Decluttering your Books and Magazines

A quick and easy way to improve the appearance of your bookshelf is to simply straighten everything out and line it up. It can make a major impact. When everything’s askew, it can look far messier than it actually is.

Follow these steps to sort and tidy up your magazines and books.


  • Collect all books and pile them together.
  • Sort them by category, e.g. biographies, crime novels, hobbies, etc.
  • Hold each item and only keep the items that delight you. This includes books like coffee table magazines that are fun to look at.
  • Items that don’t create a joyful feeling, you might want to discard.
  • If you find the task of separating books that don’t create an emotional response, then start by putting all obvious books you don’t like in a box.
  • When you discard “old“ books you make space for new books.
  • Don’t keep books because you think you will read them again, if it doesn’t create a sense of excitement during the process of tidying up. It’s very unlikely that you will read it again.
  • Try not to start reading any of the books, as this will distract you and complicate the process.
  • Store books on a bookshelf, floating shelf or in a vertical shelf. Check out vertical shelf ideas on Pinterest.
  • Keep items of the same category together.
  • Ideally keep the books standing up. If you stack them in a pile, then place the spine to the front so that you can see what book it is.
  • Maybe it’s time to rearrange your bookshelf by adding plants or large ornaments. 


  • If you subscribe to magazines keep a limited amount.
  • Every time you want to keep an issue you have to discard an existing one.
  • If you only keep it because of an article, then rather cut it out and file the clipping in an appropriate folder, e.g. travel clippings should go in a travel folder.
  • Throw unwanted magazines away, as it’s very unlikely that you will read old magazines, except for comic books.
  • Keep magazines piled up with the spine to the front in your bookshelf or store them in a magazine holder.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero

Follow my 52 Week Organise your Life Programme

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