Clearing Book Case Clutter

Like many avid readers, you may have too many books for your bookshelves. Perhaps the books are piled up on the floor, table, or in a closet as well as on the bookshelf. But, books mean a lot to you and you couldn’t possibly get rid of any, right?.

One viewpoint you can follow is to only keep as many books as there is space on your bookshelf. How would you do this?

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Here are some suggestions to holding on to relevant information, while creating more space:

– Give away or recycle old reference books that contain outdated information.
– Give away books that you know you will never read or reference again. You can always find the information on-line, via audio-books, as e-books, or at a library.
– If you’ve any books that are on digital format and paper, recycle the paper version.
– If there are recipes, photos, or any crucial information you’d like to hold on to, then scan these pages and store as digital files on your computer.
– Only keep books that you love and that are useful to you.

Once you have gone through this process, you can organize your books into categories by subject; like fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, cooking, art, gardening etc…

DONATE YOUR BOOKS: More Than Words is a youth-led online and retail book selling business in Waltham, MA that provides paid employment for young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to prepare for meaningful careers. https://mtwyouth.org/   Phone: 781-314-9330  (More Than Words accepts gently used donations of paperback and hardcover books, CDs and DVDs in their original cases, records, and video games. Books can be any genre as well as foreign language books. They also gladly accept textbooks, but do ask they be 10 years or newer.

To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

Too Many Books?

 

too many books

TOO MANY BOOKS

I don’t think I ever had a lot of books of my own. I used the local libraries, borrowed books from friends (all of which had to be returned), and went through phases of collecting some self help, fiction, mystery and fantasy books. Most of which I gave away over the years. I do enjoy buying fiction at yard sales as they are very low priced, and also exchanging books at the Little Free Library ‘take a book, leave a book’ boxes in front of people’s local houses to feed my reading needs.

And, I did have a fair amount of gardening books which I had purchased over the years to further my expertise in my gardening business. The gardening books took up 1.5 shelves in the built in glass door cabinet in my former apartment. With my upcoming move to another home, I sorted through these gardening books, and donated about 20 of them to be sold at the Somerville Garden Club’s annual plant sale. I reviewed the books again, and donated 18 more that I knew weren’t that necessary to keep. I gave away more than 1/2 of these.

Do you love books but have too many? Are they overflowing the bookshelves, taking up space on a chair or couch, or piled on the floor? I’m sure that some of these fiction, non-fiction, art, music, and other book topics you’ve collected over the years mean a lot to you, but most likely many of them are just gathering dust.

Why not share your wealth and give some away! Set aside an hour per week, and sort through at least one shelf on your bookshelf, or a couple piles of books. If you bought it a while back and haven’t yet read it, maybe it’s time to let it go. Fill a box (or boxes) with the books you no longer love, want, or need, and share the joy of reading by donating them to your favorite charity, library, local prison, or to ‘More than Words’.

‘More than Words’ located in Waltham, MA, is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, or homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by managing the organization’s online and retail bookstore and cafe. Check out their website – http://www.MTWyouth.org  or call 781-788-0035. Recently, a client I was working with to cut down on his hundreds of books, had the crew from MTW pick up 84 boxes of books! If you have at least ten boxes of books to donate, the organization will pick them up for you.

I’d love to know how many books you’ve got, and how you let go and distribute them.

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

A Former Client’s Success Story

cluttered table

H.M.’s cluttered table four and 1/2 years ago

Yesterday, I received an email from a former organizing client of mine who was quite happy, and proud to have been able to stay organized since our last organizing session four years ago. This client, who I will refer to as H.M., is a wonderful person, very creative, compassionate, and generous. Having ADD though, she found it difficult to get organized, was easily distracted, and was a chronic procrastinator. There were always huge piles of clothing on her bedroom floor, lots of papers and other stuff on her dining room table, too many books on her many shelves, and too much clutter around her home.

For several years from just January through June (for financial reasons), we tackled her untidy home, getting rid of clothes, shoes, books and other things that she no longer loved or needed. Final decisions on what to keep, give away, toss or recycle were left up to H.M. We also worked together to address and resolve her feelings of overwhelm, shame, and anxiety about all of her stuff. Her ADD behavioural habits were put to the test. For her ‘homework’ between organizing sessions, she practiced putting things away after using them (into storage areas we designated for each item’s category), refraining from purchasing unneeded items, and keeping her dining room table clear, etc.. And, she was successful!

H.M. had a vision for herself. She wanted to feel lighter and happier, with a neat and clear home. She especially wanted to hold a dinner party for friends, but was embarrassed to have people over (very typical of people who live with clutter). She wished for a long term relationship, but knew with her home in the state it was, she wasn’t ready to be in one.

Since our organizing sessions came to a closure in 2014,  H.M. held her desired  dinner party, and met the love of her life. (Letting go of excess clutter opens a door for new changes to occur in your life.) She has continued to keep her home uncluttered and tidy. In reply to her email to me yesterday, I noted that I was quite impressed, and mentioned that a number of people who have ADD tend to backslide (resorting back to old habits).

H.M. wrote back: “As to ADD, that’s a helpful insight. What helps is having systems: a drop file box AT MY FEET for all expenses, tax-related house receipts, etc.., and making decisions immediately (rather than putting them off, procrastinating) on what notices I get in the mail that I want to act on. Of course — the portable file used to be a foot away, in a closet, and I would build up a ‘to be filed’ pile ON THAT gorgeous, cherry wood dining table, and would put off filing for too long, after the pile sloshed around, and then some — now, I open the mail daily, and drop it into its relevant file folder, a joy!”

h-m-dining-table-4-years-after-organizing-sessions-ended

1/20/17 – H.M wrote: “My dining table TEN days after a gathering
I had here for my writing group women!!!”

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

Sentimentality, and My Kitchen Blender

blender

Saying hello to his mother’s blender

Old blender

Saying goodbye to my mother’s blender

Recently, I wrote a post about the blender that I’d inherited from my mother over 30 years ago. The blender is at least 50 years old.  The bottom of the glass pitcher had a minor leak during the past year. Unfortunately, the minor leak became major. I was so dismayed because using it brought back happy memories of my mother using the blender in her kitchen in New Jersey.

The leak was not repairable, so reluctantly, I threw the item away.

I asked my boyfriend to buy me a new blender for Christmas/Hanukkah. We both searched the internet for blenders with glass pitchers, as I didn’t want plastic, and was hoping for a classic vintage reproduction. After about a half hour looking online at various different types of blenders, he exclaimed, “Hey, I just remembered that my mother’s blender is still in the kitchen cupboard, and I haven’t used it since her passing seven years ago! You can have it.” He went into the kitchen, and brought back a vintage Osterizer blender with a glass pitcher which was in good working condition. I was so excited!

My mother’s blender was useful, and not clutter in my home. But, when sentimental objects don’t make you happy anymore, or are no longer useful or working, they become sentimental clutter. You’d like to get rid of them, but part of you can’t let go for the sake of the memories they bring, the people they symbolize, or the guilt you’d feel if you did get rid of them. In order to deal with this contradiction you must make a mental shift. Think about what you really want. Do you want to hold on to these items and stay stuck in your clutter and disorganization? Or, let go and have a sense of freedom, and peace of mind.

To make this mental shift, think about the people who can benefit from the items you could get rid of. Particularly during this holiday season! Do you have clothing and coats in your closet that were your mother’s but that you never, ever wear? Perhaps you can donate them to a homeless shelter to help cloth other women who are lacking. Or, have you got shelves full of children’s books that your kids no longer read? Maybe you can give them to an orphanage, preschool, or children’s hospital.

So, instead of clinging to these items, send them on a ‘Sentimental Journey’ that will bring usefulness and pleasure to the recipients (homeless women, other children, etc..)

I’d love to hear about the ‘sentimental items’ you are willing to part with; giving other’s in need some things they really could use.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Too Many Books? Let Some Go!

too-many-books

A client had too many books! We first sorted through his middle shelves, and he donated at least one half of the books. The other shelves were tackled next.

I don’t think I ever had a lot of books of my own. I used the local libraries, borrowed books from friends (all of which had to be returned), and went through phases of collecting some self help, fiction, mystery and fantasy books. Most if which I gave away over the years. I do enjoy buying fiction at yard sales, as they are very low priced and feed my reading needs. But, every year at my housemate’s and my ‘women’s clothing swap and afternoon tea’, I give swap attendees an opportunity to choose from these books, and I retrieve newly donated swap books I haven’t read.

I do have a fair amount of gardening books and organizing books; both of which I purchased to further my expertise in both of my businesses. The gardening books take up 1.5 shelves in the built in glass door cabinet, and the organizing books are on another shelf. These I will keep, as they are not in my way, and are an ongoing source of information.

Do you love books but have too many? Are they overflowing the bookshelves, taking up space on a chair or couch, or piled on the floor? I’m sure that some of these fiction, non-fiction, art, music, and other book topics you’ve collected over the years mean a lot to you, but most likely many of them are just gathering dust.

Why not share your wealth and give some away! Set aside an hour per week, and sort through at least one shelf on your bookshelf, or a couple piles of books. If you bought it a while back and haven’t yet read it, maybe it’s time to let it go. Fill a box (or boxes) with the books you no longer love, want, or need, and share the joy of reading by donating them to your favorite charity, library, local prison, or to ‘More than Words’.

‘More than Words’ located in Waltham, MA, is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, or homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by managing the organization’s online and retail bookstore and cafe. Check out their website – http://www.MTWyouth.org  or call 781-788-0035. And, if you have at least ten boxes of books to donate, the organization will pick them up for you.

I’d love to know how many books you’ve got, and how you let go and distribute them.