accessories, the next stop on the KonMari train is books.  Before I started piling all of my books in the middle of our living room floor, I realized that this would be a huge category to tackle because I have books all over the house!  My clothing and accessories were fairly easy to gather because it wasn’t difficult to make sure I had everything, but as I went through my house, scavenging for books, I realized that it would be easy to miss some.  My cookbooks for instance were tossed in after I’d already started my purge.  Even as I type this, I’m wondering if I missed anything… MAGAZINES!!!  Hmph…

Right, so back to the books.  I emptied all of my bookcases (trying to be careful not to take any of my husband’s, only partially succeeded…awkward…), and was faced with stacks and stacks of books.  This is exactly what Marie Kondo wanted…  Kondo emphasizes over and over that you must displace your belongings to really SEE them.  Although it would’ve been much easier on my back to leave my books in the bookshelf, and just pull the ones I wanted to purge, I can see now that this would have indeed been a “fatal” mistake.  Putting the beloved books back on the shelf took more work than leaving them on the floor, so it helped me to really think about it.

In the end, I did accidentally break the category rules.  I sorted through my journals along with my books without realizing that these belonged with my momentos (and apparently left out my magazines).  In her book, Kondo says that journals are largely unnecessary because she says we rarely look through them, and because they tie us to the past when we do.  But, luckily for me, she sticks closer to her “does this spark joy” rule than her journal rule, and I was able to keep most of mine with a clear conscience.  I love my journals, and I actually read through them about once a year.  I love reading my take on things that happened years ago, and remembering what a period of time was really like.  Our memories tend to evolve with our lives, and it’s easy to romanticize the past when we hit rough patches.  My journals help me keep things into perspective.  They’re also hilarious!  I’m apparently quite the comedian at times…I mean, I really crack myself up…  Hee hee?

Anyway…

When all was said and done, I put aside at least 1/2 of my stacks to pass along & recycle, and freed up quite a bit of space on my shelves.  In fact, I completely emptied one shelf that I can now use somewhere else.

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Next stop: Papers.  Eeek!

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