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Decluttering

Bookshelf Before and After

I finally got the bookshelf sorted somewhat. I decided to try something new this time. My goal is to cultivate a sense of tranquility in this home so after a bit of thought I decided to remove all of the dust jackets from my hardcover books and arrange the entire collection by color. That runs counter to the methods I’ve used in the past but I actually like the end result. If anything, I will have a valid excuse (“I just liked the color”) if someone happens to comment upon a socially questionable title in my collection.

To demonstrate the change in my collection I dug up a photograph of my shelf from May of 2019. I’d just rearranged the collection. It was two layers deep on every shelf and went from floor to ceiling. It grew exponentially after I took that photo but this will at least give you an idea of the problem I faced.

Taken May 2019

This is what my bookshelf looks like after I culled and sorted the books. The bags on the top contain some of the excess from my wardrobe. The plastic bins contain excess from my office supply collection. Attrition will eliminate these items in time but for now I needed a place to store them.

The top shelf of books looks a bit more chaotic than I would like but I could not figure out how to reduce that. It primarily contains my art and computer book collection. I wonder if it is safe to eliminate the computer books at least; I tend to do an online search when I need the information those books contain instead of using the books these days since it’s faster. Do you think it would be safe to eliminate them if I managed to acquire PDF copies of the books?

Even now I find myself looking at the titles I kept and wondering if I can pare them down even more. I don’t feel secure enough to do that yet so I will have to revist the subject on another day.

The results of this project make me wonder if I could pare down my possessions to the point where I could dismantle one of my shelves and place it in the attic? It would be nice to free up more space and reduce the clutter. What do you think?

2 replies on “Bookshelf Before and After”

Great job on the bookcase. I don’t know how much more you need to pare down but it looking at it causes more anxiety than joy, then pare on.

Wow, that is impressive! The “after” does look way more restful.

Please don’t force yourself to purge more yet. If you work on decluttering other areas and later circle back to the books, you will be looking at them with a fresh eye then, and I bet it will be easier to make decisions. At least that works for me.

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