On my first read of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I realized my design career no longer sparked joy. And for the first time in many years, I stopped blaming clients for not letting me go because I was actually the one who couldn’t let go.
Little did I know, this revelation even helped me clean out my books, too.
Declutter, make money, donate
I found out many of my design/art books are worth pretty good money. So before you throw your books out, do the following:
- Check the trade-in values on Amazon.com
- Sell to local secondhand bookstores
- Donate to your local library (in our area, most branches sales book to raise funds)
- Recycle (hardcover books might not be accepted for residential pickups, check with your garbage company)
Combining the sales to Amazon traid-in and secondhand bookstores, I made almost $100. That is more joy for the rest of the KonMari process.
General (books for fun)
- Kept 0. Lucky for me, our library almost always has what I am looking for and more.
Practical (reference, cookbooks)
- Kept 2 for writing novels
- 2 dictionaries (Japanese, English idioms)
- 3 Adobe CS books (running an old version, so best to keep on hands)
- 1 Mac OS book (can’t search for answers if the Mac dies)
- 4 Computer language books (still running WordPress sites)
- A box of reference books for my next book/series, not in English, items not easily found here
- 1 baking book
Visual (photographic, art)
- Kept 0
Design related books
- Since I finally decided to end my design career for good, I was able to let most of them go. It felt like I am telling myself and the Universe that I’ve declared my intention to move away from design and focus on writing
- Kept only what I love the most, patterns, graphics from old catalogs and products.
- Paper swatches and print samples. Be sure to remove metal bindings before recycling the paper. The metal binding might contain unknown combination of metals that can not be reversed into pure forms again.
I only had ones for graphic/web design, so I didn’t keep any but these are what I’ve tried.
- Sold on ebay before, expensive to ship because of the low price point. And it’s a lot of work to package them. Unless you do this for a living, it’s not worth the effort.
- Local secondhand bookstores didn’t want them
- Recycling them turned out to be the only option
All my books fit into one single shelf with space left over.