I recently suggested that a client purge and organize her collection of books in her home office. “What do you mean?” she asked. Since purging and organizing bookcases is something I seem to recommend frequently, I thought it might be helpful to everyone looking to downsize, successfully market and sell their current home to share these staging tips.
Whether you’re an avid reader who still enjoys the feel of a book in your hands or you need a large number of books for your work, full bookcases can look cluttered pretty quickly. I always tell my clients to start the process of going through belongings and deciding what items they will be taking to their new home (keep), what items they may want to sell or give away (give) and what items are really of no use to anyone anymore(toss). A bookcase is the perfect starter project for this “keep, give, toss” method.
- get three or more boxes and mark each with either “keep” “give” or “toss”
- take everything out of the bookcase – remember to work from the top down so you don’t risk having the bookcase toppling over.
- wipe down all shelves
- pick up each book and give it a quick dusting before placing it in one of three boxes
- questions to ask yourself; have you read the book? If not, will you? If yes, do you need to keep it or can you pass it on to someone else?
- if it is a book you want to keep, put it in the appropriate box, if not, it goes into the give box or, if it is falling apart, “toss” it
- work your way through your entire bookcase. Take the box of “toss” books to the recycle box and take the box(es) of “give” books to a local charity.
- you are looking at a box ( or two, three…) of books that you want or need to keep. Go through them again and pre-pack books that you do not believe you will be needing while your property is on the market. Clearly mark the box and store it off-site if possible.
- the remaining books can now be placed back on the shelves. To make the bookcase visually appealing, consider grouping books by dust-jacket colour or stand some books vertically while other books lay on their sides. Leave lots of “breathing room” between groupings of books and consider adding a couple of decor items to add interest.
A search on Pinterest or Houzz will provide you with lots of styling ideas but here are a couple of my favorites.