My KonMari Journey | Things Get Tough When Decluttering Books

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m excited to share with you the next step in my KonMari tidying journey. If you missed the first two installments in this blog series, make sure to read them HERE and HERE to learn more about why I’m decluttering my life using the KonMari method. I’m following Marie Kondo’s advice very carefully, and she recommends tackling your books after tidying your clothing and clothing komono. I have to admit I was nervous to begin decluttering my books, and wasn’t sure how this process would go for someone like me who is a huge reader. Spoiler alert: decluttering my books was very tough for me to do!

I began the tidying process by putting all of my books in one huge pile on my bed. To be fair, this pile only included the books currently on my bookshelves. I also have some books in storage from my childhood that I decluttered earlier this year, and that were not a part of my KonMari tidying campaign. Nonetheless, my pile was quite large and didn’t even fit in the photograph you see here. I’ve been a reader my entire life, and books are very important to me. They are treasured items, but I was also ready to declutter my collection. After using the KonMari method to declutter my clothing and accessories, I thought I had a good idea of what sparked joy. Well, I struggled big time with my books!

Marie Kondo recommends only keeping books that truly spark joy and that you know you will read again. I definitely agree with this, and when I read a book I only keep it if I plan on rereading it. However, she also says to get rid of any and all books you have not read. While I think this is a good idea for people who are not readers, it simply does not work for me. I am reading constantly, and I love having a section of unread books on my shelves from which to choose. Thus, I knew I would be keeping unread books, but it was challenging to decide which of those sparked joy since I haven’t yet read them.

In fact, tidying my books was emotionally draining, and I often lost sight of what that joy felt like. To help me find the joy again, I would hold a favorite book, or even go to my closet and look at the clothing I kept that sparks joy. I ended up taking a lot of breaks during this process, and felt quite overwhelmed at points. I was upset with myself that I wasn’t getting rid of a lot of books!

In the end, I reminded myself that the KonMari method is about quality and not quantity. In Spark Joy Marie often stresses that if your items are truly sparking joy, it is okay to keep them all. She also mentions in the chapter on books that you can always revisit your book collection in the future and declutter more. The photo above contains all of the books I ended up decluttering. The top row includes the books I hope to sell on eBay, and the bottom row includes the books I will be selling on Decluttr and Amazon, as well as the books I’m donating. This may be a small portion compared to the books I’m keeping, but I made progress and am happy with the work I put into this tidying project.

All in all, decluttering my books using the KonMari method was difficult, but I’m glad I powered through and allowed myself to get rid of some books in my collection that no longer sparked joy. This process took me a total of three hours and thirteen minutes, but it felt like much longer since I took breaks throughout the day. If you are not a big reader, you will most likely fly through the book portion of your tidying campaign. If you are more like me and treasure your book collection, make sure to take your time and try not to get frustrated. Struggling with my books just helped me to realize how emotionally attached I am to some material possessions, and I knew the rest of my tidying campaign would be easier after this.

Do you have a large book collection you love? Let me know in the comments!