Whether you have just a few books or your collection rivals the Library of Congress organizing and taking care of your books is important so they are easy to find and easy to use. First take inventory of your collection. Only keep your favorites or books you have yet to read. If you don’t enjoy reading or do not make time to read then maybe you can reduce your collection significantly. Space in most homes is limited so only make room for the items you love and need. Arrange books in logical groupings that work for you and your family - color, theme, title, audience, etc. Keep children’s books at their eye level and they will be more likely to read.
Remove any bookmarks, paperclips, etc from the inside of the books before placing the books on a shelf or a box/bin for storage. Storing books with paper clips, for example, can damage the pages and the integrity of the spine. Neatly write or use a label maker to label the inside covers of each book with your name. This way if you loan the book to a friend you will be more likely to get it back. Dust books regularly with a dry, clean cloth – never use a wet or damp rag to clean books.
To recycle books that are in poor condition remove the hardcover spines first. There are many resources to sell or donate used books. Here are a few:
- Books For Soldiers http://www.booksforsoldiers.com/
- International Book Project http://www.intlbookproject.org/
- Local school district/daycare/etc.
- Local Library – Some accept books no questions asked and other libraries have a strict donation policy. See below for a list of links to Baltimore area libraries and their donation policies:
- Anne Arundel County Library
- Baltimore County Library
- Carroll County Library – none being accepted at Westminster Branch due to renovations; donations must be in less than one box, only good condition, no encyclopedias or text books; limited information online regarding donations
- Harford County Library
- Howard County Library – accepts all books; bring donations in a brown paper bag if possible; limited information online regarding donations
- Used bookstore – this is a great option if you don’t want to resell your books online
- Half.com by eBay
- Craigslist - Baltimore
If you don’t love the book, don’t plan to read or the book is in bad shape then let it go. Recycle it, donate it or sell it. Keep the books you love and make time to enjoy them!
What’s your favorite book to curl up with on a Baltimore weekend?
Start planning…winter isn’t over yet!
For more info:
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Theresa Finnigin is a Baltimore/D.C. based professional organizer, speaker, writer and owner of Ready Aim Organize. Theresa is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and NAPO Baltimore Chapter. The mission of Ready Aim Organize is to rid homes and offices of clutter and chaos to ensure time is not wasted and each day is more productive and peaceful than the one before! Sign up NOW for the Ready Aim Organize FREE Monthly NEWSLETTER for more organizing tips, how to's and special offers.