Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Librarian's Tips: Organizing Books Using the KonMari Method

books before
Books in need of organization
As a librarian, the idea of ripping out pages of a book to remember specific passages is terrifying, but that is precisely what Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author, writes about doing in her New York Times bestselling book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying-Up. Kondo decided to rip out pages of books during her quest for a simpler and less cluttered life with only items that "spark joy" surrounding her. She calls this method the KonMari method and the primary idea is if something doesn't spark joy, it must be discarded.

books before
A little help here?
Ultimately, Kondo decides that perhaps ripping pages from books isn't the most effective because paper very rarely sparks joy and also because she never referred back to those passages.

The KonMari method has strict stages of organization: clothes, books, paper, "komono" or miscellany, and sentimental items.

When I got around to the book organization stage of the KonMari method, I used my librarian skills to develop a few helpful hints to aide with the process:
  1. Use your library to download e-books or borrow books. This is an excellent way to live with less. If a book really resonates with you, then consider buying it. When I finally began organizing my books, I realized that I have only re-read three or four books in my collection. There were also quite a few books that I have never finished reading. I imagined that there would be a time when I'd read these books. Some of these books were gifts, some were purchased at retail cost, some were purchased secondhand, but all books had one thing in common: I'd probably never read them.
  2. books after
    Organized—KonMari Style!
  3. Log all of your books on GoodReads and write virtual notes about them for future reference. You can also create a bookshelf of the books you never finished—just in case you want to go back and read them - after you've borrowed them from your local library, of course.
  4. Donate your used books to your local library or thirft store. And, as the KonMari method suggests for all your possessions, wish your books well for having served their purpose in your life.

Those are this librarian's tips. What are some KonMari organizational tips that you have? Share them with us in the comments.


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