My KonMari Journey: Books

Welcome to 'My KonMari Journey' series. Over the next few months I will be sharing my progress, as I make my way through the KonMari Method, based on the best-seller book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Japanese organising enthusiast, Marie Kondo.

If you are new to my blog, Welcome! In case you missed it, be sure to read my Introduction and Getting Started post, so you know what the KonMari Method is all about and the reasons why I am doing it. Earlier this week, I completed the first category - Clothes - you can read about it and see my before & after photos HERE.

In a nutshell, Marie Kondo has four rules she recommends people follow when doing the KonMari Method:
1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible.
2. Sort by category, not by location
3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy?'
4. Order of tidying: Clothes, Books, Documents (Paper), Miscellaneous items (Komono), and Momentos (Sentimental)

As suggested in the book, I will start doing the KonMari Method with my own 'stuff' first, then I will work though the kids items, because I am too sentimental and would find it hard to part with their things right off the bat. I also need to get my head around this new process of de-cluttering, tidying and organising, so hopefully when it comes to purging my kids stuff, it will be a lot easier (well, let's hope so).

I must note: I have decided I won't be going through photograph collections, because I consider all my photos Sentimental, so I will deal with these later on. 

I wasn't really looking forward to this category, not because I have hundreds of books (I don't) - but more to the fact I didn't know where they all were! I don't have a bookshelf in our home yet dedicated to my books (or my partners), we only have the kids books visible in the playroom (I will be doing the kids items at the end of my journey). I'm not much of a 'book' worm, however I do love reading magazines, so it's going to be hard parting ways with those items.

So let's get started....

1. "Tidy in ONE SHOT, as quickly and completely as possible"
Collect ALL your books - take all the books off the shelf and put them on the floor. Before I started, I had the mammoth task of going through my containers in the office and pulling out all the books I could find! 

What a mission!

There were books scattered everywhere in amongst these containers. I think there were two or three books in each (and I have a lot of containers in my office) eek. On the flip side,  I was excited to have all my books together in one place and ready to decide which ones I was going to keep and which ones I was going to let go. 
Like the clothes, you may feel overwhelmed, be amazed, shocked even at the magnitude of the 'mountain' you create but it's okay - You can do this!

My personal pile was surprisingly small, however  I did have a massive stack of magazines which made this task a bit more worthwhile. My kids have a lot of books, books I have kept since my daughter was little (she's 10 now). The children books you can see in the photo below are mostly my 'teacher' books I had in my classroom, I will add these to my kids book collection.

2. Sort by category, not by location
If you own A LOT of books, and there are too many to arrange on the floor, then group them into four sub-categories (as suggested by Marie Kondo):
  • General (books you read for pleasure)
  • Practical (references, cookbooks, etc)
  • Visual (photograph collections, etc)  
  • Magazines. 

Yes, that is a 'Is He Mr Right? book! I laughed out loud when I found it! Just to confirm - Yes, my partner is my Mr Right, so now I am ready to pass it on to someone else.

3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy'?
It is important at this stage of the method, you do not read any of the books, because Ms Kondo believes "reading clouds your judgement".

Once you have piled your books, the next thing you need to do is touch every single book and ask yourself - Does this 'spark joy?' or Do I NEED this book?  When you touch the books and ask these questions, you will be left with the books that spark joy and books you NEED, as opposed to keeping those you 'might read' or 'want to read again' - that day will probably never come. How amazing would it be to see your bookshelf filled with books you truly love!

Ask the questions and be honest with yourself.

I got rid of most of the magazines - only keeping my OHbaby magazines (parenting), because they bring me joy and I read them often. I have also put my specialised teaching books together, so they are handy for this year. I am also keeping my collection of Roald Dahl books. Oh and I am definitely keeping "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".

These are the cookbooks I kept, they are stored in the cupboard above the oven. We don't have many because I find most recipes on the Internet. 

And that completes the second category of the KonMari Method - BOOKS.

How good does it feel (and look) to see the books you love on your bookshelf now?  I smile every time I see mine.

Are you a bookworm? Do you own a lot of books? Magazines? Did you struggle with this category?

Next: 'My KonMari Journey' - PAPER
(I am dreading this category and it might take me a while to get through it all, so watch this space!)

I am super excited about this journey and I would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we can tidy our homes and change our lives, once and for all. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.

See my previous KonMari posts:
Introduction & Getting Started

Linking up with
#HIT - Nicole & Bec

If you would like to give the KonMari Method a go, and you don't have the book - Here is a checklist of the second category - Books. Click the image below and Save/Print. You can also view my previous checklists for Categories and Clothes HERE.

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  1. Oh go you! I'm in awe! I really wanted this book for Christmas but Santa didn't get the memo in time so I'm going to follow along on your journey for now. I'm quite good at "tidying up" the bookshelves but there are some professional reference books I have to keep should duty call. The problem is I'm a cookbookaholic, I have so many and they all bring me joy, even though I hardly look at them. What would Ms Kondo say to that, I wonder?!

    1. Well she says if it 'sparks joy', keep it! So I think you are safe! Thank for following along Sammie.

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    3. maybe rip the page out Sam? But it's a shame to ruin a book isn't it! I'm the same - I have waaaaaay too many. Must go through mine and declutter ;)

  2. When I did this last year I gave away nearly 100 books. I didn't think about which ones 'sparked joy', I just got rid of all of them. I finally realised, after a decade of hoarding some of them, that even the most enjoyed ones were probably never going to be read again. I just haven't got the patience to re-read anything. I kept about 6 cookbooks which I use regularly and everything else was donated. It felt really good to be free of them actually! Your shelves look wonderfully well-organised, it must be very satisfying to see everything curated and nicely displayed.

    1. Wow! 100 Books! That's amazing and I can only imagine all that space it left in your home! How fantastic! Thanks for stopping by Robyn

  3. I recently read about this challenge too. I love the idea. So far I've managed to make it through my childrens' book collections, and that's it, but it felt incredible to donate 5 bags of books to others. I look forward to reading more of this series!! So helpful!

    1. Great start April! Would love for you to join me! Print the checklists and let me know how you get on!

  4. i declutter our books at least once a year. Ours are already in set locations. Everyone in our family has at least one bookcase we are book people. My husband is the hard one to get to do this. He holds on to a lot of stuff I would get rid of ...

    1. Good work Deb! "We are book people" - I love it!

  5. Oh good for you! My Mum was telling me about this just yesterday. I'm the Queen of Throwing Things Out though, so I almost need a course on how to keep stuff:) #TeamIBOT

    1. Thanks Bec! I wish throwing things out were easier, I am getting better at it though.

  6. I love the idea - does it spark joy?! I have have just about emptied half my cupboards asking that very question - must do that! Thanks Charlene xx

    1. yes! Go you Jo! You can do it. Thanks for stopping by Jo.

  7. Every time I read your posts, I desperately want this book. I need to go through our books again. I hoard them and find I can't part with them.

  8. I recently had a great time organising our books in our library. I am really enjoying these posts!

  9. I love the KonMari method. I had a huge book giveaway a while ago when I moved in with now-husband. I love books and did keep some but it was very freeing. Now I totally love my Kindle - I read really fast so being able to take 100 books with me on holiday without having to worry about the weight is awesome. I also had a cookbook clear out last year - I still have plenty but was quite ruthless about ones I hadn't used for a while. (Alix from the Builderette cos I can't work out how to log in to comment #luddite)

  10. I can't imagine getting all the books in our house in to one place! We have so many! I do need to have a cull of them, though. I hope you said 'thank-you' to 'Is he Mr Right?' before you passed it on!!! Well done you for keeping this up. And thanks for including us in your journey!

  11. I too find I search more and more for recipes in the internet and rarely use cookbooks these days. Your book shelves look lovely now.

    I'm afraid we do have books, thousands, blush and the books took me two weeks, everyday to do, whew.

    You're on a roll :-)


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