Week 4: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Kids’ books

It’s week 4 reporting time! If you want to catch up on what I’m doing in this challenge, check out these previous posts:

I’m Decluttering 365 Things in 2014!
Week 1: Easy Bake Oven!
Week 2: The clothes didn’t fit in the drawer
Week 3: Lots of kids’ clothes!

This week I decided to attack some of the kids’ books.

kids' books

I focused on the books that have been living in the big kids’ bedroom. I have been wanting a bookshelf for that room for a long time, but I can be pretty frugal/patient/distracted when it comes to things like that, so the books have just been lined up/piled up on the floor for years. You can see an older post showing that here.

Well, as I was taking before pictures for this whole 365 challenge (which I haven’t been brave enough to post), I realized we had an old Ikea furniture piece that could work quite well as a small bookcase/nightstand.

Somehow it ended up in our small upstairs hallway surrounded by clutter. It turned out to be a blurry picture, too, but I’m throwing it in here because I know some of you enjoy these clutter pics.

Upstairs hallway clutter

So I moved it on into their bedroom and we worked together to pick which books would stay and which ones would we could send out the door.

Things we considered while decluttering our books:

  • How much do we love this book? Do we enjoy rereading it? 
  • Is the book damaged? (We got rid of several like this, but we also kept a few because we still love them and read them.)
  • We had to all agree to get rid of the book. If one person (most often my 4-year-old) wanted to keep the book, we kept it for now. I’m sure we will revisit books again this year!

I realized I forgot to take a nice picture of the finished bookcase, so I just ran up there and took this picture in the dark while they were sleeping:

Books on shelves

A few of our Favorite Keepers:

This one Anna (age 4) would like me to read every. single. day.

Gabe (age 7) is crazy about this one.

Ella (age 9) is loving Narnia.

(The 3 book pictures above are Amazon affiliate links, just so ya know.)

We have 19 books heading out the door! There are a few math workbooks and baby board books that I threw in there on my own.

Decluttering kids' books
And…..I bumped over the 100 mark!!

Counting clutter chart

What have you been decluttering? Do tell!

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Filed under Declutter, Kids

15 Responses to Week 4: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Kids’ books

  1. Good job, girlie! Keep on keepin’ on!

  2. Tina

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thanks for sharing the 2014 things in 2014 chart. I’m at 225 items. I purged files yesterday and had a pile as high as a ream of paper for the recycle bin. I didn’t count all those pieces of paper so I decided to just check all the boxes to finish the current row I was on. I shared the chart with a friend and she started doing it too. Thanks for inspiring us to declutter!

    • Elizabeth

      That’s awesome, Tina!!! I have SO much paper clutter in this house. I really need to take some inspiration from you to get some paper out of here!

  3. Wow, books are sooo hard to send out the door (for us, anyway). Sadly, I’m the one usually saying “oh, we HAVE to keep this one” referring to a preschool picture book with my 9 and 12 year-old boys who have long since moved on from it. I’m impressed and the bookshelf looks great. Also, good for you in reaching the 100 mark!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Jean. Books are really hard for me, too! I love children’s books and almost all of them have sweet memories with them. It helps me to think about sharing those sweet books with someone else who might enjoy them more at this point instead of having them just sit around our house looking so cute but taking up too much space. Some were easier. There is one version of Little Red Riding Hood that creeped all of my kids out. Why did I keep it for 9 years??? Maybe someone else will actually enjoy it.

  4. The book shelf looks awesome!! I haven’t taken anything more to the consignment store, since your last post, but we did earn a couple more bucks from stuff selling there since then! Now we’re up to $19.35!!

  5. Wow! That bookshelf looks fantastic! It must be such a great feeling to see that when you walk into the room 🙂

  6. Stephanie

    You are so brave and awesome for tackling books! Purging books is difficult for me, so I am going to procrastinate it as long as I can. Hopefully, these early weeks of purging will propel me to finally let some literature go. And, you’ve gotten rid of over 100 items already??? That’s almost a third of your goal, and January isn’t even over. You’re rockin this!

    Last week, I managed to get all my stuff organized, tagged, and sent to the big consignment sale. This was a big deal for me because I had to be vigilant for the past two years to box, label, and store baby items that I wanted to sale…while entering parenthood with precious twin baby girls! I sold 5 boxes of things.

    Since the consignment clutter all came from the attic, I was thrilled to get rid of a big stereo that had been sitting on the floor of my office/junk room for way too long. It was over 15 years old and held 50 CDs with two large speakers and three surround speakers (remember when those were cool?). I finally took pictures and posted it online (“If you pick it up, you can HAVE it.”) Just PLEASE take it from my house. Somebody picked it up the next day which begs the question: WHY do I put things off for so long???

    While I was getting the stereo, I noticed a half box of magazines and realized I really didn’t want to move all those magazines to a brand new house, so out they went…just like that!

    Then, while going through some paper work, I purged a good stack of paper and a bag of Halloween candy that we’re never going to eat (how’d THAT get in there??? at least it was from this past Halloween).

    Finally, I put the girls to bed one night, went straight to my kitchen gadget drawer and started purging. In less than five minutes, I got rid of 7 gadgets (including a nice, brand new corkscrew that I’ve kept for over 7 years even though we don’t drink…WHY???), and I had a much neater drawer. Maybe now something won’t get caught every time I try to open and close it.

    I am learning so much along this journey. This week, it really resonated with me that things don’t take nearly as long as I think they will. I amazed at how quickly you can get things done if you break bigger initiatives into small chunks. THANK YOU for beginning this challenge. It has had a profound impact on me, and I did not expect that at all. As a blog reader of yours and fan from the beginning, it is great having you back!

    • Elizabeth

      Stephanie, you are on fire, girl!! 😀 You are making so much progress and I love seeing your thoughtful analysis, too. And thank you so much for being so super-encouraging to me!!! It feels so good to be back. It’s really helping me.

  7. Stephanie

    sell* ugh

  8. Wow, over 100 items in four weeks!! That’s fantastic!

    I’m doing really well, too. I’ve let go of something I’ve kept for years and years – my collection of magazines and books about Princess Diana. I couldn’t part with them for so long, even moved them from house to house, but I finally admitted that, not only had I not read any of them for ages, but I couldn’t imagine myself ever desiring to take them out and read them. I was done. And out they went. Yay, me!

    I just downloaded the chart, and I’m going to have fun remembering the things I’ve let go of in January and checking off the boxes. 😀

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Jan Elizabeth! And thanks for sharing your story about the Princess Diana collection. Yay, you! The checking off of the boxes IS really a fun part of this project!

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