I’m seeing a theme in the past year with my clients. They are overwhelmed with their homes. Just the thought of clearing clutter and organizing can stress them out. One particular area is with books, from their office to their bedside table books stack everywhere. What’s even more interesting is that about 30% of my clients who want to write a book have a clutter issue with books.
You may be surprised when I tell you that an overload of books can actually cause writer’s block!
In the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston explains that when you hold onto books it doesn’t allow you to create a space for new ideas and ways of thinking to come into your life. Your books symbolically represent your ideas and beliefs, and when you have too many of them sitting on bookshelves, you block your own creative ideas from flowing through you.
As I start to help my clients clear their book shelves I ask them, ”why are you holding onto these books?” They reply with things like, “I need them, I like to refer back, I love their ideas, I have to learn more.”
Here’s something I have learned even about myself is that we tend to think we don’t know enough! We always think we need to take another class, read another book or get another certification. The truth is you know more than enough, but you’re scared to trust yourself and the knowledge you have to share. So, you continue to buy book after book to fill this void.
And here’s what I see, the book never gets written, the new project never takes off, the career change never happens. It’s time to recognize you are enough and start writing the book, start the business, or interview for the new career. You can take the first step by letting go of the books you have to affirm you have the information you need within you.
Let’s get started:
1) Start by selecting one area of your bookshelf, review the books.
Have you read it in a year?
Do you reference it frequently?
Do you have a friend or colleague who might enjoy this book?
Keep books that represent who you are today and who you will be in the future.
2) Create piles
Books you are keeping
Books you will read in the next 30 days
Books for donations
3) Donation ideas
Donate to Libraries. The library will sell them and the money goes to help fund the library. I do this with the Stamford library in Connecticut, they have a used bookstore in the library and I know the sales of the books help fund the library so I feel good about donating.
Pass along to friends, family or co-workers. When I worked in corporate America I actually created a section in our office called “Take a Book, Leave a Book”. Everyone loved the idea and since many commuted to work people would come from other departments and take a book. It also helps to learn more about each other. You will be surprised what people like to read.
Donate children’s books to schools, daycares or after school programs.
Gather some friends and host a book sale.
Sell them on Amazon. I do caution this one, if you don’t have time or energy to do this ask yourself if it’s worth the money.
Letting these books go, also helps you to relieve the pressure and stress you are putting on yourself that you really need to know, this or that, or that you will somehow become more credible.
I follow this process myself and I will share my favorite books, the ones I keep and don’t let out of my sight!
But let me first share a picture of my bookcase that’s built into my hallway closet. As you can see I don’t have a lot of books as I borrow a lot from the library, but these are my favorite books and I have my current ones on my night stand.
My Favorite Books:
You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – A great reference for when you are sick or have pains and would like a deeper understanding.
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss – I review this book to review the chakras when I feel out of balance in my life.
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews – I reference this book whenever I encounter certain animals and feel they have a message for me.
Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein – This was signed by Gabrielle herself, so it’s not going anywhere!
Course In Miracles
Plus, my Giada De Laurentis Cookbooks, Love her!
It may feel scary to let go of your books, but if you haven’t used them or read them in years pass them along to someone who could value them even more. Feel good that someone else is getting use out of them and you are letting go of the pressure to read them. I would like to highlight this, that buying more books is also putting more pressure on you and if you are already limited in free time, why are you creating more work for yourself.
Think about that and share your thoughts about your book collection below.
Stay tuned for Part 2: How to Organize your Bookcases with Style and Flow…
If you feel overwhelmed, book a Feng Shui consultation and let me help you clear the clutter and get organized. Click here to set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation to chat with me about your home. Once you fill out the application you will receive an email to schedule your complimentary session.
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