Books: How many is too many?

After : bookcase

Before: Bookcase
I have long prided myself that I only kept as many books as I had spaces to store them. My bookcases were my containers and if they got full, I got rid of less favored books.
Then it was pointed out to  me that it really wasn’t that great to have my bookcases so crowded. Spaces that are completely full block the flow of “chi” (vital energy). Full bookcases block the flow of new information and knowledge. You can believe in Feng Shui or not but I will tell you that decluttering my bookcase helped me to have breathing room in my office and lightened up the atmosphere in the office.
I started thinking about why I have kept my books for so long. I came up with the following list:
  1. I haven’t read the book yet.
  2. It was given to me be a friend or relative.
  3. It was signed by the author.
  4. It was a book that I referred back to for information or ideas.
  5. It was a book I wanted to have on hand for guests to read.
  6. I had fond memories attached to the book.
  7. I might want to read it to a grandchild.
  8. It was expensive. 

Then I came up with reasons I could let the books go or reasons why I really want to hang on to the books.

  1. If I haven’t read the book after several years, I’m not likely to want to read it now.
  2. My books are not equated to liking friends and relatives. My friends and relatives won’t care if I give the book away.
  3. If the book was inscribed to me and I was fond of the author, I would keep it. If it just had the signature  – so what? – let it go.
  4. If it’s a book I refer back to often, I’ll keep it.
  5. I will chose 5 books of various genres for guests to read.
  6. If a book has fond memories associated with it, I’ll keep it. There aren’t that many.
  7. I don’t have grandchildren and this is not likely to change.
  8. It was expensive but so is the prime real estate that it is taking up. The book can go.

 Do you crowd your bookcases? Do you even have books stacked on top and on the floor? Are you really caring for and honoring those books? Think about it and share a comment.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Zone Plan – Breakfast Room/Mud Room

This is the month I focus on my breakfast room. It is the back entrance to my home so for you it might be a mud room or any other small room in your home. I have just recently made some major changes to the look of this room. My motivation for the change was due to a shift in my life that led me to wanting to nourish myself and create more calm areas in my life. My vision was to develop an area in my home that was contemplative and peaceful. I pulled in help for re-purposing this room from Jenna Boyd of Elements of Harmony and my Feng Shui consultant –; Tami Puckett of Mindful Redesign and my organizer/re-designer –; and Michael Carpenter my artist/carpenter/faux wall designer, etc. – We brainstormed how to make this project come true and then made a plan with a time-line. The implementation is now complete.
Far from my usual zone work, most of this was done by others. One area that is mine alone is the closet where all of my china/crystal/entertainment materials are housed. I will use the remainder of this month to clear out that area and purge all items I no longer need or love. My job will then be to develop the maintenance plan.
Each zone is best revisited once a year and the steps outlined in From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, followed. One example of how this works is the process I followed for this room. This allows you to touch everything in your home once a year and make certain that you vision for each area is still holding true.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Feng Shui Session

Last Friday I had a session with Jenna Boyd, my Feng Shui consultant, of Elements of Harmony. I discovered that I had lost a lot of the metal element over the last year. This is not a good thing for me as metal is the element that contains, makes sense of things, and keeps things organized. I have recently felt fragmented so this was not a surprise to me. Jenna has put together a plan for me to make changes in my home to help me get back in balance and truly with the few steps I have already implemented, I feel much more in control again. It is great to have experts that I can turn to when I need help. Jenna has been an inspiration to me and has helped me balance my home and home office for years. Like with organizing, you don’t do it and then you are done. Things change. Times change. You change. Maintenance and awareness are part of the process of keeping balanced as well as keeping your home organized and clutter free.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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