how to declutter your kid's bookshelves

September 12, 2011

After reading this post on decluttering bookshelves on Ohdeedoh a few weeks ago, I was inspired to tackle Juliet's bookshelves.

Since I buy 99% of my books from Goodwill ($1.25 a piece) or the library cart (.25 a piece), I can get a little carried away with the amount of books I bring into our home.

With not that much space to store them, our bookshelves tend to be crammed full. I noticed lately that Juliet was unable to choose books easily because they were so tightly packed on the shelves.

After reading the decluttering post, I came away with some key concepts that really helped me:

1. Keep 10% of the shelf empty. 
Somehow, this was the biggest help to me as I weeded through our collection. I just kept pulling books until I had a nice 10%-ish space on each shelf.

2. Get rid of books that are NOT favorites. 
There are a million books out there and even if they are good and fun to read, that doesn't mean I want to OWN every single book that exists just because it cost .25 cents and is a good deal. I really wanted to narrow our collection down only to those that we consider our FAVORITES. The rest are just books that we can enjoy whenever we want by checking them out at the library and then RETURNING them!

What I did:
Making a "get rid of pile" was my first step. I just kept pulling books until I had some good space on each.

The "get rid of pile" was not necessarily books that were leaving the house completely, but just leaving her room. (Most did go out the door to goodwill, but others made their way downstairs to our living room bookshelves.)

At this point, I realized that I didn't like how they were currently organized.

So, then I decided to pull them all off the shelves and reshelf them according to genre. I learned a lot about my preferences and my collecting habits which helped me decide which were our favorites/keepers.

I'll share those in another post.

What about you? How do you declutter your kid's shelves?

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