Updated: Jun 24
June is one of my favorite months of the year. It's the ending of contracts and the beginning of my summer cleaning also known as, "The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". It's the one time of the year that I attempt to rally up my entire family in efforts to get rid of what they no longer want, need, or use.
Our mantra when it comes to summer cleaning?
If it no longer serves you a purpose, it may serve a purpose for someone else.
While summer cleaning comes rather easy for many, it's an uphill battle in our own home. The practice of "letting go" isn't an easy task for some members of my family. The struggle is real. The attachment to material things can easily happen and I often find myself in the position of having to support them in cutting the cord.
As for me, I have no issues in getting rid of clothes, shoes, kitchen supplies, furniture, and any other item that no longer serves a purpose for me.
Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, macaroni-cheesy.
In fact, this summer I'm upping my game after my bookshelves became the topic of conversation at our dinner table and my own family kindly pointed out to me that I needed to practice what I preached when it came to "letting go of things"- like my books. *GASP*
I'm sure you could imagine the utter shock I was in after hearing my own family spew such words at me. I mean, c'mon, I teach literacy for a living!
Needless to say, my bookshelves became the focal point of my family's summer challenge, and that meant that I was going to have to embrace Marie Kondo's book organization Round 2. Side note: let's just say Round 1 didn't go very well last year, and my husband found it easier to simply buy me another bookshelf instead of listening to me rationalize as to why I needed to keep all of my books.
After careful consideration, deep reflection, and trying to be a good "role model" for my family in demonstrating that I was perfectly capable of "letting go" of things that no longer served a purpose, I decided to give The KonMarie Method a second try in tidying up my bookshelves.
Now my husband may have a different version for my sudden change of mind. He may say that I actually ran out of shelf space and buying another bookshelf was off the table; but eh, you can take that version with a grain of salt.
The need for more book space is completely irrelevant. The fact that I was willing to tackle the challenge of getting rid of some of my books is what we truly want to stay focused on.
The Saga Begins
Now, I'm not going to start off by saying that cleaning out my bookshelves was easy. I mean, I have books that spread over my entire career of twenty-plus years. That's a lot of books that we're talking about here. So, to make the process a little less painful, I started with the section that I felt was mostly neglected-you know the kind. It's the section that makes up a compilation of books that collect dust. The ones that were initially purchased with a sudden sense of urgency or as an impulse buy, only to be read once, partially, or not at all. Those books.
I then worked myself towards cleaning out the rest of my bookshelves that were filled with books that I read more frequently or couldn't live without. While doing so, I handled each book with the utmost consideration while asking myself this key question-
Does this book still spark joy in me?
If you're not aware of The KonMarie Method when it comes to organization, there are certain steps you have to take.
First, you must take out all of the books from your bookshelves and place them in a central spot. Next, you begin sifting through your books asking yourself whether each book still sparks joy in you. If it does, you put it in a stack that you plan to keep. If it doesn't, then you place it in a different stack that you must depart with. The agony!
Tip: Don't toss out your books that no longer bring you joy. Consider donating these books to a local shelter, foster home, or library. For the books that are no longer in good condition, think about recycling them or using them for an upcycle project!
See my pins on my Pinterest board for some fun upcycling ideas with books!
The last step in The KonMarie Method is to take the books that you plan to keep and organize them by the recommended categories:
General (books you read for pleasure)
Practical (references, cookbooks, etc.)
Visual (art, photography, etc.)
Surprisingly, as I went through the process with my own books, I found that several of my books no longer sparked joy. For whatever reason it was, I had outgrown many of my books. By the time I was done with this project, I had over 200 books that no longer served a purpose for me and needed a new home.
As for the books that I did keep, I definitely organized them in categories and even went so far as to organize them by subcategories as well. For instance, the books that I read for pleasure were in one category and then subcategorized by genre, theme, and placed in alphabetical order. It just made sense to me.
I realized that organizing, sorting, and decluttering my wall-to-wall library wasn't really THAT bad. I actually felt pretty darn good about myself and in being able to actually "let go" of some of the books that were no longer sparking joy in me.
And did I mention that my bookshelves looked stupendous and could possibly grace the cover of a magazine?! They looked so fabulous, that I had to take a step back to really appreciate this transformation.
Hats off to me! Hip, hip hooray! And can I get two snaps with that!
G.G.'s Method: #BookStacks Bring Joy
Unfortunately, the sense of accomplishing such a daunting task and tackling what seemed like the inevitable is still up for debate with my own family. For some reason, they disagree with the final outcome of this summer's challenge. Go figure.
They claim that while I did use M.K.'s method of organizing my bookshelves, it was only applied to my office library, and the method immediately went out the window once it came down to organizing my personal library (which is made of countless picture books, pop-up books, comic books, graphic novels, and YA novels).
Don't be fooled. I did use this method in both aspects of my libraries. My family just didn't fully comprehend how The KonMari Method truly worked.
Marie Kondo specifically states that if it sparks joy, you keep it.
And well, we all know that sparks fly everywhere when I'm surrounded with picture books, pop-up books, comic books, graphic novels, and YA novels!
With that said, my family decided that in the end, it was best to go ahead and keep me and all of my books- a win-win for this summer's challenge.
So for this month and in the spirit of celebrating books that spark joy, I wanted to share with you my June #BookStack. This curated visual booklist is made up of my favorite picture books that:
I'm currently reading,
I'm wanting to read,
AND am giving away on the 4th of July in celebrating Trinity Elite Education & Co.'s 2nd BIRTHDAY!
Here's to wishing you a month full of book stacks, bookshelves, and great reads that spark joy!
Hugs, Blessings, & Happy Reading
See What Books Made My June #BookStack
(Be sure to check out the "book treats" under each title of the books listed below!)
Read Aloud by Author Anika Aldamuy Denise
4. One Girl
Release Date: October 6, 2020
6. You Matter
Read Aloud by Author Carole Lindstrom
13. Outside In
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Read Aloud by Author Kristen Bell