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De-cluttering books...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

This is the hardest thing for me to clean out!!


I think I need serious help.


My 3 year old daughter and 6 year old son share a room. They have one bookcase with 3 shelves. The original way it was organized was baby books/board books on the bottom. Easy reader books in the middle (that my son can read himself) and then other books/chapter books on the top for me to read during bedtime. The "game" books (i spy, wheres waldo, etc) go in another room. Seemed to be a pretty good system.


Yet they are still taking over! And our 9 year old neighbor just cleared out his book case and gave us (not even joking!) about 100 books. Really awesome books that we love and want to read. Some we're not ready for yet. So they were packed away. But some the kids want to read now!


These are my arguments within myself about cleaning them out:


The first shelf. The baby books. She is 3 and probably getting too old for them. I should pack them away or give them away. BUUUUT she knows them by heart. And likes to read them to her own dolls. And sometimes she does still want me to read them.


The second shelf. The books he can read to himself. Some are still a bit too hard so I should pack them away until hes ready... but then he tries to read them and isn't it good for him to challenge himself? Some are now too easy for him so I should pack them away for when my daughter is older... but maybe I should leave them out because doesn't that ease in reading a book build confidence in him?


The top shelf. The other books. We just have way too many. But they like them all. How can I weed through them?



Ugh kids books are so hard. My books are easy! Read them and trade them.



post #2 of 13

I have a similar problem for myself as well as DD. I feel like I'm throwing away thoughts when I get rid of books. LOL I say get some sturdy storage bins and put all the books on rotation. You could resurface old favorites and create new ones, and effeciently store the old ones so they don't take up too much space or get eaten up by critters. I totally get your logic and I don't think you should throw any of them out. I am so happy I still have my childhood favorites to share with my daughter. HTH. :)

post #3 of 13

Wow, you sound more organized than me!!!  I have I'm pretty sure 500 kids books at my house.  I have a rotation system that sometimes works.  We have the books that are out in the girls room.  Every couple of weeks (months), My ODD gathers up the books she wants to trade out and we do.  At that point, I go through and figure otu which books are trash, not read or too high.  It works for us.  I do the same thing with the toys.

post #4 of 13

I have a very similar problem.  Books take over our house. I, my dh and our 9 year old are all really big readers.  So our 5 and 3 year old also have lots of books.  I do try about once a year or so to go through all of our books and decide on a few that are our least favorites and get rid of them.  With my son's books I have them be involved.  We do something like pick 2 that you can not part with, now pick one that you can give to some other kid who needs books, now two more that you can not part with.  Repeat till you have a good size pile of keep books.  Then if there is still a good size pile of unclaimed books they get packed away for a month or so.  Then my sons have a chance to trade out any books in their stash for any of the boxed up books, if they don't pick to trade out any books after a few months I usally try to presuade them to just give up some of the boxed up books.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but we usally end up with anywhere from 10-30 books that we can donate to friends or goodwill type stores.      My 9 year old has learned the wonders of used book stores and that he can sell books to buy more books so that keeps his stash down a bit. As far as books that are too easy or two hard for your 6 year old I would let him pick a handful of each group and pack up the rest for later either for him or your daughter.   I hope some of this can be helpful to you.

post #5 of 13

Check with your library and see which of your books they have and then get rid of those.  Anytime you want to read that book, head over to the library and get it!

post #6 of 13
I have the same issue with kids' books -- in fact, I keep acquiring more on a near-weekly basis! It doesn't help that the ONLY thing DS truly truly enjoys is reading!!! And we don't bring home library books for kids' books (partly because I'm concerned he might destroy them, and partly because he likes reading the same ones over & over... though we do visit the library often & read books there for hours on end...)

Anyway, at this point I've just accepted that books are an important thing to have for DS. We've gotten rid of most of his toys to make more room on the shelves for books. We do in fact read almost all of them throughout the average week, so I don't think they are just clutter by any means!! I also sort through them periodically and get rid of ones that are destroyed/boring/stupid/etc. which is usually just a small stack but it's 'better' nonetheless. I put some of the books I'm on the fence about up in DS's playroom so they aren't out where we spend most of our time & do most of our reading -- so the books that our in our living/play/sleep space are almost all books that we LOVE to read. Bedtime books are in the bedroom and other books are in the living/play area (though they shift & flow a bit!!)

I think it sounds like you have a very organized system... It couldn't hurt to go through and just pull out some to donate but if they are all getting read, I don't see the point in getting rid of them...
post #7 of 13

Privacy Reminder: This thread is FEATURED ON FACEBOOK.

post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post

Privacy Reminder: This thread is FEATURED ON FACEBOOK.

What does that mean, where is it featured? Do you mean in a public group? headscratch.gif


post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

What does that mean, where is it featured? Do you mean in a public group? headscratch.gif



OK never mind...I just went to Facebook and worked out what you meant!


post #10 of 13

This one got a lot easier for me when we started going to the library REGULARLY every week without fail, and borrowing a lot of books. It became clearer for me which books are "love for two months and then done" books, and which few are worth having around for the ages.


I find I am very, very glad to have the board books around for my seven-year-old. He is reading fine now, but loves to go back and read his old favorites. If storage is an issue, maybe cut back some, or loan to friends; but the funniest and sweetest board books have a long appeal.


On the other hand, I wish I had not kept so many of my childhood books for thirty years--now they are yellow and yucky and the covers are falling off and the used bookstore doesn't want them, and I can't imagine my DD cherishing, for instance, a copy of Anne's House of Dreams with both covers fallen off and odd dark stains on some of the pages!


Re which books to put away for later, can you do it by theme or season or series? I think it's really nice to have a range, and also nice to have a small, well-edited selection to choose from.



post #11 of 13

My husband calls me the "Imelda Marcos of Children's Books."  We have 500+.  I keep most of them.  I donate books I dislike (Olivia Goes to Venice--no accountability for actions!!!???).  I give away other things to make room for books!  I move some to my Mom's, keep some in the car...it's just tough to do away with books! 


post #12 of 13

I don't consider books to be clutter, as long as we love them. Books that we don't love get culled. That being said, we do have two shelves that hold children's books that aren't books I would pick for us to keep in our home library - books that are given to us or whatnot that the kids want to have access to for a while before the books move on. Well, it was like that until my one year old pulled a bunch of books down and the kids reshelved all of the books on any shelf. Now that they are all mixed up, I'm really feeling the need to go through and declutter.

post #13 of 13

nevermind, since this is on Facebook. 



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