Books ~ how to declutter and organize books

If we consider that the books’ purpose is to spread the knowledge they contain, then they are happiest when they are in use. So, ask yourself do you love and need this book always by your side or weather you can let it go so that so it can continue to share the knowledge it has? There is no right or wrong response; some books we will hold onto like if they are the only remaining copy in the world, while others have provided us with everything we need and we can let them go.


What we seek is reading experience. After reading a book, even if you don’t fully remember the content, you have already integrated it. It is always the journey, not the destination.

1.  Steps how to declutter and organize your books

  1. Step ~ Prepare your place and boxes for decluttering
  2. Step ~ Remove books from bookshelves
  3. Step ~ Make a pile of your books and wake them up
  4. Step ~ Joy checking ~ check to see if the book brings you joy
  5. Step ~ How to store and organize books the KonMari way

2.  How many books should you keep

1.  Steps how to declutter and organize your books

1.  Step ~ Prepare your place and boxes for decluttering

Choose a place where you can gather all of your books in one place. I find to have them stack on the floor by categories the easiest way, but a table in the dining room/kitchen or bed in the bedroom both function wonderfully.

Prepare boxes for four categories: selling, craft/repair, donating, and discarding.

2.  Step ~ Remove books from bookshelves

It can appear at first that we can make a decision by simply looking at them on the shelf, but I urge you to take them all down and arrange them into piles. It will have the shock effect that we need to determine whether all the books are actually meant to be with us. Additionally, we must hold each item in our hands to determine whether it brings us joy or not. Secondly, it is the ideal time to clean them off and examine their condition.

3.  Step ~ Make a pile of your books and wake them up

When making a pile, try to do it in subcategories:

  1. General books (fiction, biography, comic)
  2. Practical books (textbooks, cookbooks, DIY)
  3. Reference and instructional books
  4. Educational and school books
  5. Visual books (art, coffee table books)
  6. Religious books
  7. Periodicals
  8. Magazines
  9. Other


After we made piles, it is time to wake up the books. It may seem silly but why not give something new a shot? Long-abandoned books are inactive, sleepy, and invisible, making it more difficult to decide whether to keep or discard them. To actually decide if you will keep them or not, you must awaken them from their hibernation. You can do this by clapping your hands or gently stroking the heaps with your fingertips.

4.  Step ~ Joy checking ~ check to see if the book brings you joy

What books expresses your lifestyle? What do you want to see when you look at the shelf? 


Pick each book in your hand and see whether it sparks joy. Keep the ones that move you instantly, the ones that sparks joy just to see them on the shelf


For books that come in series /volumes you don’t have to hold each one, you can wrap your arms around a stack and hug it or just hold the top volume in your hands.


Do not start to read a book you have in your hands because you will lose yourself in it. A decision is best reached in the first seconds otherwise you will start to think do you need it unlike just feeling do you love it or not. It is still advisable to look through it to see whether there are any pictures, letters, or notes that were left within.

The profession-related subjects are best discarded if you haven’t touched them in a while but believe you will in the future. Finding it again won’t be an issue if you do need it, and there is a greater probability that you’ll receive some fresh and updated information. On the other hand, you are keeping valuable information for someone who needs it right now.


Magazines and coffee table books ~ keep the ones that you would never even consider throwing away. Since they expire very quickly make sure to change them frequently. If a book has photographs or articles that you find particularly attractive, place them in your special scrapbook or folder with plastic sheets.


Book titles and words ~ Once you’re done, look at the remaining book titles to see whether they fit with your ideal lifestyle. Words do matter and they emit a specific energy. We frequently experience similar situations as a result of the words we hear and see.


Do not feel sad about the books that you read half way. You got what you need in that first half otherwise you would read until the end. Take it as time well saved. The same is true for movies; you shouldn’t feel awful about stopping midway through. It indicates that you are in tune with your intuition when it tells you, “I don’t need this, and I don’t want it.” Our desire for perfection to complete the circle of our action is not nearly as significant as this. The former involves listening to yourself and getting to know yourself, while the latter entails satisfying society’s ingrained drive for perfection.


Books come back ~ you can let them go without a fear. If you ever need them again, it will be simple to locate, purchase, or borrow them. Books tend to find us more often than we find them, so even if there is something we have missed they will return.


Here are some questions to guide you through this joy check process if you find it challenging to make choice:

  1. Why did you purchase this book and do you still need it for the reasons you bought it?
  2. By keeping this book at home, what feelings or emotions would you be enhancing? 
  3. What function does this book serve in your life?
  4. Do you possess the information after reading the book?
  5. Without the book, where would you turn to reference this information?
  6. If it is a book of entertainment, would you reread it?
  7. Do you want this knowledge to stick with you and help you through the changes in your life? 
  8. Would this be a part of your ideal lifestyle? 
  9. Is the potential future use of the book equal to the value of the space it will occupy?  
  10. Would you buy this book today in the store?
  11. If we assume you have very little time to read at night, would you pick this one to read?
  12. Does reading this book feel like a chore? Or are you looking forward to reading it with joy?


Thank the items you have let go – this is the final and important aspect of joy checking. At one point the book brought us joy, great information and beautiful experience while reading it. Her goal has been accomplished. It also helped us learn whether or not we like similar subject or style of writing as well as what about those particulars bothered us (shape, colour, way of writing, genre etc). If you forget to thank each book while discarding, give the entire box abig hug and say “thank you.”

5.  Step ~ How to store and organize books the KonMari way

  1. Traditional bookcase or shelf
  2. Repurposed boxes
  3. By subcategory in the relevant part of the home – it is ok to keep them where are you using them (cookbooks in kitchen) instead all together like stated in basic rule
  4. Even though you will be able to use more room if they stand upright, you are still free to lay them down if there is enough space. Arrange them however you like and use, such as by category, color, height or by author.

2.  How many books should you keep

Have only the books you love the most, the number is not important, there can be one hundred of them, just that they represent your “top-shelf books”.


Having said that, having fewer books has a greater impact on the information’s quality. The quality of information that comes your way will significantly change once you are left with only the ones that make you happy. You will quickly notice that the information you need always appears at the precise moment you need it because the space you free up by putting away books makes place for an equivalent amount of new information.