Downsizing Your Home Library

I worked with a woman recently who had accumulated a fairly large home library over the years.  Because her library had out-grown her bookcases, she had little stacks of books all over her house.  Novels waiting to be read were neatly stacked on the bottom shelf of her night stand.  Business-related books were stacked up in her home office.  Her husband’s sports trivia books were piled on the shelf underneath their coffee table in the family living.  Finally, technology caught up to her.  Two years ago, she bought a Kindle and her library became irrelevant – especially that stack of books waiting to be read!

Home organizing is about identifying what is meaningful and useful in your life.  In order to reduce the clutter in your home, you must make choices about how to use your space.  If you are keeping shelves and shelves of books you no longer need, its time to downsize your library to a more manageable and meaningful collection.

  • First, be honest with yourself about whether you really NEED your books by eliminating the emotional component.  Sort through your collection and select only those books that you actually use on a regular basis.  It’s ok to keep a few books for sentimental reasons, but they should be the vast minority.  It’s likely your new collection will be fairly small.
  • Next, decide how you’d like to repurpose the rest of your books.  Check with your local schools, libraries, hospitals and nursing homes to see if they take donations.  There are also organizations that collect and distribute books to other organizations that need them. is a great resource.  They have donation bins all over southeastern MA and offer a free pick-up service.
  • Finally, if you have a strong emotional attachment to your favorite books and can’t part with them, consider adding them to your digital collection.  Many classics are free and can be stored on your digital devise or on your computer.

Empower yourself to take back your space!  Downsizing your library will eliminate clutter and free up valuable storage space throughout your home.

Ellen Miano is Professional Organizer in Foxboro MA. For more information see her website at or contact her directly at 508.641.0521.

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