Let’s talk books! Childrens books specifically…
Yes, you want your kids exposed to excellent literacy from a young age. But gosh, over flowing bookshelves, books sprawled all over the floor or piled up on surfaces can drive you batty!
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”― Groucho Marx
If you want kids to put stuff away, especially when they are young, and they have difficulty doing that they may have TOO MANY BOOKS!
How To Declutter Children’s Books
Here’s a few simple tips to downsize and organize that book collection.
Looking for ideas to store all those books? Check out these wonderful kids book storage ideas!
1. Consider The Condition Of The Books
Kids’ books can get a lot of wear and tear especially in the early years when everything seems to end up in their mouths. So take time to pull out any books that are really tatty or chewed, water damaged, have pages falling out and are beyond a simple repair job.
These books can go straight into the appropriate recycling bin. I often find that books which are in poor condition, get read a lot less anyway.
2. Consider Your Kids’ Reading Level
Are there lots of cute board books that your kids have outgrown? Donate them to your local charity shop, or pass them onto other Moms who have children in that age range.
What about books that are advanced? If you think your children will enjoy reading those titles as they get older, keep them.
This may include favorite books from your own childhood. I have kept a set of animal stories that I loved reading as a 10 year old.
My daughter really enjoyed reading them when she got to that age too! These books ended up being quite special for her, because they were out of print and not available to buy.
You may choose to put away books for when your kids are older or even store them with your own books.
3. Their Interests
Our children’s interests can vary a lot as they get older and also from one another. That’s something I have noticed with my three.
For example, we had several My Little Pony books that I chose to give away because my daughter had moved past that stage. Well, the two younger boys were not interested in reading My Little Pony books now or in the future.
As kids get older and start decluttering their own things, get them to think about keeping only their favorite books. By favorites I mean, those books they enjoy enough to read over and over again.
A collection of favorite reading books is the best one to have!
3. Your Interests
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”― C.S. Lewis
I strongly believe reading is meant to be fun and enjoyable for both kids and parents! Hence my suggestion to keep mostly books that you enjoy reading to your children.
Check out our list of favorite read aloud chapter books for 7 year olds and top books for 4 year olds.
4. Available Space
Is there such a thing as too many books? Ah!! Natural limits!
Storage space is a natural limit. It indicates that you might have too many books to fit in the available space.
It teaches your kids to consider which books are their favorites (as previously mentioned) and keep the best. How many books will your book storage comfortably hold?
If we are constantly trying to find a space for everything… nothing is of real value.
Book Storage Tip: Use Your Local Library
Feel anxious about getting rid of stuff? What if the kids want to read a book again? What you want them to read it some day?
The good thing is most of the time you can borrow those books from your local library.
We love visiting our local library. You know you a lot when two of 3 kids have memorized their 11 digit library card number. Not for borrowing books, though! It’s because they like using the library computers.
There are many benefit of borrowing books and other resources from your local library over having your own extensive collection (or too many books) at home.
You get access to a much larger range of books without having to a pay a cent. You can try out authors or different styles of writing with your kids and know that they don’t need to take up storage space in your home indefinitely.
Plus, at a time when more of us wanting to simplify our loves, using a shared resource makes sense. It’s also a great way for your family to engage in your local community!
I have also found that borrowing more than buying books has helped my kids to be more independent and responsible. The consequence of paying for a book if it’s returned damaged, has more effect than Mum saying “Look after your books!”.
They have also learnt how to borrow their own books, print off items from the computer, reserve books and even how to approach the librarian and ask for help.