Moving to a new apartment, especially when you're combining households for the first time, is a great opportunity and motivation to tidy! Emily and Scott are both fairly minimalist in every way but one: books! They had a lot, and only one bookshelf. The bookshelf was overflowing and looked as uncomfortable as if it had eaten too much for Thanksgiving! (Like that fall flavored analogy?! It's the second day of Fall!)
Go through everything as a couple
It's not totally necessary, but when partners tidy together successfully, they share a sense of accomplishment and get to see firsthand the sacrifices that they make for one another. This is one of the times that having a tidy coach like us (!) can make a big difference, because it keeps everyone on track and on their best behavior :)
To answer his question, yes, people buy books. But they don't pay a great deal for used books, so it's up to you whether you want to spend your time and energy trying to sell them. My recommendation, short of having collectibles or signed copies, is to put the books in the apartment lobby with a "Free Books" sign. Then take the remainders to a donation spot. This will save you having to lug ALL of the books.
Tips for Discarding Books
Here are a few easy discards:
Consider Each Shelf a Display Case
As their tidy coach, I reconstructed the newly decluttered bookshelf with display in mind. I separated their collections so each shelf is now grouped by category of book: Scott's books are on one shelf with his memorabilia, and since Emily had more books, I grouped them by topic. Political books, plays, and biographies are grouped accordingly. I also left breathing room on each shelf for memorabilia and photos.
Use Books as Bookends
To create variety and more easily separate topics, I used stacked books as bookends. This can also be done as a temporary measure until you have bookends you like, so there is no need to buy something as a quick fix.
Remove Dust Covers When Possible
When Emily saw her Renoir book displayed, she said:
"Oh! Did we have another Renoir book?"
Nope, I just removed the dust jacket!
"That book has been under there the whole time?!"
Often books have a beautiful hardcover. See what you think! The only book I have ever regretted removing the dustcover was a white, cloth art book. That book DOES collect dust. But most books are fine without the cover and are much more attractive.
This kind of stand-up display is a good solution for lightweight books that are wider than the bookshelf.
In the end, there was plenty of room for the books AND memorabilia AND space to grow their collection. A win all around!
Tell us about your books!
Are books your particular bugaboo? Do they feel like old friends or finger-wagging teachers? Which are the ones that are most difficult to part with?
Comment below on our open comment section, or talk to us on our Facebook page, or on Instagram (tag @TidyFairyLA)!