Book cleaning progress and wk 4’s Paperwork Purging

Have books to clean out too? This little rustic coffee table with a wire basket as book storage will encourage me to read what I have, then ditch the rest! Part of a Marie Kondo challenge. Join in!

Book cleaning progress and wk 4’s Paperwork Purging

Read all the 2020 weekly challenges to date HERE

NEXT – Visit Week 5 HERE

Based off Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying up


A pop up notice came up on my iPhone today for the first time. It stated I was on my phone yesterday for 6 hours.

SIX hours?! Egads! Imagine sitting in one spot on your phone and not moving for 6 hours. We don’t do that of course but that timeframe kinda horrified me. Have you checked yours?!

Granted, my work has me using my phone. And I do use the phone to search things I’m wishing to learn and such. But that’s a lotta time scrolling. Which I plan to cut way back… now that I’m aware that setting is even there.

And what timing! This past week, the cleaning challenge was BOOKS. Which is something I don’t spend a lot of time on. Wonder why, you silly iPhone…



Read last week’s Book Challenge HERE

Key point: keep only the books you WILL read again as reference material or actually plan to read.

Strangely enough… my most referenced book is Marie Kondo’s The Magic of Tidying Up thanks to this challenge! LOL So I’m glad I keep this book to refer to each January for added encouragement.

Have books to clean out too? This little rustic coffee table with a wire basket as book storage will encourage me to read what I have, then ditch the rest! Part of a Marie Kondo challenge. Join in!

My recap of how to clean out books:

Early in the week, I reasoned this would be a breeze, because I didn’t feel I really had that many books to deal with, and the ones I did were reference manuals that I go through now and then.

Once again, I left the challenge to the last day of the week… Saturday. Says something, doesn’t it? The pressure to get these posts up on Sunday is the most motivating of all! But I already knew this about myself… I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t somehow challenged to.

I did accumulate a small pile of books I won’t likely read again or ever and until I decide where they will journey to next, they are sitting in my front entry, along with all my other discarded things I still need to relinquish. My entry is not looking very pretty these days, but I’m putting it there so I’m forced to put everything in boxes and in my truck if I want that entry back again!

I did manage to empty a dresser drawer where I stored most books, and I ended up piling up a whole bunch of borrowed fiction reads. I just can’t get into fluffy reading until I’m on vacation somewhere!

Yet I can spend a ton of time scrolling on my phone or binge-watching Netflix. Hmm…

So one move I decided to do is put a small arrangement of books in plain view on this living room coffee table so I will be enticed to pick up those books now and then. I found a small wire basket in my stash creating a drawer of sorts, and placed a few non-pretty books in there, and some prettier ones stacked up for show.

I’ll use this coffee table area to change out current books or magazines I wish to read. And if I don’t? Then I guess I truly don’t need them after all.

Below are some cool finds on Amazon (affiliate links) with some cool book organizing ideas to try!

My extra challenge:

Since books didn’t eat up a whole lotta time for me, I decided to deep clean one room as well this week. I chose my photo studio right after a shoot. It was pretty untidy, so I put everything away, washed the curtains, and wiped down the windows inside and out. I just needed to step it up in order to actually see something productive with this cleaning thing! And it greatly helped.

One thing did pop up while I was cleaning the studio. I kept chanting to myself, ‘This isn’t fun… this isn’t fun. Just get it done so I don’t have to do this again!’

Which made me realize, I generally take cleaning to a before and after stage because seeing what I accomplished IS fun! It’s very hard to stay on task when you can’t actually see a difference, isn’t it? So maybe I will keep the now empty dresser drawer open for a few days so I can appreciate my efforts!


Tips to help motivate you:

  • If you can’t see your efforts, make it so you CAN to further entice you.
  • Reward yourself in some small way so you’ll be more enticed. Today I promised myself I’d go to a Sunday movie after I get up this post. And look at me writing this post… 
  • Step up your efforts by challenging yourself publicly somehow so you’ll actually do it. (Joining our From Crap To Clean group HERE may help!


Below is a short video of the book cleaning process and extra room cleaning (and mumbling LOL) this past week!


Need to sort paperwork? Learn how this vintage fan cover became a paperwork sorter! And join the Marie Kondo challenge if you need to clean up too!

Vintage fan cover paperwork sorter tutorial is HERE

Next week’s challenge – Papers!

According to Marie Kondo, we keep way too many papers we don’t need.

I personally have to hang onto most paperwor for 7 years due to things that pertain to business, then after 7 years, I dump them into big garbage bags bound for a local shredder.

But I admit, I have files upon files overflowing with things I I no longer need, so I will be challenged! Here’s a few tips to get you going….

Dispose of anything that does not fall into these 3 categories:

  • Currently in use
  • Needed for a limited period of time
  • Must be kept indefinitely

While you sort, make two piles:

  • Save
  • Deal With Now

For Deal With Now:

  • accumulate it on one place so it’s easy to deal with
  • then do it!
  • The goal of this file is to be empty.

For Save: sort them by:

  • Used Frequently
  • Not used Frequently

I decided to add the next bit because I’m so guilty of keeping course materials I don’t consume after the fact….

Seminar Course Materials

  • Don’t keep
  • Consume and do at the time of the course
  • Get rid of the paperwork after

So why do we take courses when we can get a book on the subject?

We join courses so we can be a part of the active process. But that is the time to be an active participant of the work. If you save the paperwork and promise yourself you’ll do it later, you likely won’t.

Consume and do the work while the course is in effect. Then discard the material after the fact, because you won’t pick it up later.

That’s hard stuff right there… but so far, she’s nailed it for me. I have tons I’ve never re-opened including a VERY expensive course I never did complete! I absolutely have to put it on the to-do list or kiss it good-bye…

If you don’t yet have Marie’s book HERE, I recommend getting it and read each category before doing the work. It’s very motivating and explains things so we get it and will be more prone to follow through.

So my friends, my plan of action this round will have to be MUCH different. I will need to work on this nearly every day of the week if I want this done in a week! Who’s joining me?!

Cya under the pile of discarded papers… soon!


Your turn!

Are you following this challenge?

What did you work on last week?

How did you make out?

Join us on From Crap to Clean on Facebook if desired!

Ask to join HERE


NEXT – Visit Week 5 HERE

Read all the 2020 weekly challenges to date HERE

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Categories: From Crap to Clean

4 thoughts on “Book cleaning progress and wk 4’s Paperwork Purging

  1. You hit the nail on the head stating if it isn’t fun, it’s hard to get motivated to do any project. After cleaning out my parent’s house, it opened my eyes seeing things they’d saved…like literally everything they’d ever owned, every Christmas card they got in 72 yrs. of marriage, and the list goes on and on. Looking at my own organized hoarder stash, as my daughter calls it, has motivated me to lessen the burden for them some day. Yup I’m rethinking all the books in my basement!

  2. Hi Donna,

    Since I do not have many books I have been working on kitchen drawers. Reorganizing the kitchen counters too. Still need to look at the closet again. I know there is more stuff to donate.

    Keep up your good work!

  3. Hi Donna! I am still moving. I am downsizing alot and i have been purging everything. I had 4 huge garbage bags of clothes i do not or cannot wear any longer. I purged thru my shoes and i have a boot problem. I moved from Texas to Florida and we don’t wear boots in Florida but i love my boots. I can’t get rid of them. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. I purged thru paperwork and made 2 piles but now i have to make files. I bought a second hand file cabinet i plan to paint once i’m settled in. It is hard when you are in the furniture painting/booth business and you move from a 4 bedroom house with a garage to a 2 bedroom apartment. My daughter thinks i need a therapist. LOL. Wish me luck on making this my home. I’m having painting withdrawals.

    • Hey Cheryl!

      I highly recommend to pick up Marie Kondo’s book. She really preps you well on relinquishing things you no longer need and that no longer serve a current purpose.

      I suppose it comes down to this. Is it more important to hang onto something you won’t use, or regain that space for something else you will?

      I’ve had to let go of a lot of things I thought I never could have. But once they were gone, I haven’t missed them for even 1 single minute! Among those hard things was letting go of a travel trailer that held memories of my son growing up, and a horse saddle from my childhood farm.

      What trailer and saddle? They are being fully enjoyed by others as I type this! And that’s a good thing!

      We think we will die without that stuff, but yet, we don’t! haha

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