The Power of Cleaning One Bookshelf

The Power of Cleaning One Bookshelf

It felt easy to focus on one area, one type of item and be able to clear it in an afternoon. I wasn’t overwhelmed when I started. And once I’d finished, I felt like I’d really accomplished something, and I had, but best of all I wasn’t exhausted nor was my living room a mess. Yes, I had a pile of books on the fireplace for a couple days while I boxed them up. And yes, I’m slowly getting them sold and donated, but it’s all about one step at a time.

I found the simple power behind the bookshelf worked for a client, too.  It was our first organizing session and I know how daunting and scary but also exciting it is to have me come into your space.  I get to see the underbelly of it all (just on a side note, you’re space is never the worst I’ve seen, I promise.)

During this first session we decided to work on a bookshelf.  For most people, books aren’t too personal so they’re easy to start sorting and purging. Plus they take up lots of room and are heavy, which means paring them down frees up lots of space and will instantly lighten the energy in a room.

During our time together we pulled out all the books, getting a good look at them.  So what should you keep?  What goes? I’ve got general suggestions, but it always come down to what you love.  What fills you with energy to keep? What fills you with energy to release?

My general rules beyond the ones stated above are:

  • Fiction can almost always be replaced or acquired through the library, so out they go.
  • Outdated reference books, or reference books that you’re not actively using can go- plus most information is available online.
  • Guide books that focus on the logistics of visiting cities/ countries that are over 3 years old are outdated and should go- if they’re more on the culture and arts, AND you’re planning to visit again in the next few years, keep.
  • Art books are all about joy and energy- so personal choice there.
  • Books you’ve started reading but never finished- Was it last week or last year? You might have already gotten what you need to by reading the first few pages or the first couple chapters. I give you permission not to finish them and give them away.

When you’re wanting to organize and de-clutter this year, remember to narrow your focus. You can start with books, or clothes, or kitchen utensils- the choice is yours.  Choose projects that can be completed in a couple hours or less, and use your energy gauge to decide whether keeping an item uplifts you or brings you down.

And if you find yourself stuck, wanting support and expertise through this process, I’ve got 3 client opening in March to get your life, your business, your head and your heart organized and ready to live more fully.  Just set up a time to talk to me.