5/09/2014

It's hard to declutter books

From my reading, it seems that getting rid of books is a challenge for many people. It's medium-hard for me, not so much because I'm getting rid of a book per se, but because I can always see the possibilities in any book as an art or craft project.

  • Vintage books with yellowed pages are great for making those paper wreaths you see all over Pinterest. 

  • Hardcover books are fun to alter, and make great art journals. 

  • You can tear out pages and draw, paint, or print on them.

  • You can make paper flowers with book pages. I haven't mastered this one yet, even though I've been trying.

  • If you're trying to be "green", you can tear out the pages, roll them up, and use them for starting a fire in your woodstove.

  • You can tear up the pages, soak it in water, and make paper mash out of it. If you don't want to go through all that, you can tear the pages into strips and use it for paper mache projects.

You can see the problem, right?

My husband and I have been stepping up the pace a little recently when it comes to getting rid of books. I don't want to buy another bookcase just to store books we probably won't read again, so I'm trying to whittle down what we have so they'll fit on our two small bookcases, and the shelf on our headboard.

One round of book decluttering took care of the books that had print that still seemed tiny even when  reading glasses were worn.

Another round took care of books that were read once or twice, and that I had planned to sell, but changed my mind because of the hassle. I'd rather get the books OUT of the house than have them sit here taking up space, waiting for me to list them somewhere. I'm just not into that now, so I either take books over to the library for them to sell to support library projects, or we take them to our town's freebie building at the recycling center.

I was reading Undercover Minimalist last night, and she said that she doesn't read as many print books now because she tends to read more blogs than books. That's true for me too. I do most of my reading online these days.

Sometimes I pull out a stack of books I think I'd like to get rid of, but am not sure about. In that case, I have to ask myself...

  • Do I think I'll read this again? (Probably not.)
  • Is information online more current than what I'd find in this book? (Probably.)
  • Is it realistic to think that I'm going to bother listing this book for sale somewhere and wait for it to sell, only to get pennies on the dollar that I paid for it? (Nope. Too much hassle for too little return.)
  • Do I need to start any more art journals? (No.)
  • Am I REALLY going to take the time to do a paper mache project? (No, no, and no. I don't want the mess of making paper mache items, and I don't want them spread out all over the place to dry.)


 For some more tips on decluttering books...

How to declutter your bookshelves  I like how she says she and her husband leave their culled books in a box on the way out for a couple of days so that they have time to realize it's not so painful to let them go after all. I do this too sometimes.

Painfree ways to declutter your library I loved the photos of people's bookshelves and libraries that were posted with this article. The funny thing is, once you declutter and downsize your collection, you wouldn't need anywhere near the space that some of these homes have for books.


How about you? Do you find it hard to part with books?











5/08/2014

Decluttering and organizing large kitchen cupboard

Even if you normally stay pretty decluttered and organized, which I usually do, there's always something that needs attention. It's a fact that things don't stay just the way you have them, especially if other people live in the house.

You get busy, and people just fling things here and there, or leave them in whatever spot's handy to drop them in, not necessarily where they're supposed to go.

Yesterday my long kitchen cupboard got straightened out. It wasn't really *bad*--it just wasn't as neat as I like it, and I really didn't need the onion growing in there, ha ha.

Here's a before:


I took everything out of the cupboard, wiped the shelves, got rid of several things, then replaced everything else neatly.





Some of the stuff from the cupboard, ready for sorting

After

Nice and neat again

And even some extra room



5/06/2014

Shovels, rakes, and a puppet

We did a lot of raking, and some decluttering this weekend, even though the weather was a bit rainy and not the greatest.

As I was organizing our lawn and garden tools, I was able to thin out a shovel with a too-broken-to-use handle, two broken rakes (not sure why they were still around here anyway), a broken laundry basket--and a souvenir puppet that somebody had given to my husband years ago when they returned from a trip to Mexico, or somewhere near there.

That puppet has hung in a closet here for the last sixteen years, and this weekend my husband finally decided to let it go.
Souvenir puppet

4/22/2014

Decluttering magazines and jeans

Family members often give me magazines to use in art journaling, for making paper beads or paper bowls, etc. I was starting to get overrun with magazines again, so this weekend I went through a huge stack of them, and am going to bring them to the recycling center this week for somebody else to read.

So far I have 46 home decorating and women's magazines going, along with 24 old issues of Prevention and Walking.

Bookcase declutter

I was painting and had to move a bookcase. While I was at it, I took a look through a couple of shelves to see what books we might be willing to let go this time.

I put twenty-one books into a bag to take to the recycling center with us this weekend.

Not bad for ten minutes' worth of decluttering.

Included in this group were a few books that were practically brand new, that had been read once, that I had planned to sell, but I doubt I'd get more than a couple of dollars for them anyway, so I'll just pass them along and enjoy the newly-free space that's in the bookcase now.


4/01/2014

Decluttering gift wrap, ribbon, and bows

Here it is, April 1st, and Spring isn't here yet, but hopefully it's getting closer. We still have huge piles of snow in the yard, and ice everywhere, but at least temperatures are starting to climb into the 30s again, and might even hit 50 tomorrow.

I'm working on some of the projects on my to-do list, and doing some decluttering too.

Today I was vacuuming the floor of our coat closet, and the big bag where I keep all my gift wrap, cellophane, ribbons, and bows caught my eye.

For several years now, we've given cash or gift cards (instead of a present that needed to be wrapped) on special occasions. We've cut out a lot of the Christmas gift giving we used to do among our extended family too, so there's really no need to keep all the wrapping supplies that we have.

I kept a couple of partial rolls of wrapping paper, some ribbon, and a couple of bows on the off chance that I might need to wrap something.

If I don't use it within the next year, I'll probably get rid of the rest of it.





3/10/2014

This weather has me in the mood to do some Spring cleaning and decluttering

Spring isn't here yet in Vermont, but it's getting closer. We've had two or three days in a row this week where the temperature hit 25 degrees or above, so that's an improvement. Today we have lots of sun and 27 degrees, which is enough to give me the urge to do Spring cleaning and decluttering.

I've had some of my houseplants sitting on an old sewing machine cabinet in front of the window in the living room for a few years now. I was always planning to paint the cabinet white, but haven't gotten around to it. I was doing some rearranging in my art area, and it occurred to me that the small table I have in there would make an excellent table for my houseplants. It would also free up some space in my art area, so I put that table in the living room, moved the plants, and will get rid of the sewing machine cabinet.

I love it when I can get rid of something that big. It really opens up the room.

How are you doing? Has the Spring cleaning and decluttering urge hit you yet?




1/31/2014

Recycling plastic containers because our pug is too picky

We have a sweet little senior pug that decided she no longer wanted to eat her regular dog food, so I started making homemade dog food for her.

Since I had been making a large batch of food at once, I gathered up several plastic containers to use as freezer storage containers, but she decided she didn't want to eat THAT food either, so now I can recycle all these plastic containers.

She is a pampered pug; she gets fresh food for each meal now. She's really enjoying it (and who wouldn't?).



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