Styling Librarian: Moving: Letting Go Stage One: Books!
Moving: Letting Go Stage One: Books
I confess that I’ve always been one that collects book treasures I love. I’ve done so since I was a little girl and treasured every single one. When I became a school librarian, I often found myself lessening the purchasing for my personal collection and instead focused on creating a balanced, accommodating library collection and additionally began ordering books from the public library.
This did not completely eliminate my booming collection of books. When my husband and I moved into our home eight years ago, we realized that we really weren’t the type of people who would every use a living room to it’s full potential but we would certainly enjoy every minute in a personal home library. We purchased cozy seating, quality lighting and bookshelves for every wall. I organized the library by various categories, alphabetized and Dewey categorized my children’s books, and loved our collection with books ready to easily locate and use. We’ve loved our library through the years with changes such as accommodating toys on bottom shelves for our son and the spread of legos across the floor when he played.
A number of years ago, I watched numerous organizing shows and worked hard to reflect on how I could cut back on material objects. I found it easy to let go of some books that my son grew up with, but overall, I never seriously considered cutting back on my children’s book collection or other various treasured book collections.
Now, a huge change of life is upon my family, we’re moving to Hong Kong in less than two months. We realized that since we’re not being “moved” there, we have to be carefully wise with everything we store and pack. We began the process with the personal library books since my wonderful husband knew it would be the toughest component of this move for me.
Stages of letting go:
1. We began by looking, overwhelmed, at our joint “adult” book collections. We agreed there were so many books that we needed to simply pull off our favorite books from the shelves vs. pulling down every book on the shelf and sorting through them all. We pulled out our favorite books and agreed that the rest would be whittled down in different ways.
2. My approach to letting go of my personal children’s collection has been a slow process. I haven’t yet finished letting go of all the books since my son has five packed bookshelves in his room we haven’t touched yet. Nor have I finished going through other multiple bookshelves in our bedrooms.
3. First I looked over my fiction collection and pulled out my absolutely favorite books for my school’s “Family Fun Night” auction and created a basket and a song to accompany it. (Watching a favorite school family win the basket was a thrill.)
4. Then, I went through the collection pulling out favorite treasures from my picture book collection specifically locating beautiful autographed books throughout my overall children’s books.
5. I found favorite childhood treasures in addition to my son’s favorite books. I thought that I would have three storage favorite book boxes. I ended up with six boxes (so far), which felt like quite a healthy amount.
6. After finding my personal treasures, I pulled together three bags of books that would be welcome treasures for a close friend with two sons.
7. I put together a collection of 15 favorite books that were pop-ups, children’s picture books, early chapter books, and novels, and YA books for my librarian colleagues in my district for a book raffle drawing. Those included my absolutely treasured John Green book collection- which had numerous autographed copies of books. http://johngreenbooks.com/
8. I then shared with my #1 book treasurer, my sister, who took nine bags of books for her classroom collection. (Her students think she has the coolest book collection in the world now, love you Rachel!) I also brought my Mom a box of Jewish children’s literature that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else and donated a large bag to my son’s Shabbat School for their future use.
9. Then I pulled book treasures I thought would be helpful for my teacher friends in different teaching areas across the school for classroom collections and also I put a number of books into my school library.
10. I pulled a collection of beautiful picture books for babies for a colleague’s baby shower.
11. Finally, I pulled the rest of the children’s collection and brought it to my school’s book exchange. This was also part of my school’s Family Fun Night.
12. When we went back to our joint “adult” book collections, we popped them in bags and brought them to our favorite independent bookstore, Powell’s Books https://www.powells.com/ and sold a number of them. We were able to sell enough so that I was able to buy a treasured purse. We still have book credit at the bookstore and picked some airplane entertainment for my son and likely will use the rest for goodbye gifts and holiday gifts. (Turned lemons-letting go of book treasures- into lemonade-purse I’ve wanted to purchase for years: A Queen Bee Creations purse that actually fits my iPad and miscellaneous other gear. I highly recommend this versatile creation of bags and other treasures. http://www.queenbee-creations.com/)
I decided not to sell any of my children’s book collection at Powell’s Books because I wanted every single one of them to be used for a special purpose, whether for a treasured friend, a colleague and classroom collection, or for students and families at school. So far, feeling really good (heartbroken admittedly sometimes) about letting go of books in preparation for the Hong Kong move.
Stay Tuned: The next post will address Moving: Letting Go Stage Two: Clothing and Moving: Letting Go Stage Three: Furniture/Garage Sale
Thanks so much to my followers who connected with me on Twitter, Facebook, and get email alerts- all those links are on the right side! I’m so grateful for all the support and feedback! – Debbie, The Styling Librarian