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IDLE 5 – Books

Organize 365 Podcast
Organize 365 Podcast
IDLE 5 - Books

This week on the IDLE podcast, I’m talking about books.

So, let’s walk through the IDLE process and investigate how to create your mindset for how you deal with the different types of books in your home.


Step 1: Identify

First, we need to identify what item of clutter you want to change your mindset for. This week, we are talking about books.

Step 2: Decide

Books have a lot of emotion attached to them. On this week’s podcast, I go into detail about the five different kinds of books that we have and why we hold on to them.

  1. Memory books remind us of our childhoods and how much we enjoyed a book when we read it.
  2. Reference books are used for various stages in life as well as general knowledge.
  3. Active books are books that we have just finished reading, are in process of reading, or will be reading next.
  4. Done books are books that we have finished with completely but have not yet purged from our bookshelves.
  5. E-books, PDFs, podcasts, and audio CD books are new forms of devouring book content while on the go.

While you are evaluating your book needs and uses, be ever mindful of the change in how we acquire information today. More and more resources are available electronically, and fewer and fewer are being produced on paper.

One of the habits I’ve been practicing in the last few decades is to have my children evaluate each of the books in their collection twice a year. By going book by book and deciding, while looking at each individual book, whether or not you want to keep that book, is a very powerful process. It is easy to look at a bookshelf full of books and say, “Yep, I want to keep everyone.” But when you hold each one in your hand, it helps you to look at that particular book and decide if it is still useful and necessary in your personal library.

Step 3: Locate or Let Go

As I have pared down my personal home library over the years, I have been able to locate my books on fewer bookshelves. So, as you are evaluating your own book needs, see if you can consolidate where you locate those books.

It is also helpful to locate reference books together, active books possibly in a different location, and memory books sometimes in a box in a storage room.

If you’ve decided that you are going to let go of some of your books, you can sell them at garage sales, try to sell them at Half-Price Books, or donate them.

Step 4: Evaluate

The last step in the IDLE process is probably the most important. Regularly, you will need to reevaluate and make sure that your mindset has not changed on your clutter to maintain an organized home.

How we receive information is changing every day and printed paper books are becoming less and less the norm.

So, what did you decide? Are you going to keep your books? If so, how many will you store and where will they be located?

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