If you're like me, you believe spring cleaning is a silly concept. Let's be serious: it's always a good time for a thorough decluttering. There's something purifying and perversely fun about the entire endeavor. It's sort of like moving and unpacking. Sure, there's the headache, but you're rewarded with the the feeling of accomplishment and a beer and celebratory takeout eaten off a moving box. (Other people do that, too, right?)
Books--whether you're moving them or removing them--are about the easiest thing to pack, so why are they so hard to prune? Too often, we get to Grey Gardens-situations with our possessions. Just ask Marie Kondo, whose organization bibles The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and its companion Spark Joy may even be on your bookshelf. Even after I KonMari-ed last year, I still had too many books when I recently moved. (FYI, there's nothing like fitting your whole life into a tiny city apartment with zero storage to help you evaluate what you truly need.)
Don't wait until you're heading across the country and paying movers by the pound. If you're pack-ratting your books, own up to the situation and be proactive. Here are 11 signs you need to KonMari your bookshelf.
1. You Collect Old Textbooks
Unless you're actively doing research or writing a memoir about your study habits, you probably don't need those. Yes, even if you think/hope/know grad school is in your cards.
2. The Very Thought Of Bringing Order To The Chaos Only Leads To Massive Procrastination
On that random afternoon when you decide to alphabetize your books and sort them by genre or year of publication, you should relish the task--not dread what it might force you to confront!
3. You Can't Find What You Need
You're working on a project and you actually need to dive into one of your books. Don't you deserve to be able to locate what you're looking for without having to dig through stacks two-titles deep?
4. Stuff Besides Books Is Crowding--Or Hiding Inside--Your Shelves
Don't lie to yourself and call that a media shelf. Or a part-time jewelry shelf. Unless they're on the coffee table, your books deserve to live in peace.
5. You're Navigating The Jenga Effect
That's just a hazard waiting to happen.
6. When You Offer To Loan A Friend A Book, You're Met With This Look:
--which is a sign that your pal probably knows just how long it will take for you to hunt for that must-read title.
7. Even The Most Predictable Gift-Givers Have Stopped Supplying You
It's called enabling, and they don't want to be complicit. You know rumors of your bookshelf's wildness have spread when you're not even receiving gift cards to book-vending merchants.
8. The Balance Between Have-Read and Have-To-Read Is Seriously Out Of Whack
Whether your philosophy is read-and-discard or read-and-save, you probably have a sense of how many titles in your collection you want to be old chums and how many you want to be besties-waiting-to-happen.
9. And It's Starting To Make You Loathe Your Faves
If you no longer get that warm, gushy, it's-awesome-to-see-you-and-remember-the-time-we-spent-together feeling when you glimpse your favorite titles, you know they're taking up some serious shelf space.
10. So There's Less Time To Read New Books
Hating takes time. So does searching for that one book that you needed to read that you bought that one day...
11. And, If You're Being Honest With Yourself, You Sometimes Avoid The Mere Sight Of Your Bookcase
Don't live that way! Whether you buy into the KonMari method or not, your books should bring you joy.
Images: GK Films; Giphy (11)