Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Great Children's Book Purge

Was that title epic enough?  We had a stash of books in almost every room of the house, and this past weekend we pulled out every single children's book we could find and dumped them into a huge pile in the living room.

I love that our kids love to read, so I like having books handy in those places we usually snuggle up for a story.  The problem was a complete lack of organization to what books were kept where.  Given the situation in Mia's room, it was time to get a handle on all of our books!

I have to preface this by saying that I adore books.  I hate having an overflow of toys, but I'm all for a huge library.  So I didn't think we would be getting rid of too many books, mostly getting a handle on what we had, and organizing them in a better way.  Oh, was I wrong....

As I said, we starting with hauling every book we could find into the living room.  Hands down, Jack's favorite part of the process.  We pulled books from Mia's room, the boys' room, our bedroom, the living room, and the man cave.

Then Mia helped me write out a few signs for sorting.  We went with Girl books, Boy books, Interactive books, Faith-based books, Chapter books, General books, and Donate. 

I was surprised at how easily the kids were able to give up the books they no longer read for donation.  In the past, cultivating a giving heart (when it comes to their toys) has been a bit of a tug-of-war.  They were especially eager to pull out any baby books they could pass on to other little ones.  We also discovered a safe house of Chick Fil A kid's meal books.  All fantastic, but multiples of every copy.

So after filling two boxes with books the kids no longer read, we didn't really care for, or were ripped/torn, it was time to sort!

The faith based books ended up in a small basket in our living room for nightly devotions....

The "girl books" (specific to Mia's tastes) and "chapter books" at her current reading level went to Mia's room.  I'll share that set up soon!

"Boy books" at the preschool reading level and full of stories on trucks, monsters, superheros, etc. When to the boys' room.

These ottomans in our living room have seen better days and will soon need to be replaced.  They were filled to the brim when we stared and I'm thrilled that we can actually see what we have in each one now.  They contain books we enjoy reading together as a family and at bedtime.
Our 3 yr old is starting to drop his nap and it's been a struggle to get him on a new quiet time routine.  He's not able to read on his own yet, so we intentionally set aside all of our interactive books (search & finds, sketch pads, books with CD's) and placed them in a basket in our bedroom for those non-napping days.

It feels so good to know what books we have and where each of them belong.  It will make them easier to find, easier to put away, and easier to switch them around for variety.  One more spring cleaning task checked of the list!  Ah.

Are books (for kids or adults) a problem in your home?  How do you keep them from taking over?  Do you have a plan for keeping them organized?  Do tell!

*Our hearts and prayers are will all those affected by the tragic events in Boston.
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1 comment:

  1. I came across your blog in preparation for the "Great Children's Book Purge" I have planned for our house tomorrow. Although we have books in the office, living room, and kids' rooms, and there is no rhyme or reason to the madness, I have one method that's been working for the past year. I keep a basket on the fireplace hearth for seasonal books (kept out for about a month). When not in season, these books are kept in a bin in the basement. My boys LOVE checking out the "new" books when the seasonal books get switched out.


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