Clearing Out My Books Using The KonMari Method

My plan is to use each Wednesday to share my thoughts on decluttering using the Marie Kondo method. I’m following a free printable checklist found here. Decided to give myself one week per category. One week per subcategory when I get to the miscellaneous section.

First, I want to make sure I point out that I’m only focusing on my items. This isn’t a whole house, family all together project (yet).

Clothing was easy. Books not so much. And I broke the rules a bit. I have more books in the basement but I only focused on the books upstairs. While it would have been a great workout, I didn’t have the energy for a billion trips up and down the stairs.


Again, I made the bed my staging area. Can’t leave it covered if I want to sleep. 

Not very many books from upstairs. Might be a reason why I left downstairs alone though most of the downstairs books are kids and young adult books the boys and I read at the same time.

There’s a subcategory order to follow with the books: Cookbooks, general, kids, magazines, reference and textbooks, and phone books.

Confession #1: I kept every single one of my cookbooks during this stage! However, I did get rid of several loose magazine page recipes.  I started to wonder if I’d keep all my books.

However, after considering each book… 

An entire box to donate!

Confession #2: Shortly after taking this picture, I went to library and borrowed more books!

Final Thoughts on Clearing Out My Books with the KonMari Method:

  1. Her main book question outside of the spark joy one is will you re-read it? I found it easy to focus on which books I might pick up and re-read (not many) versus which I loved whether I planned to re-read them or not.
  2. It’s hard to stick to the category.  I took the cookbooks out of a super cluttered cabinet.  I’m trying to “follow the rules” at least a little so I left it and only focused on the books.
  3. It helped me to think of donating away the books as making room for new knowledge.
  4. Letting go of books I thought I should keep to “look smart” (we’ve all done that haven’t we?) also helped.
  5. The books left (upstairs) are ones that truly make me smile when I see them.
  6. I’ve read about her arbitrary number of 30 books and do think that’s silly. Books are too personal for that.

Confession #3: I completely forgot to sort my magazines. Luckily, I keep up with my magazines so this wasn’t a huge thing. However, I did go ahead and go through the bin, removing several old and outdated travel guides I’d hoarded.


Have you ever cleared out books?  Did you find it difficult?

The next item on the checklist is papers. Everywhere I glance I see paper.  This one’s scary to me!




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6 thoughts on “Clearing Out My Books Using The KonMari Method

  1. Hooks and Needles

    Snap Jean, I’m doing book clearing at the moment too. I’m following the book – ‘Start with the sock drawer’. Vicky Silverthorn recommendeds starting small, so after clearing the bathroom cupboard, I’m clearing my room (a dumping ground). This involves a box of magazines that accompany a set of classic books. Any sentimental items will be done last, so I’ll be revisiting my room to declutter again. Cx

    1. Jean Post author

      I’m going to have get that book. Sounds pretty similar to the Marie Kondo idea with saving the sentimental items for last. I’ll have to check on-line to see if any of the libraries carry it. My room tends to become a dumping ground as well. Hope the book clearing goes well for you!

  2. Kristina Nelson

    I purged books last year and do not regret it. I too save magazine pages of recipes, and those went too. I love the library. The more we use it, the longer it provides to the public. I just went online and ordered a bunch.

    1. Jean Post author

      I love looking for books on-line and reserving them that way (especially if I need to request them from a different branch).

  3. Deanna

    I am a total Marie Kondo Fan.

    I love doing books. I recently did them, just my own. I could not even think about doing cookbooks, though just prior to that I did actually do “cookie” cookbooks, which was fruitful in discards.

    It’s a total misquote – Marie Kondo never said people should keep 30 books, she said *SHE* keeps 30 books, because that’s what she likes.

    When I did books I found 3 duplicates, which actually every time I do books I find duplicates. I’ve joined a few book groups, but have only shown up for one book group; I have yet to attend anything for the other two book groups. I want to, just the one I opted to go to is loosely read the book LOL More gabbing, and that is nice.

    My girls each did their books fully the KM way, and produced quite a few discards each, and my husband just plucked some out. We’ve been through the books a few times now. We did not do anything with the young adult/kid chapter books this time around. There’s so many, and I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet.

    Good job on your books! More room for more books LOL Or decor?

    1. Jean Post author

      That’s the best kind of book club 😉 Haven’t had the boys do a big involved clear-out recently. Thinking, it will be a summer project for G at some point as he *sniff**sniff* prepares to go off to college. Probably decor but I don’t rule out saying no to more books either.


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