• Florida Family Living

How To Purge Unwanted Children's Books

Updated: May 27, 2020

Spending more time at home during this pandemic has had it's ups and downs. But one positive? Adult's wish for more "time"! Now is the perfect opportunity to purge the old and make room for the new. Take a note from Marie Kondo and get rid of the objects that don't "spark joy" in your home.

A great place to start? Bookshelves! Take a morning and go through all the books in your kids rooms. Have them help you and be apart of the decision making process. Here is the Kondo method:

STEP 1 - Take everything off the shelves and place them in a big pile.

TIP: We recommend putting them on a bed! That way, kids are forced to go through every item and address the situation if they want to go to sleep that night.

STEP 2 - Make 3 piles for the books. The first is the items they want to keep, the second is for discarding, the third is for sentimental items.

STEP 3 - See what "sparks joy" in your children's hearts. If they are not excited to keep it, gently encourage them to "thank" the book for everything it's done, and pass it on.

STEP 4 - Once you have gone through the books, place the chosen ones back on the shelves in an organized fashion. TIP: We recommend placing back on the shelves based on size.

Now ... what to do with all these unwanted books? Discarding books doesn't mean you have to take them to a consignment shop or recycle them. They may be used to "spark joy" in other children's hearts!

Here are our favorite ways to recycle unwanted books:

Make a Lending Library

Your purging session can lead to another project: a Lending Library! If you live in a neighborhood with lots of school aged children, lending libraries are a great way to get rid of gently used books, share with strangers ... plus it is a fun craft you can do with your kids! The rule: when you take a book, you leave a book. This way everyone can enjoy. See our favorite ideas for lending libraries here.

Donate to your school library

Did you know your school library is probably desperate for new books? This is a great option. They will appreciate the donation, especially for diverse books that are sorely lacking.

Pass along to friends with younger kids

Books that are still in good condition are a perfect gift for other families. If you have a sentimental book your child has outgrown, pass it along to a friend to enjoy. You'll be comforted in knowing something you loved is being appreciated by another.

Hold a kids book swap

Start a kid's book club! Each parent can take a turn hosting a monthly "meeting". Each child gets to bring a few books that they would like to share with their friends. This will spark a conversation

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