KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #14 – Books Part 2
Well, I must say, if books are taking me this long, I can’t wait to get to paperwork! I thought I could recap with just two blog posts, but alas, I was wrong.
I’m continuing with my KonMari journey per Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, working my way through all the books. Determining which to keep and which to donate is not the problem; figuring out how and where to display what I have left is.
I like to keep my books together by subject or category. Meandering my way through my bookshelves, I discovered some categories have just two or three books. Others easily transcend two to three shelves!
As I said in my previous books post, I want to focus on the display as well as the collection, so I had to think outside my box when it came to properly addressing these smaller categories. In addition to display, I want to make sure I can see each title. I’d previously had so many books piled onto shelves I couldn’t find what I needed or purchased the same one a second time because I didn’t realize I already owned it. My goal is books I love displayed in a way that reflects my personality and is a joy to view, along with ease of finding them when I need to.
Several years ago, I spoke with a professional organizer who said to move things out of the way so that you can set things up how you want. Then, deal with the excess. I took that to heart with a console table next to my desk. I’d had several display items on it, none of which I intended to keep. I also wanted to have room for family photos. I’d previously put some on bookshelves behind me where I couldn’t see them while I worked. What fun is that?
So, in one fell swoop, I cleared the table, set up some photos and placed my MSU Sparty figure atop three Michigan State books – a category that seemed wasted on the bookshelf. I can now appreciate everything on the table, enjoy Sparty who is energized and focused, and easily glance through the beautiful campus photos whenever I’m in the mood to reminisce. Yay!
I’m also blessed to have a sister with a good eye for design and who understands my quirkiness. Occasionally, I’ve needed her help and she’s offered great advice! I tend to like things less crowded so at times I’m not good at displaying multiple items on a shelf, but she can see right through that and meet me in the middle.
She’s also the one who says, if you love something, buy it. You’ll find a place for it. Maybe not right away…A few years ago, I purchased two glass mosaic heart-shaped vases by Debi Lilly, the smaller one in purple and the larger in red. I didn’t know where I would use them, but I loved them. They’ve sat on one of my nightstands ever since. However, while I was working on my bookshelves, I needed something interesting to fill a void. I grabbed the purple one and filled it with a strand of fairy lights. OMG! It looks so cool on my shelf when it’s lit! However, my sister suggested moving it up a shelf, and bringing my gold IKEA crown up to replace it. I balked at first, thinking it was too crowded, but she was completely right. The crown deserved to be seen and the purple vase fits perfectly on the higher shelf. Now I need a place for the red one.
I had originally put the crown on the shelf it’s on now, but I moved it to the bottom one because all my Princess Diana and other Royal books were there. I used it to separate the Princess Diana books from the others, which I’m sure she would appreciate and seemed appropriate for the category. But the crown really was too pretty to be hidden and I’m glad I changed its location. I ordered simple lighted mercury glass spheres by Valerie Parr Hill and I think the largest one will work perfectly there.
In the photo above, you see two of my completed shelves. The top one is all of my Richard Branson books. I’m a big fan. So much so I had no idea how many books I had! I also owned the shaking hands piece, and I felt that the two of them belonged together, since Branson has built his fortunes on partnership.
Here are some tips for displaying your books:
- Treasure hunt. Bring together items in your house or perhaps in storage that reflect the mood you want for your bookshelf. You can have more than just books on the shelves!
- Leave some breathing room. It’s important to not over stuff the shelves. You want to be able to enjoy and use them, not just have them serve a utilitarian purpose.
- Grid it. I spoke about this in my last blog post. Identify what goes where, including accessories. Put it on the grid but see how it looks and feels once you have it in place. I moved a few shelves to different locations. On paper they made sense, but I didn’t like the way they looked or felt.
- Light it up! If your shelves don’t have built-in lighting, purchase some! It makes such a difference, particularly if they’re on timers. I used a variety of things from microlights to flameless candles. Put them in and around things. I’m normally a very balanced person when it comes to display, but I loved mixing it up, putting light in different locations.
- Stack them and line them up. Books don’t have to only lie down or stand. Mix it up! Just be sure you can see all the titles and they are organized in a manner that makes it easy for you to find them. If you really want a cohesive look, wrap them all in kraft paper and use a label maker to put titles on the spines. I don’t have the patience for this, but it does look very pretty!
- Categorize. Decide how best for your to locate your books when the time comes. Do you prefer category, topic, author, title or some other way? Mine is done by category, then display. As long as the book is on the right category shelf, I’ll find it. I’ve really limited my books (for me, anyway!) so it’s easy-peasy!
I haven’t completed the book step in the KonMari method yet, but I’ve noticed that I’m really happy when I walk into my office and see how organized my bookshelf is becoming, particularly at night when all the lights come on. I have six more shelves plus the top of the bookcase to organize, plus books in other areas of the house. I’m taking my time. I have lots of other projects I’m working on!
There will be at least one more blog post regarding books, but I’ll also be posting some images on Instagram, so be sure to check it out!
How do you organize your books? Have you started a new routine when it comes to buying/reading/storing books? Leave your comments below.
Next up, Books Part 3. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.
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