My bookshelves

Goodbye Books. Hello KonMari.

We KonMari-ed all our clothing from the baby to the Scott and now we had to face our biggest, most heart wrenching task: our books. We decided to start grownup books because I couldn’t do it all at once and the KonMari Method suggest splitting it into categories if it seems too much. However, I didn’t even take a before picture because once we decided to take every book off our shelf, I had to just go with it or I’d give up even with just grownup books.

Bookshelf without our books
This picture shows what the kids books still look like so those three shelfs should give you an idea of what we were up against.

Scott really didn’t want to take all the books down (Why can’t we touch them on the shelves to find joy? Because the Konmari Method says so.), but I think it really made it easier to let books go — maybe because I didn’t want to reshelve them.

Honestly, Scott and I were both shocked at how many books I gave up without rancor. But while going through and holding each one, I realized how many of them were about ego for me: Oh, I read this philosopher and this poet and this great, obscure novel. LOOK AT MY SMARTNESS AND COOLNESS. Oh right, nobody cares. Plus, I loved the idea of passing the book on rather than holding on to something I had not opened in a decade.

Sorting books
The books we kept. The background is boxes and laundry baskets full of books.
Boxes of books
We probably should’ve gotten more boxes because I can’t lift any of them.

I kept books that I loved enough to have reread and/or wanted to introduce my children to one day. I also kept books that were given as gifts and reading those inscriptions lifted me up with all the grief I’ve faced over the last month. I also found two of the four books I’m currently reading. It felt wonderful to let go of books that had nothing to do with our life and to open up our bookshelves to everything we love: fabulous books, family photographs and beautiful artwork.

My bookshelves
Pure love

And yes, the kids’ books are next. Maybe this week? I can’t wait!

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

4 thoughts to “Goodbye Books. Hello KonMari.”

  1. kudos!
    my husband and i decided to get rid of most of our books 1) when we moved and remembered how heavy books are 2) when we moved and didn’t have room anymore 3) when we realized we were holding onto books just to impress people.

    one day, one of our friends walked into our house, looked at our books, and said, “I’ve read most of those books.” it was such a weird interaction, and we were SO offended by it that we realized we were a little too attached to looking intellectual.

    we got rid of most of our books, held on to meaningful ones/ones we hope to pass to our children, and lend out books with wild abandon. and when we want a new book, we save our $$ and hit the library.

  2. You are inspiring me to tackle my house. As I think about the sheer amount of STUFF weighing me down and the idea of clean and clear, I get a little giddy. Then I think of clearing all of that stuff and the work and the heat and the I’d rather do’s and procrastinate.

    I had the realization the other day that if I were told I needed to move within five hours and everything I left behind would be donated, I could probably grab three things from the garage and be fine. That means I really, really need to empty that sucker.

    But I’ll start in my bedroom and work my way out of the house. I may even get really brave and hit up my books. 😉

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