This is part of a series. You might want to read the previous posts first.
Blitz-cleaning books and magazines can feel extremely daunting, but it really isn't scary if you approach it systematically. You won't even have to make a system, as we are going to get it all done together. You are not alone, and you'll be thrilled with the results. Then you can sit back with that book you were meaning to read, and reap the rewards of your efforts.
Remember, blitz-cleaning is just another way of get success in your home and organization. You could, instead, choose to achieve the same wonderful results, by using our HappyDo method. Whatever way appeals to you most, give it a go!
You'll need some boxes and a couple of sturdy bags, plus cleaning spray and cleaning cloths/soapy cleaning cloths.
Ready... Set... GO!
1. To begin with, we'll not be dealing with children's books, They are generally an easier task than the grown-up ones, and can be completed later (using the same general method.) Take ALL the other books and magazines from all over the house, and place into a 'Magazine Pile' and a 'Book Pile'. Don't panic! It probably looks overwhelmingly right now.
2. Quickly go through each pile. Do not stop to read a book! Take every single book/magazine, one pile at a time, and remove the books you really don't like. It doesn't matter if you feel guilty about the cost of the book you dislike, let that go. Put those disliked books into a box and label it. You can either label it 'Give Away', or 'Throw Away'. Immediately you have a full box, take this out to your car or some outside area.
3. Do the same with your magazines. Be quick, and place into a 'Give Away' or 'Throw away' box. Take this right now to the car or the outside area. If there are borrowed items that need returning, place them in the car ready to take back to the grateful owner.
4. Try not to cling to books that you feel that you 'ought' to keep. Very often we see certain books each day in our home that just don't make us feel happy. Your goal should be to only own books on the shelf that give you a sense of peace and harmony. Be kind to yourself, and remove the ones that don't. If you do, you will also be giving an example to your own family.
5. I have found that is also a good idea to not store books in storage areas unless you really, really are rotating them in an organized way. Otherwise, you are not only clogging up your space. In the back of your mind, you will know that a lot of things are stored, and this can have a disturbing effect on your mind!
6. This could be the perfect time to make a nice hot drink, and pat yourself on the back for what you have achieved so far! Have ten minutes of relaxation and rejuvenation.
7. Now wash or clean your books cases and shelves. It isn't necessary to scrub everything and take all day. You should have eliminated all unnecessary books, and be able to place them back in a less crammed position. You may wish to have some kind of order to them, such as subject or size. I don't suggest using an A-Z system unless you have the time and inclination to keep it up.
8. You might now have a pile or two of magazines. These are much more tricky to deal with as they don't look very nice on bookshelves. Perhaps you could keep them in beside the bed in a neat pile. Browse them at night, and then place the ones you have read separately. Get rid of those each day. When we buy magazines, we feel we should keep them don't we? But really I think they are for browsing and then passing on in a timely manner.
What a great job! Look at those clean, tidy, shelves and bookcases, full only of books that give you a sense of peace and happiness.
Depending on what time of the day it is, you might deal with the family bookshelves. But you have broken the back of your task, so don't overdo things if you are tired. Thank you for joining in.
Until Next time, Ritz