Remnants of Grace

Home improvement shows, Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, Pinterest – all eyes seem to be on our stuff and how to deal with it. They all have some great ideas to pull from when it is time to take on one of the most challenging household items when downsizing. Books.

Books on bookcase

We had a huge book collection when our children were growing up. Between my husband being an avid reader and homeschooling, books accumulated easily. When we downsized, our new home did not have any room for them. Our books had to go into a storage unit for a few years.

This caused a lot of frustration when it came to setting up the house and any progress on home improvements. It always came back to where will the books go. Knowing those books were in storage loomed over my head. Also, most of those books belonged to my children and I was struggling with why I wanted them to hang on to them all.

I learned a lot over the past few years when it came to finally weeding the books. Today, all the books are in the house, along with a few of my childlen’s favorit for any future grandchild. I know It’s is a hard task and I hope the few thoughts below help you.

Why is it hard to weed out the books? It is because of too much emphasis on OUR wishes. They are our children’s books. I get that the books represented many happy memories as a family. Visiting the library trips to the fancy book stores with allowance in hand, birthday presents, and bedtime stories. Every time I saw these books I got to relive those memories. I wanted to share those with my (future) grandchildren. With those exact books in hand, not just the thoughts. The task needed to get done and I thought it was up to me. What I needed to understand that it was my children’s duty to do the weeding out. Once I owned that, I no longer felt guilt over something that was a huge task looming over my head.

A kid with books

There are two times to have your childer go through their collection. The first time is when they are in high school. They are think about the future and possubly leaving home. It is a time they start looking at their stuff differently. They begin to wonder how it translates into their future. There is still a connected to their the childhood and any true keepsake will make the cut. I enjoyed helping my childern go through their book at this age, it was so fun to see their eyes light up and talk about the memories.

The second time is when they are established in their adult lives. I call this” these are going home with you weed out.” As they weed out, they need to keep on in mind what room THEY have. My son went through his books without much fanfare. With my daughter’s final purge, she wanted to share the moment over a cup of coffee.

Reading a book

Have the conversation: I believe whether your children are renting an apartment or buying their first house, once they are no longer living under your roof, it is time for them to come claim their stuff. In my daughter’s case, she is now living on her own and has the room. My son is in the Army. Until his housing is more permanent, we have agreed to hold onto his books. Either way, it is important to have this conversation with your children when it comes to their stuff, especially the books.

Have a place where the give away books will be placed: Your childen may not want to be supervised. This way there is a chance for you to make sure any book that you wanted keep won’t be accidinty given away.

Proper book storge: As much as you want to save ALL the books for any grandchilder, books that are not stored properly will become damged. Bindings bend, glue dries out and the pages may mold.

What if a book was given away or stored incorrectly: Do not panic! These is time before you become a grandmother. Keep a list on hand and start browing your local bookstore and online.



Comments are closed