I absolutely love it when I can give my kids a reason why I’m hauling stuff out of their room. It’s much less of a struggle if they understand why. “Because I said so” has lost its charm, but thanks to the holidays we can clean up for a good cause.
Holiday book and toy drives are everywhere. We started cleaning out their room weeks ago when we have time here and there. But last week I was able to clean out a big part of the mess: their book shelf.
The picture above is what my boys’ bookshelf looked like before. I must disclose that they are 5 and 6 and only one of them can read so this is ridiculous. I blame it on birthday parties. For the first few years of their lives I put “No Gifts” on my kids’ birthday invitations. We didn’t need more toys. Well, no one gave them toys, but almost everyone gave them a book. I love it, but that’s a lot of books.
When we started cleaning I couldn’t believe it. Not only were there books on the bookshelf, there were books in their closet, under the bed, and scattered throughout the house. My boys and I gathered together to go through and sort them. A pile to keep, a pile to store in the garage, and a pile to give away to the Cub Scout book drive.
I explained to the kids that the books they don’t read anymore could be a treasure to someone else. They were into it and picked a nice selection of books that they were done reading, but the pile to keep was way too big. They said that even though they hadn’t looked at those books for more than a year, they planned to read them again and again. And they tried to give away one of my personal favorite books, Superhero ABCs so I told them to go play in the other room. Read more and see the “After” photo when you click through!
An hour or so later I was done. Amazing. We had a grocery bag full of books for the cub scouts, some of them looked brand new and the others were in great condition. I also threw away a huge pile of Lego catalogs that were taking up a lot of space (did not realize the kids were hoarding them). The pile to store was small and fit in a free spot in the garage.
Here is what the bookshelf looks like now. I’m so proud.
Of course, as they get older they are sure to acquire more books — and I still won’t want to get rid of Superhero ABCs. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these books are destined for a Los Angeles storage unit.