Thursday, May 6, 2010

Master Closet -- mostly a book post

When I went through the house last time I got most of the books upstairs. We have a walk-in closet which I use for books and office supplies since my husband's clothes mostly fit in this chest of drawers and my clothes mostly fit in the cupboard in the bathroom.

There's a bit of clutter on the dresser but it's my husband's stuff.... the candle is in case our power goes out, and the book he is reading is on there too.

Moving on ... here is the bookshelf right behind our door. It used to hold my parenting and homeschooling books. I made it into a fiction shelf. At the top is my mail tub. It's a plastic hospital tub -- we got so many of them during Aidan's hospital stays. But it's not very pretty. I'm going to look for a basket. Right now I need my mail to be out in the open or I forget to deal with it. Working on that though.

Walking into the walk-in closet. Books! I can't get them all into the picture, but there are 5 tall units like these ones and then a smaller unit on the side.

Yesterday I did a lot of rearranging. It's very roughly done by subject area right now. I'm going to go through again and organize on a micro-level, and try to minimalize. Books are the area I have to do the most work on. I am slowly realizing that too many books is over-stimulation just like any other clutter is.

Believe me, it's better than it was. Fortunately my library was having a book sale this spring. I got rid of boxes and boxes. Usually they won't accept books except for certain types like recent bestsellers, etc. Isn't that sad? My librarian says too many books are published these days. A sort of new Fahrenheit 451. Make books that are basically imminent trash -- planned obsolescence. This breaks my heart. I used to deal with it by buying the old beautiful books no one else wanted. It turned out to be sort of how you stand in the kitchen stuffing yourself with leftovers so they won't go to waste when there are people starving in other countries. So now I am dealing with it by slowly slimming down my shelves and hope to get it down to books that are genuine treasures to someone in the family. If it's just information and pretty pictures, for example, the internet is just as good or better.

But I'm rambling now. To go on, here's what we have right now after my rough topical organizing.

Science and nature and geography books on the right hand shelf.

Catechism books, old magazines and little religious booklets on the far left. Also some record-keeping stuff. Generally speaking, it's MY stuff.

History books and literature connected with history are on the right shelf.
Religious books in the center.
My parenting, homeschooling, "how to" and philosophical stuff is over on the left.
Next to the bed -- Paddy's books and some more childrens' fiction.

I didn't show you the floor of the walk-in closet because it is piled high with books I am giving away -- about 3-4 boxfuls. I just need to get around to typing them in at Amazon and Paperback Swap to see if there is any kind of wish for them out there.

This is not all the books in the house. We have several bookcases of fiction and picture books for children in the loft where they are accessible. You'll see those eventually if I survive my venture into the closet. We also have some glass bookcases where I basically store the already-decided treasures -- books from my Dad's collection, or Kevin's grandparents, our Chestertons -- things we aren't giving away.

We are FAR from minimalism in this area! My guess is that it will take at least 2-3 more closet passes before I can get it anywhere near reasonable. But still, it all fits, at least. My goal is to have at least one empty shelf on each unit.


  1. I like your analogy of collecting books being like eating the leftovers so they won't go to waste. :) Been there, done that. I have reduced my book collection so many times it's hard for me to estimate how many or what percentage I've gotten rid of. I have two Ikea bookcases. One is fiction (mostly for the kids) and the other is nonfiction. Other than a few books the kids have in their bedrooms and my husband and I on our nightstands, that's it! Just a few months ago I was trying to figure out when I could go and buy more bookcases and where they would I have EMPTY shelves. Weird! :D LOL But I like it! You're doing great. Keep at it.

  2. Wow, that's amazing, LeeAnn. Two bookshelves! Do you have any tips for finding good homes for the ones you discard?

  3. love the bk pics:)

    no way could I get rid of too many here.

  4. Mmmmm. I love bookshelf photos.

  5. 1. Used bookstore that buys books
    2. Take a box monthly to the homeschool support group meeting to either sell or give away
    3. Donate to library
    4. Used curriculum sale at conference or host one at your home if you have a lot...I have a friend that is hosting an ongoing sale for the month of May (by appointment)--she has two rooms of books!
    5. Trash the real twaddle (disney babies board books, etc)...the reality is, even the poor do not need or want such junk


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!