10 Spring Cleaning Tips For Getting Rid Of Old & Unread Books

Let's face it: spring cleaning is an unwelcome but necessary task that comes with the changing seasons. Spring cleaning is that one time of the year where I remember my mom opening up all the windows, spraying Febreze like no tomorrow, and asking me to donate or throw away half of my closet. As a teenager I didn't get it, but as an adult, I look around my messy apartment and finally understand. Being a book nerd means that I hoard books, textbooks, massive poetry collections, and basically anything else book-shaped that I can find.

While I'm not looking forward to ridding myself of any books, I wouldn't mind getting rid of some of the book clutter that takes over my desk and floor. And if I'm honest, I know that there are multiple books I'll never crack open again — whether it be the botany college textbook I actually bought or one of my many copies of Wuthering Heights. If you're also a book collector, then I'm guessing you might be able to relate.

It should be noted that while there are a ton of ways to reuse or upcycle your books, you have to be prepared to get crafty and probably (definitely) cut into some books in the process. That being said, the end product will be incredible — something you can use and keep forever. This spring, your old books will become beautiful new additions to your home, or someone else's, with these 10 creative options. 

1. Make A Bouquet Of Paper Roses

I'm partial to this idea, because I have a few of these roses around my apartment. If you can't seem to keep a plant alive for more than a day or two, these will be your new best friend. Grab an old book or two and follow this tutorial on making your own book bouquet. They're also perfect for weddings! 

2. Turn Your Books Into Storage

Sure, you can buy pre-made ones, but they always look fake. Take a few hardcover books you know you'll never read again and transform them into the perfect storage space for your jewelry, knick-knacks, or remote controls. These also work great as a gift holder — simply place a thoughtful note or present inside. 

3. Fall Asleep With A New Headboard

This is every book-lovers dream bed. This tutorial shows you exactly what you'll need and walks you through every step-by-step detail, so you can have the exact headboard pictured above.

4. Give Them Away As Wedding Or Party Gifts

If you're getting married, use your old books as centerpieces or even as unique place cards for your guests to take home with them at the end of the night. If you aren't getting married but know someone who is, donate them. Or, skip the wedding and use them as gifts at a party or book club meeting. 

5. Turn Your Books Into Planters

This is for the book-nerds who turn a page with a green thumb. Cut a space into a thick book (your old textbooks would work perfectly) and plant some adorable succulents inside to display in your kitchen or on your desk.  

6. Make Your Old Books Into Scrapbooks Or Frames

It's time to channel your inner Leslie Knope and get your scrapbooking on. Glue pages together to make thicker and more durable scrapbook pages and place photos, notes, or ticket stubs to make the perfect memory book. You can also turn your old books into frames by carving out the front of a hardcover book and placing a photo inside!

7. Get Creative With Shelving

If you aren't stoked about the idea of getting rid of your books, or are just looking for a new way to spruce up your living space, get creative with your storage. Invest in some cute frames and turn them into art pieces for showcasing your old or unused books. You could also take a look at invisible bookshelves if you're in need of some more shelf space. 

8. Invest In A Little Free Library For Your Neighborhood

Looking for a way to give back this year? Check out Little Free Library, a charity that allows you and your community to share books with each other. With the give-one-take-one rule in place, this allows and reminds kids and adults to read more books as they pass by. Plus, it's a super cute addition to your front yard.

9. Donate Your Books To A Charity

If you just need to get the books out of your place ASAP, look into these 12 amazing book charities around the world. Charities can help someone in need grow their love of literature and reading. It doesn't get much better than that. 

10. Give Your Books To The Young Readers In Your Life

If you're still holding on to your children's books, take a look around and see if there are any new young readers that might benefit from your books. After all, there's no better gift than the gift of reading. 

Images: Emily Mathews; hewy; Michael ShaheenSan José Library; Wicker Paradise; Mooskimo; Prairie Kittin; amanda farah; Seika; Melanie/Flickr

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