{organising} Project – how I decluttered my bookshelf

Let’s take a break from all the Covid-19 talk and focus on a fun, pretty project you could do during the workdays, if you’re not working, or on the weekend if you want a break from boring things like laundry.

I had a goal this year – to go through my bookshelf and declutter anything I no longer wanted to read. So this is it – these are all the physical books I own, other than the ones that live on my Kindle.

Here’s what I did and suggest you might like to do too:

  • If there are books a friend has loaned you and you know you’re not going to read them, return them. If you keep them, they start to guilt you everytime you look at them. None of us needs that guilt.
  • Return any books to their owners that you have read. See the brown wrapped book? Ready to go to a friend when I can next see her. (Edited – I ended up using a courier to send to her)
  • Pick up and go through each and every book on your shelf and make two piles: those you have read and those you have not read.
  • For the ones you have read, honestly answer these questions:
    • Do I love this book so much I want to keep it? Does it spark joy? Might I re-read it? Yes – keep. No – toss aside (I only keep books I LOVE and that rate an 8-10/10)
  • For the ones you have not read, answer these questions:
    • Am I likely to ever want to pick this book up to read? Does this book spark joy? Yes – keep. No – toss aside.
    • Was I gifted a book I don’t want to read, but am keeping because the person is a special friend or family member? Hold the book, think positive thoughts and toss aside.
    • The not-sure bunch. Ask yourself, is this a title I want to take with me into my future? Here’s where it’s easy to let go (most things I know full well I am never going to read like most parenting books).

Those tips helped me a whole lot. I now have books on my shelf I know I want to read and a lovely pile of books waiting downstairs to donate to my local library.

If you choose to go through your books, please send me pictures or better still, post your pics to Instagram or Facebook and tag me to come have a look.

{Konmari} tidying the books – finally

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about how much I love my Kindle but the fact of the matter is that I still have a ton of physical books.

It could have been worse but thankfully, I only keep books I really love/d.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So one weekend I decided I had to finally tackle those shelves and ask The Question, “does this spark joy?”

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

it’s always a good idea to dust once the shelves are actually clear 🙂

Marie Kondo, in her life-changing book, does say a few interesting things about the process of decluttering books:

  1. books are one of three things most difficult to get rid of (is this true for you?)
  2. fewer books mean there’s a bigger impact on the information (true!)
  3. timing is everything. The moment you come across and feel compelled to buy is the right time for you.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

the two books on the left are borrowed indefinitely from friends… so yay, when I read them, I can return them!

Maybe number 3 is true for others, but I buy kind-of all the time because I’m reading and finding books online all the time. I’ve only recently stopped buying ahead on Audible. I’m listening to one book at the moment, and have one more ready to go. I don’t want to gather/ hoard more than this.

The thing is I do get to a lot of books much later than I intend to….and most times, I’m compelled to read them at the right time. There are physical books I’m sure I will read still on my shelves.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

these are books I LOVE or definitely want to read. Motherstyles is my most favourite parenting book ever!

That said, I took her point about asking yourself, “does this move me or not, and am I happy to see it on my shelves?”

And that was the filter I used to declutter.

I must add that the task was much bigger in my head than in reality (isn’t it always?!). Once I started working, it probably only took me an hour to finish the exercise!

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

this pile went…

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

as did this pile (A painted house is my favourite John Grisham but I haven’t re-read it in the 10 years we’ve been in this house so I’m not likely to do so, right?)

I got rid of (well, that box is still standing in my entrance way ready to go to the secondhand bookshop) about 20 – 30 books that I liked the idea of, but know I probably won’t ever read, even though many of them are new.

I’m sure I could have done better but for now, this felt enough for me 🙂

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Mission accomplished – I’m finally down to just 3 shelves 🙂

How are you doing with Konmari? Has anyone done their books? Was it torturous for you?

{Weekend inspiration} decluttering my physical books – part 2

Here is part 1

Goal – to move from 5 shelves of books down to 3.

I mentioned in post 1 that I’d decluttered and was now down to 4 shelves of books.

this is the 3-shelf bookcase I want all my books to fit on
5 books are unread over here – shelf 2
this is the bottom shelf – all unread
side view
this is the shelf in that green closed cupboard that also houses books – all of these are unread too

When I completed this exercise, I had 84 books unread. I read 3 physical books in November so I’m down to 81 🙂 Can you see the slight gap in the last pic?

Do you need to declutter some books?

These are about half the books I decluttered.

{Weekend inspiration} decluttering my physical books – part 1

I’m on a mission to declutter books.

You see, I have an item on my 38 things list – declutter books so that I have all of them on one, three-shelf bookcase.

At the start of this little project, I had 5 shelves of books (not bookcases, shelves). I’m already down to 4 and my goal is to be down to 3 (which is the one bookcase).

I’ve sold some, donated some and have to take a bag to the secondhand bookstore.

This is the one shelf with brand new books, all of them unread. Excuse the blurry pics – they were taken at night with my iPhone.

batches of books all made to fit with no regard to category

after – see the washi tape labels along the top of the shelf

Much better!

Sadly there was only 1 book on this whole shelf that I didn’t want. There are 44 I need to read here!

I’ve also decluttered 23 books from shelf 2 so I have half of another shelf free – no pics of that one, sorry.

Do you need to declutter a bookshelf this weekend?

Decluttering isn’t easy, even for kids

We’ve been buying quite a bit of books for the babies lately, especially when we find ones that talk to issues we’re currently dealing with.

E.g. Dion came home with about 5 books the other day all talking about kids staying in bed at night 🙂

So it’s time to declutter.

I gathered the two of them and started with my standard speech about giving some books away to kids who don’t have any.

They still have a lot of board books and a lot of them, don’t really read (as far as I can see).
we started sorting the books into piles…
technically this was what we were left with – the other books were too babyish or too “loved”
here’s where they start having second thoughts and rethinking their choices
look how unhappy they look
Poor things – I wasn’t a very mean mother 🙂
I let them keep the ones they’re very attached to.
It’s interesting – I’m already seeing differences in their organising personalities (I talk more about this in Live Organised).
Connor is more of a hoarder and Kendra is quite brutal.
(We decluttered some of their stuffed animals the other day and Kendra was very clear about what she didn’t use anymore – I even found myself saying, “Kendra! Aunty so and so gave you that ____.” “But I don’t want it anymore,” she said)
So four of her stuffed animals are living in the study for a month to see if she changes her mind – so far she hasn’t and we’re two weeks in – and then we’ll wash them and donate them to Kids Haven.

Is decluttering easy for you?

How do you deal with your child/ ren’s decluttering styles?

PS I always get this question – they’re wearing bath robe ponchos. I bought them for about R90 each at Mr P Home when they were “real” babies of about 9 months 🙂 I haven’t seen them there since then. The rule with Mr P Home is if you love it, buy it when you see it.

Why I never thought I’d get a Kindle

I’m not one of those people who has to have the latest gadget.

I try to be intentional about my life and as such, really question

a) whether I need it

b) if I want to pay what they are asking for it

c) whether my current solution is as good as the new thing

d) whether I will actually use the new thing


I am a reader, a BIG reader. I read tons of books and have actively created time in my day, every day, to spend reading.

I’m also a very tactile person.

Long-time readers will remember that I’ve bought notebooks or bags, sometimes purely based on how lovely they feel to my touch.

(I’m not even ashamed to say this but recently in a stationery store I hauled out my daily planner and told a fellow shopper to “just feel it – it’s gorgeous”) 🙂

Anyway, back to reading.

I love the feel of a book in my hand, the smell of new pages and the experience of turning pages and using a bookmark, etc.

It’s all part of the experience for me.

Like holding a hot mug of tea is just as part of the experience of actually drinking the tea.


I have been opening up my mind to the possibility of getting a Kindle.

My friend over at se7en told me that there are books you buy on a Kindle and then there are books you still need to buy to see and feel the gorgeous, glossy pages.

That sparked something in my mind.

I knew what she meant.

For me, this means the books I would typically sell to a second-hand bookshop or donate to charity are Kindle books and ones like the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook is something I would still buy a physical copy of.

So the other day in the office a colleague mentioned that her hubby was in the US and had just texted her about the Kindle he was getting for her.

Apparently I’d done all the processing I needed to because I piped up, “oh, can he please get one for me too?”

A few days later I am the proud owner of a beautiful white Kindle.

I have bought and downloaded tons of books already (they make it sooooo easy with the one-click) and can’t wait to go on holiday next week with the Kindle, instead of my usual stash of 4 – 5 books.

Imagine the space I’ll be saving!

If you have a Kindle, what is its name? Mine is a boring Marcia’s Kindle 🙂

Are you totally e-reading? Or do you also have books you must touch?

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