Some friends have asked me to start blogging about how I keep things so “tidy” at my house and have everything organized. Well, first – EVERYTHING is NOT organized. However, my living space is greatly uncluttered.

Anyway, books….where do I even begin?

I love books – I love to read — But I have learned that you cannot keep every book you have ever read (unless you have a mansion). Normally, we acquire books thru our friends or family members, usually passing them to someone else when we are done.

My favorite way to get books is thru the public library. Not only can you “check out” books, you can also purchase gently used books for as low as 25 cents!

The problem is when a book costs a quarter – you tend to get many more! You get home and realize, you do not have room for these books.

Well, you have a few solutions:
1) trash the used book (which I am NEVER for)
2) recycle the used book (better than just tossin, but still)
3) donate old books
4) Book Swap!

I have found several ways to pass many books along, instead of them collecting dust or wasting space in my house.

My local public library accepts gently used books, vcr tapes, and cds. This is a bonus for them, since alot of those books are donated by others, or out of circulation at the library – and they make some money reselling it.

You are going to hear this alot from me….technology is WONDERFUL!

You can get lost in the world wide web visiting the thousands of websites specific for “books”. I have found a handful of sites that work for me. These sites allow you to send a book to someone who requests it without obligation to return it. You can also request books to be sent to you.

Here they are:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/
http://bookmooch.com/
http://www.cash4books.net/
http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

There is also a site that allows you to view entire books online. Obviously, this is fantastic on many levels!
http://www.fullbooks.com/

The World Lecture Hall is a great one for FREE course material.
http://web.austin.utexas.edu/wlh/

Now that you know where to buy, donate, and trade books….what do you do with the ones you have?

Well, you organize em! First, you really need to empty your bookshelves completely…Thats right! Find an open spot somewhere and stick them all there. Now, seriously clean your shelving. This really should be done once a year.

Next, group all your books by topic. That means, all of your cookbooks together-all of your pet books together–you get the point.

After you have all your books organized by topic, go thru them to see if there are books that you no longer want or use. Look thru them to see if they are damaged in any way. The books that are damaged can be recycled, but place all the ones you arent going to use in a box to donate, sell or trade.

Dust off the books you will be returning to the shelves (can of air works as well) and then place them on the shelf.

I find that grouping by topic works better than alphabetizing your entire book collection. Grouping by topic allows you to see the “collection”. Sometimes it takes having all those books together so you can see JUST how many books you may have and that you do not need more.

Hope this helped someone!

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