Task 7 – Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge – Books and Bookshelves

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Welcome to week 7 of my 52 Things in 52 Weeks Declutter Challenge. If you haven’t signed up yet, join me today and remove all those things in your home you no longer need or use.

We all dream of having that perfectly clean and tidy home. What you don’t realise, is that most of the mess around your house is just clutter that can be easily sorted and tidied up. Most homes have piles of clothes lying around, too many little bits and pieces like batteries, magazines, kids toys and lots of paperwork sitting on top of shelves, and way too many books. A good declutter can be an easy task, as long as you don’t let the idea of how much you have to do, overwhelm you. Take it one section at a time and get decluttering.

The ‘Declutter 52 things in 52 Weeks’ Challenge is completely FREE!!! Sign up to my daily emails so you don’t miss when the next task goes live. Alternatively, visit the blog each Wednesday to see the latest task. I will publish a new task on the blog every Wednesday.

Please share a photo of your space each week on Instagram using hashtag #declutter52 and tag @theorganisedhousewife

Decluttering Task #7

Books and Bookshelves

How many books would you say you own? Are you an owner of an excessive book collection that takes up so much space around the house, that you don’t even know how many books you actually have? Maybe you’re a lover of romance novels and just can’t let go of all those books with Fabio on the covers, or you can’t say no to a cookbook when you see one, because you want to be a Masterchef. I myself don’t have time to read, but cookbooks are definitely my weakness and I’ve had to purge many over the years to save on space at home. Whatever books are your weakness, remember to ask yourself “do I need this book?”, before you continue to ignore it sitting on your shelf or on top of other clutter around the home. With just a few steps, I’m going to show you how to declutter your bookshelves and get rid of all those books that you will either never read again or never even start.

A good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.


Note: My definition of purge – sell, donate, repurpose or throw away items as you see fit!!

  • Go through your entire book collection
  • Keep your favourites and ones that you cannot part with
  • Donate ones for purging to a second-hand book store or sell eBay etc
  • Minimise your cookbooks and only keep ones you actually cook from
  • Rearrange your bookshelves with the books you’re keeping and consider organising them in alphabetical order for easy access.
  • Store cookbooks together, textbooks together etc.

My son is super clever and has set up his favourite books on a bookshelf, among his favourite things. This way he only keeps the books and items that mean the most to him, and doesn’t have excess clutter hanging around his room.

A good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.


If you have lots of books just lying around the house, it’s most likely that you really don’t have a proper bookshelf sorted or even a few cubby areas for books and other items like cookbooks and folders, where you can store everything properly. What will help you, is to separate some areas in your home so that your books will always have a place where they can be stored and returned to. Doing this will help you to stick to returning the books to the appropriate spots, and stop them lying around all over the place.

  READ MORE: Ideas for an Organised Dream Home

Technology has changed so much over the years. There can be so many possibilities and ideas to create a beautifully organised dream home, if I was to build or renovate I'd love to implement some of these ideas.


Using your space at home wisely is the best way to get more out of your home and your decor. When buying bookshelves, consider the space you have to work with and what will actually fit into the spaces you want to add shelves to. Also, consider the colour scheme you’re going to use and the shape of your area. Measure everything up so that you either purchase or build the right size of shelving.

  READ MORE: Books on Bookshelf Design IdeasA good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.


Another great way to help you to purge unnecessary books is to not only organise book storage spaces where to keep them, but you could get a bit creative with your bookshelves and how you store them in your home. You can create some wonderful designs for your book shelving by just using your imagination, having someone who knows how to use some tools and making them, or buying from an artistic bookshelf designer. Turn your book collection into a work of art with some of these creative and beautiful ideas.

Look at this clever design shown in Home Ideas for example. Using an old tree log as the frame for the bookshelf, and then creating shelves for the actual books is such an intricate and super clever idea.

A good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.image credit Home Ideas

Another fabulous design that I found on Pinterest is this incredible bookshelf that captures your eye, due to the design holding the books on an angle. There is something so pleasing about seeing furniture lines not coinciding with the norm. It kind of makes you feel a little fun and cooky from it. I like it!!

A good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.image credit Pinterest

Wow and check this design out from Etsy by KufaDesigns. I get dizzy just looking at it but it definitely has the wow factor to it. A conversation starter for sure, and a very artistic way to display your favourite books.

A good declutter can be an easy task to achieve. TODAY'S TASK: Declutter your book collection and bookshelves and purge all books that you no longer need.image credit KufaDesigns

How many items have you been able to purge today?

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Michelle February 13, 2019 - 6:44 AM

On Sunday with nothing to do I went through my gadget drawer. I must have gotten rid of 30 plus items that I never use. When I would pick something up I kept thinking what was I saving this for? What a feeling to box them up. I do love your declutter posts. They inspire me. Now I wish I had the money for all that stuff I just thought I had to have. LOL

Dana February 13, 2019 - 9:39 AM

I’m loving this weekly challenge. I need to pretty much declutter and organise everything! It’s been tricky cos we are renovating and don’t currently have a lot of cupboard space to store things. But Working through the “everyday” spaces has been great – my spice draw looks amazing!

Deb February 13, 2019 - 11:03 AM

I need to declutter everything too. I find these challenges easy to do and I have a whole week, which is great too, as I work. I love admiring the spaces I have already decluttered too!

Deb February 13, 2019 - 10:44 AM

Books I find the hardest. I have always treasured them so much. They were my escape as a kid and I get so much happiness from my books. I also listen to audiobooks in the car on the way to work, but still like to pick up a book and read it! I am attempting to declutter my books this year (previously I avoid this because it is so hard!!) by keeping the one’s I absolutely love, and donating the others. We have some book swap areas here (at the local bookshop and at work) so I am donating there, as well as to Lifeline and my sister. My kids are attached to their books too! Which is great, but makes it harder to declutter! I love your inspirational photos because I want to make my books a display as well!! I am thinking about how and where I can display them. Thank you.

Fay February 13, 2019 - 2:03 PM

Good luck Deb, This is the hardest part of decluttering.

Lesley February 13, 2019 - 11:52 AM

I’m a book lover/hoarder too and find it VERY hard to purge books. I have already made a start (a couple of weeks ago). So far I do have one large box which is off to the op shop this week. There’s also another lot which I will let go after I’ve re-read them. – don’t worry – that will happen. I have far too many cookbooks too – I need to go through them, copy out the recipes I use regularly and purge….
Thanks Kat for working with us.

Fay February 13, 2019 - 2:01 PM

My husband and I are academically minded. We probably have over 2000 books neatly arranged on shelves, backs of tables and extra shelves in garage. This is a month long task for me. We love all our books. Thanks for the ideas but I need power tidying and sorting.

Lorna February 13, 2019 - 8:23 PM

I have over 10,000 books, after decluttering. I need them all!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 18, 2019 - 1:42 PM


Fay February 14, 2019 - 6:43 AM

Wow! How do you store that many?

Nicole February 15, 2019 - 9:20 AM

I came across this article recently. It is a very good read. It does recommend getting rid of books that you have already read. https://www.fastcompany.com/90275343/why-you-should-surround-yourself-with-more-books-than-youll-ever-have-time-to-read.

I do find that with time and the humidity here in Central Queensland that book condition deteriorates. I try to donate books my children have finished with to our Primary School library – generally they will accept anything up to about 10 years old.

If you have a Goodreads account, you can also set up a virtual library of read, ‘Want to Read’, etc. That way you can keep track of, but not necessarily accumulate the books.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 18, 2019 - 1:41 PM

these are good to know, thanks for sharing Nicole!

Eliza February 15, 2019 - 2:47 PM

We have recently moved into a smaller newer house.
It has small bedrooms and large living areas, where our old house (1920s built) had large bedrooms and small living areas.
We have downsized as much as we can (3 dump runs and a council pickup, 11 bags of clothes and linen from all members of the family, kitchen gadgets and such) but now I need to fill the empty spaces we have in the living areas! So this leads me to the question..where is your sons bookshelf from well actually any of them? I need ideas ?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 18, 2019 - 1:39 PM

Wow that sure is a lot of downsizing! Well done! Our bookcases are from IKEA, i love their stuff 🙂

Sandra Wilson July 11, 2019 - 3:35 PM

Not related to book shelves ,but what do you recommend to clean toilet cistern and what would you add after cleaning to keep it clean. I tried vinegar but doesn’t do a good job, It must be septic tank friendly . Your suggestion would be much appreciated as we have three toilets and it is quite a chore .


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