Declutter Refresh

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written a blog post and even longer since I’ve decluttered my own life. The world has been a bit crazy with COVID and politics and mother nature acting out. It’s the perfect time to pause, see where I am at and where I want to go with my life. When in doubt, start small! So today I am going to declutter my books.

I LOVE books! Yes, that’s love with all caps kind of love. So let’s see where my collection of cookbooks and other books is…and do a quick refresh!

I have a “One In, One Out” rule when it comes to books. But what happens when you just live your life and forget your own rules?

Cookbooks before declutter
Books before declutter

Not bad, I mostly did “One In, One Out” rule, but jammed a few on top vs figuring out which one to release. Oh well! I like this rule as it makes my purchases more conscious…knowing I will need to let go of an item to make room for the new. I’ve also had a rule to check out books from the library vs buying them, but COVID sort of messed that one up for a while. Most libraries are now lending again, so good to revisit this one!

To declutter I begin with a Marie Kondo method of removing all like things, cleaning out the space, then asking if I am using each item and if it brings me joy. I know for some this is challenging to do or a bit too “woo woo!” Another way of asking this question is does it make you smile and feel love inside? If it doesn’t, why are you keeping it? And if you’re not using it, can it be useful to someone else?

Remove all items from the cupboard, clean cupboard, then begin sorting

In the two years I’ve been away from blogging, I helped declutter my Mom’s home of 54 years and helped a dear friend declutter her home and an entire business that her partner left her. There is NOTHING like seeing how much $h*t one can collect to realize I sure don’t want to leave a mess behind. Any editing I can do now, will not only make my own life easier, but it will also help anyone left behind to clean up after I am gone.

Cookbooks after, not dramatic, but more inviting, excess gone and easier access.

One thing I’ve come to learn about myself is that I love cookbooks more for inspiration than exact recipes. It’s about how they make me feel. That feeling is powerful and I have come to peace with the fact I may not use all of them to make these amazing recipes to which I invite all my friends to!

I keep a few cookbooks out for easy access and inspiration

I choose the “One In, One Out” rule as a way to contain what I collect. So one cupboard is my space for cookbooks and this shelf area is my comfort level with books. I like having all the items in these two place versus all over the house. You can look at my collection and quickly see what matters most to me…health, plants, travel, minimalism, organization, zero waste, gardening, nutrition, spirituality and personal growth.

Books after, again not dramatic, but a bit less crammed

Your space for books might be a lot less or much more! No one else can determine that sweet spot for you. I sometimes dream of living in a smaller home, but for now I am going to enjoy the home I have and use the space I have, while not feeling the need to fill it to the brim. That is my sweet spot!

I will be offering the books I no longer want to friends, my local Buy Nothing group or the library.

Do you love books too? What is your sweet spot for how many books to keep? Anyone go totally digital on books?


  1. spikesmum says:

    Lovely to see you pop into my inbox Kathy (weirdly, it’s a sort my books day for me too). Best wishes, Kate


  2. HOLLY HANSEN says:

    am so glad to hear from you. i had found your simple up note in my internet to do pile and was going to look you up. I loved your group and am still on the decluttering path. I am inside due to bad air quality from the fire smoke and have been purging my paper files. I love all the changes my past two years of decluttering have made. have been enjoying them so. just wanting to do more. the news says the whole county of clackamus has to evacuate. I thought of you and your ikea bag of clothes and how you could evacuate in an hour. I would like to be like that. i may have to move due to rent increases so am very interested in decluttering to make my move cheaper and easier. I am so grateful to you and your course for launching me so well. bless you.


  3. seweverythingblog says:

    Welcome back! I’m a reader and love to sneak peek in other people’s shelves just to see their book titles. I am having a great time watching TV political pundits’ shelves these days of remote punditry 🙂 . The issue you have with your cookbooks, I have the same issue with sewing books.


  4. Jane Wolfe says:

    I recently listened to “Too Much and Never Enough”…. It was by Mary Trump and really explained why Donald was the way he was. An excellent read no matter what your politics.


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