Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boot Camp - Day 26


It would be really easy to stop doing boot camp since the remaining days are all BIG projects. But I must finish what I started! I love that I decided to blog about this process. I know most of my results aren't drastic, but my house is singing now that we are nearing the end of this process. Blogging has made me take it to the next level. There is a sense of accountability and knowing that others are watching helps me let go.

Anyway, on to books....this is an area that I will always be working on, but I'm pleased with my progress.

I used to think one could never have too many books. When my children were born, I wanted to surround them with books so they would love to read. It worked - they both enjoy reading more than anything else, but I also noticed our house was overflowing with books. In addition to the hundreds of books we own, we visit and use the library regularly. Because we homeschool, it's not uncommon to have 50-60 library books at a time. I have realized it's all too much. I have also realized that the library has almost everything we need, and if we check out books, we are more likely to read them than if we actually own them (something about that return deadline).

In our past 2 homes, we were blessed to have beautiful, built in book shelves to hold our collection of books. We also owned two free-standing book cases. When we moved into our current home 4 months ago, we planned to buy a couple more book shelves, but then decided to stick to the two we already owned and make it work.

I also use an entire closet to house my music. This is the smallest "closet" I've ever used for my music and my collection was downsized to fit it, but it's still too cramped. (The top shelf is photos which we'll get to another day)

It works, but what I've noticed is that I have created "pods" of books all over the house.
homeschooling books

library books and more homeschooling books

books we aren't quite ready for

music books (in the closet)

And I had three big boxes of books in the garage that I didn't know what to do with! I took my first steps to eliminate book clutter a few months ago and stopped going to Goodwill to browse at books.

I went through each book on the shelves and in the boxes to determine if they deserved to stay. I didn't count how many books I got rid of and don't have pictures of the boxes, but I'm guessing at least 100 are gone.

My after pictures aren't drastic, but believe me, it is an improvement! And the most significant thing is that my attitude about books has changed.


I rounded up all the children's books and put them on the bookshelf in the girls' room. They wouldn't all fit, so I got rid of a lot.

I got rid of at least one shelf worth of books in here. There is space - no more cramming!


  1. Jill,
    I've enjoyed watching your progress and been inspired by your bootcamp pictures. The last few years I have been on a slow trajectory toward a less cluttered life with a few stops and starts. Just this last week, spurred on by an upcoming charity booksale I again faced the boxes of books in the basement. We have so many great books, but when they are almost all available at the library, I question the need to actually "own" them. But when it comes to passing them on, I get stuck on the potential monetary value. "I could sell it on ebay..." Well, I've got to face up to the fact that I'm not going to and realize I could really make someone's day if they find a great value at a charity booksale! (--hoping they are not just buying it to sell on ebay!)
    --What do you do with all the books/etc that you are culling?

  2. Melanie, thanks for your comment. A lot of the books are going to Goodwill, some are going to our church library and others are going to our homeschool library. There are a few I have listed to sell on Amazon (mostly music books) and a few others I posted on paperback swap.

  3. Hi Jill,

    What amazing progress! 100 books is a lot to get rid of in one decluttering session. I bet it's feeling a lot more open and clear now.


    If you have a Hastings around you I found they pay top dollar for books. They won't take everything but oftentimes they'll pay out as much as $6 on a title (sometimes a lot lower than that though). My favorite thing to do with books was to donate them to the library. That way I knew other people could use them AND I could rent them again if I found I needed them. Good luck!


  4. Thank you so much for sharing your boot camp experience! This is very helpful and inspirational. My husband and I are music teachers and church musicians, and I also home school two children. It is so awesome to have found your example. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for your comment. It's weird that almost 2 years have passed since my boot camp experience. But my decluttering continues. I have gotten rid of many more books since this post!