One of the first things I wanted to sort through were my books. I am a bookaholic and have three large bookshelves filled with books. One of those shelves was a large old wicker bookshelf that I had in my bedroom as a teenager. Holding heavy books and going through three moves it was no longer holding up well. As a matter of fact, it was ugly and falling apart and I wanted it out of my office but I didn't know where I was going to put the books that were on it!
With my new motivation I sorted through all three shelves and culled several piles of books. Fiction is no problem for me - those books come into my house and leave as soon as I have read them (except for my vintage Louisa May Alcott and Gene Stratton Porter). Non-fiction is a whole other story in my book (pun intended). I love non-fiction but while sorting through them realized that most of my collection were duplicates, in the sense that they held the same information. For example, one or two natural cleaning books hold the same information that the other three or four may have...so out went several of those. The same with natural remedies, cookbooks, and so on.
These are just a few of the piles of books that I cleared from the shelves. I later delved into the kitchen cupboard and sorted through my cookbooks as well.
I donated several books and binders full of information. I put several books up on Paperback Swap and sent them out already. And I have a box of books to take my aunt's consignment shop. All in all, I cleared out enough books that I was able to downsize my books from three large shelves to two large shelves and one small one. I put the ugly wicker bookshelf on Freecycle and stuck it by the curb and within a few hours it was taken. As a matter of a fact, it is sitting on a porch down the street with plants on it and it looks cute being utilized that way.
I know I'm not finished with clearing out the books. It was painful to get rid of some since my books are my babies but I don't need them. In a few more weeks I will sweep through the shelves again and clear more out but I did very well with this first step. Getting rid of a large box of books and clearing out a bookshelf made for a very productive day - as well as a lighter house!