We all have books. Some people have lots of books, a passion for books. It is odd to think that bookstores are going out of business because ebooks are becoming so popular yet the houses I see still have books loading bookshelves and heavy boxes full of books in storage! As you think through what to do with the books you have and the future books you will bring into your home let’s try and think outside the box…er, book!

Everyone knows you can organize books in alphabetical order or by topic or by size or even by color(??). But, let’s take a moment and think how you process paper. With each piece of paper you need to ask yourself, “What is the next action that needs to be taken with this paper?” Then, you either recycle it, schedule it on your calendar, delegate it or file it. Why not do that with your books? Ask yourself, “What is the next action that needs to be taken with this book?”

So, here is Tracy’s Tip: When organizing your home library ask yourself, “What is the next action to be taken with this book?” Then follow these guidelines

  1. Recycle it: You have already read it. Seriously, when is the last time you looked at it, thought about it, referenced it?? It is taking up VALUABLE space. Recycle it. Take it to Half Price Books. Put it in a garage sale. Donate it. Ask your library if they want it.
  2. Schedule it on your calendar: It looks like a great book! You want to read it really badly! Write it on your calendar and store it in the “to read” area of your bookshelf. If you don’t read it in 6 months take it off of the shelf, put the name of the book in your “list it” app on your phone and then give it away. One day when you have time you can get it from the library!
  3. Delegate it: You have read it. You LOVED it and it is hard to part with. But, now that you think about it, you most likely won’t read it again. But you paid money for it. It is a hard cover! You might need it someday. Think again. It is taking up VALUABLE space and you need to “delegate” it to a friend or family member. Put it in your car to deliver or mail to a loved one who would enjoy the book! Be tough. Think of the weight you will be freeing yourself of! Less stuff is FREEDOM! What is the worst thing that would happen?? If you wanted it again you could get it on your kindle or borrow it from the library.
  4. File it: Here is the last option. If the book doesn’t fit in the top three categories then you must LOVE it so much you want to read it again! You LOVED the information so much that you want to reference it often! It is so special that you cannot give it up! So, file it. Here is where you decide how you store it on your shelves – by category, author, title… Use the method that YOU think of first. How will YOU be able to find it the fastest?

Keep it simple. Do one shelf or one box at a time. Simplify and enjoy!!

ACTION STEP: Recycle or Delegate 10 books this week!

If you have a real professional library full of books disregard this tip. This is for regular people with a fair amount of books or less. 🙂

Tracy Hoth