Monday, January 17, 2011

Daily Declutter #5 - Bookshelf

For this Daily Declutter Challenge I happened to choose my 4 yr old's bookshelf, because it was in a BIG mess.

We are a family of bookworms - we've read to our children since they were newborns and it's definitely a big value to us.  I read pretty much every night before going to sleep, even if I don't get to bed till quite late.  So decluttering books is not easy for me, because I LOVE BOOKS!

However, I took a good, hard look at this bookshelf, and it was not inspiring my four year old to go get a book to look at by herself.  And her bedtime stories always ended up being the same ones practically every night.
There's books all over the floor because that's where they'd end up after they were taken off.  The shelf was so crowded and messy it was hard gor little hands to put them away properly.  Guess who would get to put them all back?

I decided to think about decluttering books this way - they had to fit two categories:
1.  My four year old wanted me to read them to her.
2.  I wanted to read them to her.

You see, there were LOTS of books on those shelves.  Shelves that my adorable preschooler was drawn to.  But heaven help me, after three children, if I have to read Franklin Goes to School ONE MORE TIME I think I'm going to snap.  And Clifford.....he's a big, red, dog....but we had 15 books about CLIFFORD!  I don't think he nor Emily Elizabeth have that much to offer either me or my daughter.  And by the way.  I really can't stand Winnie the Pooh.  Say goodbye all you narcissitic, stuffed characters.

Also gone...all those little First Reader/Early Reader books...I figure by the time Ellie is reading on her own, there will be a ton of those in her classroom and of course there's always the library.  She NEVER picks those for Mike or I to read at bedtime.  You know why?  Because they're lame.

My other caveat was bible stories and little books of prayers and devotions.  I had a lovely lady from our church give me an entire bag of old school children's bibles, bible stories, and devotional books, and it seemed like a good idea to keep them.  But have you seen some of the pictures in those books? 

Can you picture any child feeling inspired to give it a read?  We read the bible to our daughter every night, and we've never had a problem finding great, age appropriate, beautifully illustrated ones to read.  So out went all the old bible stuff and I haven't been struck with any guilt or lightening, yet.

Here's the after photo:
With so much open shelf space, my four year old wanted to build "rooms" for her favourite stuffies to live in.  It's like apartments for stuffies!

I kept so many wonderful books, ones that everyone looks forward to enjoying together.  And isn't that what reading should be all about? Here's just a sampling.

So once again, my tip for decluttering your child's bookshelf...only keep the ones that you BOTH love!


  1. Yeah - this is a project I need to tackle too! Goodbye baby board books! I laughed at Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cuz I make Jackson read it to Liam even - a full family affair trying to get Liam to recognize the alphabet letters :)

  2. I just kept one favourite board book each for the girl's to keep in their baby memory box.

    Yep - Chicka Chicka - so much fun for everyone!

  3. The book shelf looks great and the keep books are wonderful. I love it that she wanted to decorate her bookcase with treasures to her.

  4. We do this regularly too. So important! And I laughed out loud at the early reader books - they ARE lame!