Slim Down Your Shelves

Stacks of books

I know there’s a little trend called e-readers like the Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo. Let’s face it, though, I still love a good ol’ fashioned hardbound book in my hands. So I continue to buy them. I’m a huge fan. I also adore magazines and catalogs, which is something I come by honestly. My mom is quite the catalog queen. It’s always a treat to thumb through her collection. The only downside is the stacks and stacks of paper around the house. What are bibliophiles like us to do?

You gotta sort, toss, share and store.

Let’s start with sorting and tossing.

My mom organizes her magazines and catalogs in alpha order so when the latest issue arrives, she can easily find the publication and swap it out. She has the amazing willpower to let go of past issues. I personally have a struggle tossing back issues of Real Simple, but I’ve recently let go of anything before 2010. It’s progress.

One thing that has helped is a filing system.

I tear out pages that have inspired or taught me something I want to remember, and I file them in a cute storage bin labeled by topic. Then I feel okay about recycling the rest of the publication.

This canvas file tote was from Hable Construction.

This canvas file tote was from Hable Construction.

When it comes to books, I sort by subject matter. It’s like a mini Barnes & Noble right in my living room. It helps me assess the collection and see if I have any duplicate titles, which has happened! Once you realize you have one too many books on container gardening and parenting toddlers, it makes it easier for the next step: sharing!

Share and share alike.

There are tons of great ideas for swapping or sharing your books and magazines once you’re ready to part with your beloved pages:

  • Use an online resource, such as Book Mooch to swap out your book titles.
  • Go to Amazon. They have a program where you can trade in old text books for merchandise on their site – which has practically everything.
  • Have a book swap party with friends or neighbors. Just like a cookie swap, you have everyone bring a certain number of items to share. That way everyone leaves with the same amount of fresh material. Magazines are great for this, too. If you’re left with an issue or book that everyone has read, the host can donate the stash to the local library.
  • Create a Book Hut program in your community. I was strolling around Bentonville this weekend with my niece, and we spotted this adorable house of books. The concept is to create mini libraries around town. It encourages reading, sharing with neighbors, and best of all – keeping your bookshelves to a minimum.
book hut

Look out Springdale, I want to bring this to our neighborhood!

Store your beauties.

Once you have determined your must-keep books and pared down your favorite magazines, you can store them in a lovely manner. I like using baskets for my magazines. When it comes to books, I prefer traditional shelves with some non-traditional bookends tucked in the mix.


I love how this bookshelf is styled. The magazines are stored in seagrass      baskets along the bottom and books are intermingled with vases, planters    and other interesting odds and ends. Beautiful!! {via}

I hope this inspires you to organize your books and slim down your shelves a bit. I’d love to see how your books look. Be sure to take pictures and tag me on Instagram @KateJAndersen so I can see.

Have a creative day!



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