If you read yesterday’s post about the process of Decluttering & Selling Books, you are ready for Part 2 today, the actual reveal of our newly tidied up spaces! I mentioned yesterday that, after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering I got to work tidying our linen closet, kitchen drawers, and also got a big start on our playroom. But, the newly decluttered and organized BOOKS is what I’m showing you today!
Now at home with only the books we really love, it was time to put things back. This time, I organized the books into categories and put like books together in the same room. Now our books are mainly kept in four areas: 1) kitchen, 2) living room, 3) hallway, and 4) James’ room. Of course, I still keep a few books on my nightstand and in the master sitting room for decor and books I’m currently flipping through.
The kitchen, for example, houses almost all of our cookbooks. They used to be scattered throughout the house, some in the living room, some in my office, etc. The living room now has all of the decor related books, the hallway houses mostly spiritual, career-related, and organizing-type books. Let’s take a look.
In our living room before, we had books accessorizing the bookshelf in a pretty way, but all of the books weren’t books we loved. In fact, the books on the very top shelves were mostly purchased at Half Price Books just so the shelves would be full of books of similar sizes. Most of them had never been read or weren’t even topics I was interested in. For awhile I liked the color that all the books provided, but recently, I was ready for a change.
After I removed the books to go through the “what to keep” process, I went one step further and took everything out of the cabinets for a fresh start.
The cabinet sat empty for a couple days while I enjoyed the open, minimal look.
As I put the books back, I made a more conscious effort to keep the design clean and serene since that’s the feeling I’ve been leaning toward in our house lately. It made sense to keep my beloved decorating books here because the couch is often where I’d curl up with one of those books to read. This time, I grouped them by color and didn’t worry about filling the shelves. In fact, I like having some empty space and time to ponder what would look best in that upper left spot. I also had several hardback cookbooks with neutral covers that filled the first shelf in a peaceful way.
We lugged a piece of driftwood home from our recent trip to the lake and it’s a natural memento to remember our first family vacation.
You can read more about our built-in media cabinet here, including the dimensions and paint information. I get lots of questions about this unit, specifically, where we bought it, but it was a custom built-in piece that was created while our home was being built. I have corresponded with one reader who used this piece as inspiration to build his own unit! How cool is that?!
At one point, when we first moved into our home several years ago, I did a rainbow bookshelf in our hallway. Over the years, it had dismantled into a hodge podge as we added new books or moved existing books to other parts of the house. I forgot to take a ‘before’ of how the bookshelf looked right before my decluttering process, but it’s safe to say that books filled the entire shelf, with a couple of bins on the bottom shelf and they no longer resembled a rainbow.
A fresh start!
And only the books we truly love back on the shelves. My husband still has his books in his home office, but that room is off limits for me to show you. Gotta give the guy some privacy (his closet too!). 😉
When I removed all the books from my office bookshelf, I found that most of them were books that I loved because I specifically moved them into my office for that reason. The books ranged in topic from decorating to cooking to productivity or just books that were pretty. When I paired down, I had room for all the decorating books to go into the media cabinet or kitchen, and this bookshelf went to the playroom so we could organize the toys more in that area. The magazines I had in woven baskets are currently on the top shelf in the playroom.
Now, I’m left with a big blank wall and files that still need to be organized and put away. I’m considering a low, long console table for this space now. That way, I’d have room for a gallery art wall above.
Before, the kitchen shelves in our island held a couple baskets for chips (that weren’t really being used that much), three magazine holders, a recipe and fitness binder, and one cookbook.
Now, all of our colorful cookbooks are housed on the top shelf perfectly! When I was nearing the end of my bikini competition prep, and was so looking forward to more variety of food, I spent several weeknights tearing pages of recipes out of cooking magazines I had saved and then discarded the magazines. The recipes went into two binders (one for appetizers, meals, sides, etc. and one for desserts). A third binder is for fitness plans, exercise routines, body fat test results, etc.
We can fit our chips into one bin and I keep some colorful mixing bowls out because I use them often and like the color. Here’s what it looks like now.
James’ colorful big boy room had a bookshelf from Pottery Barn kids housing his books, but now that he’s moved into the bigger guest room, the bookshelf no longer fits. Furniture tends to be like musical chairs around here, and now the red Ikea bookshelf that was in the playroom holding toys is now in James’ room storing books.
For more posts on how we keep our home organized and running smoothly, check out my ORGANIZE tab at the top of my blog. Here’s to a productive week!