Saturday, February 6, 2016

KonMari - Books

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Friday was a snow day! At 4:30am there was no snow on the ground. Then, at a day that refused to drop below exactly 32 degrees until the afternoon, big, soggy flakes of snow came down. It was heavy and it was a mess. We didn't leave our land. What better time than to move on to the next purge? 

Side note: Those bushes are 6-7 feet tall. By the end of the storm, they were maybe 3 feet off the ground, despite my clearing them twice. After the snow stopped the temperature dropped and everything froze. This is the only time I've been able to see the swing set from our dining room. Please survive, bushes. 

I regret not having taken before pictures, so here is the best I could do.

Don't judge. Nacho dinner and BSB live in 2016. It was like being 14 again.

We read. We read all the time, in every room. To start the purge, I had the girls remove the books from their room, allowing them each to keep two. I took all the books out of our room, leaving only my husband's current read. I cleared out the dining room, the basement (reading nook and shelves) and any room that didn't have built-ins or the spare room, which has my husband's two book shelves. None of those spaces are pictured above. Or below.

The clothes took me an hour to gather and two to purge. I knew before starting this would take longer. I underestimated, though. It took hours to clear off the shelves and gather all the literature. Although one of the rules is to just gather, there were some I touched and instantly wanted to get rid of, so I would just drop those in a bin while bringing the rest of the books into the room. I soon had a big problem. 

A whole day of work. Now, I did do things like parent, cook, play games with my kids, shovel 100 times, and make sure the chickens didn't freeze all day long. We don't watch tv on snow days, so the kids wanted to help. By help, I mean they wanted to play in a book jungle. Still, the above photo is what our living room looked like before bed. I was pretty certain we'd never use the couch again. My mother-in-law even took some choice books for her home, and I used the only two boxes I had to pack some books while separating the rest back onto shelves or into laundry baskets or bins. (That giant bin of maternity clothes that were donated? Filled with books in about 30 seconds.)

My big criticism here is that Kondo states you won't likely reread books, and the memories are in your head. That is mostly true for adult readers. I have a few sets of books I reread. I reshelved those. I also have a few book sets that I know my girls will read in the future if I don't read to them first, such as Harry Potter, Narnia, and Howl's series. I used the "Does it bring you joy?" criteria with modifiers, because most books bring me joy. If I knew I was going to reference it soon (or never, but that really depends on if George R.R. Martin gets his act, and sixth book, together soon) or if I had it for less than a year and hadn't read it, I kept it. 

This doesn't work with children's books at all. I'm not certain if Kondo has kids, but if she does, surely she's been asked to reread one book 9,000 times. Each peach, pear, plum, I spy Tom Thumb. 
I started the kid stuff by getting rid of worn out books, books my kids never showed interest in despite being in prime location and appropriate age and interest levels, and books that exist in our house in duplicate. Or triplicate. Tip: Don't buy book lovers and teachers books unless you know they don't have them. Let them go to Barnes and Noble and pick some new ones out. We had 3 copies of Dr. Seuss's ABCs, and 4 copies of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Where The Wild Things Are. We had 7 copies of Jamberry. Many classics had at least one repeat. I kept the hard copies or nicer copies of each. This made the pile considerably smaller so that I could reorganize and separate the remainders. I did this by genres: Fairy Tales, Fiction, and Poetry all went into the den while Holiday, History, Science, and Cookbooks all went into the main room. Our dedicated kid shelf was restocked by random fiction and board books. (That means it wasn't sorted fiction - one of our favorite authors, a series we love, anything like that.)

After surviving the kid books, all my books were simple. Even the cookbooks. 

I discarded every magazine except Cook's, which I kept for my dad. Hubsy even went through his two bookshelves, turning them into two shelves on one bookshelf. 

Then we reclaimed the couch, celebrating by sharing a Lunch. 

15 boxes of books to donate. 15. That doesn't include the ones I gave my inlaws, the Cook's Magazines for my father, or the ones I set aside for friends (that they had asked for or that they are pregnant with their first kids and aren't teachers, so they lack the classics. Hope you all love Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.) or the ones I sold. Even though I said I was going to follow the rules, I couldn't help but list a few on our local Trading Post. I made $40 today. Whatever doesn't sell will get added to a box. 

Now the shelves are bare. I still need to reorganize some things, but check it out. Between the books and the clothes, there's an echo in the house. 

I have also gone way over the maximum bag and box count for our donation truck. We may need to schedule a second pick-up. Especially after Hubsy purges his clothes tomorrow. 

Next, paper. No no no no no. 

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