The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simplify -- Bye Bye Books


Our Goal

A simple and beautiful house
that the Lord can use as a peaceful haven
for my family and others.

Click here to find out why/how I started!

I'm back in the living room today, ready to tackle the other half of the room.  I set up my camera and tripod to document the process, with my back to the bookcase I decluttered and organized yesterday.


In today's world, with our smart phones and Kindles and tablets, I'm sure books aren't a big deal to declutter.  But listen--I'm a homeschooling mom.  I grew up lounging on the living room couch with throw pillows all around, absorbed in some adventure.  I read everything.  There is just something about holding a book in my hands, feeling the pages, the touch of paper against my finger as I turn a page.  You just can't replace that.  Books are something special.

Middle/upper elementary historical fiction books, soon to find a new home.

The decision.

With the help of my sister-at-heart Lori, I realized that when it comes to homeschooling, I'm really done (it still hasn't sunk in yet).  And saving everything for my grandchildren isn't worth it.

  • It's not practical; how/where will I store all this stuff?
  • Will I even have grandchildren?  (I sure hope so.)
  • Will my grandchildren be homeschooled?
  • Will homeschooling look the same as it does today?
  • Will my future daughters-in-law even want the stuff?
  • Would they feel forced to accept the stuff?

There were way too many variables for me to decide that keeping a ton of stuff in the hopes that all of these questions--and some I haven't even asked--would be answered positively.  I also looked at it from another perspective:

  • My home would be less cluttered.
  • I would be freer from stuff.
  • I can keep a small number of quality books for visiting grandchildren.  Or stop at the library before they visit.
  • My sons/DILs can purchase/borrow their own books.
  • My DILs may already have books of their own!
  • My relationship with future daughters-in-law wouldn't be burdened.

This second list is also incomplete, and much more positive in practical and tangible ways, even right now.  My mind was decided.

The process.

These books are serial sets, so it was easy to remove them from the shelves and divide them up into separate boxes.  I plan to sell these this spring, before the homeschool convention season hits and homeschooling moms are searching for materials for the next school year.

Once all the series were boxed and stacked, I took stock of the bookcase.  I decided I didn't like the look of the Bible concordances on the stop of the bookcase--they're too much competition for the border.  I moved them to the tall bookcase (behind me, the one from yesterday's project).

I took the bookends--giant hand-crafted fishing lure bookends I found in a shop in upstate New York--and moved them to the middle shelf to hold a few books I decided to keep.  That freed up some space and made the top look prettier.

The below picture is the end result of the day's work.  I ended up decluttering that canoe shelf on the right, too.  I removed the picture frames--no one can see those pictures, anyway--and put them in the Goodwill box.  I then organized the little games, mostly card games, in another basket which now sits on the bottom shelf of the canoe.

I really want to declutter the CD rack next to the canoe, but I have a husband who enjoys the CDs...  Although, you know, we never listen to them, and the CD player in our stereo system doesn't work all that well.  I wish I were tech-savvy enough to figure out how to get all the music stored digitally!  For now, everything is neat and tidy, and I'll soon have a few more dollars in my pocket from book sales.  The CDs can wait until I have some time for research and someone to help me.

Sometimes, a room doesn't have to be completely done; it just needs to be good enough for now.  That's not settling for less, or leaving it undone; it's simply acknowledging that even though I could do more, I'm content with how it looks now, I can enjoy the items that remain, and I can tackle the harder task of going deeper with decluttering when I'm ready.

This project took just a few hours, in the morning and again in the evening--as evidenced by the lamp in my pictures!

Back to life,

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