How to Declutter Books with the KonMari Method


It’s hard to believe we are half way through this journey to #SparkingJoy. This week, it’s all about  How to declutter books with the KonMari Method.

(New to this? It’s the Japanese art of decluttering your home and your life, pioneered by master organizer and author Marie Kondo in her breakthrough book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We recommend following the book if you really want to declutter with KonMari)

Make sure you check out our entire ongoing KonMari Series to see how we managed and how KonMari has changed our lives.the-easiest-way-to-declutter-your-books-with-the-konmari-method

In case you’re wondering what all the hype is about (and where the results end up coming from!) – it’s this little wee book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is a full-blown instruction manual for cleaning up your house and your life. (Can you tell we’ve had great success?!) πŸ˜€

I know the photos haven’t really been the typical ‘before and afters’ – I guess that’s also something we’re learning about the process. It’s not as tidy as it’s made out to be in the book. The process itself generates a mess.

It’s the overall feeling of lightness in US that is the most impressive. Anyway, we’ll gather up all those feelings and observations for the post when we’re all finished.

Let’s talk about books. That’s an entire category in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Decluttering Books is an ENTIRE category.

And in reality guys – it was the easiest KonMari so far. We have been meticulously clearing our books for years. When we first started dating, we both had TONS of books. Both of us have two university degrees – so the book collections were intense. And then we blended them. And then it got out of control.

So back in our old 600 square foot apartment, we told ourselves that we’d relegate our books to only two places.

Then when we moved into this house, we sort of did the same thing. Nevertheless our book collection has always bothered me. It has always been clear to me that we were keeping books because “Oh! I loved this one!” or “This author is a Canadian great” and NOT because we ever intend to dive back into that book.Decluttering Books

Why were we dedicating so much of our space to things that had literally passed their useful lifetime for US? We should be passing that joy onto others.

So, as Kondo recommends – we scoured the entire house for books. And put them all on the living room floor. We divided them between which ones belonged to me and which ones belonged to Dan and then which ones were just random. And we touched each book without opening it.Decluttering Books with KonMari

That’s the key. Don’t open the book. Don’t flip through the pages. If you do, Kondo says you’re more likely to generate a false sense of joy.

I finally let go my copy of Plato’s Republic. It’s okay. 15 years after I last read that book, I can allow the love-hate relationship I had with a Greek philosopher to live in my mind. He can now help someone else turn into the sun.

Same goes for cookbooks that were beyond our kitchen abilities, novels that we’d started and not finished, DOUBLES (we still had doubles), text books, reference books referencing things that we don’t really care about anymore.Decluttering Books with KonMari - Start by making piles

Just like with our clothes – it resulted in a 50% reduction. And just like with our clothes – we probably could have done more.

But now – the books that remain all fit on one large bookcase in the basement and all of my design and blogging inspiration books fit into my office where they belong. Here’s the ‘keep’ pile.Decluttering Books with KonMari Keep Pile

And here’s the donate pile.Decluttering Books with KonMari Donation Pile

Seriously guys – there’s something to this. Kondo professes that as you engage in KonMari, your home will just ‘magically’ start to make sense. And it does.

Next week, we’ll show you how I decluttered our paper and my craft supplies and ‘magically’ after doing that, moved all my things into my space. All the things. In one space. What a novel idea.




Here are some other posts that you might like 

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy here.




You’ll Love These

You’ll Love These


Popular on DIYPassion Right Now!