Books are a big part of our lives. We love reading and have definitely passed on that love to our baby girl. There is a danger however of books taking on a life of their own and slowly starting to take over a nursery, play space or in our case kitchen! So, every once in a while I do a quick 10 minute organization of all Amelia's books to ensure that each one is loved and getting attention!
This '10 Minute Organization' is different, since you can involved your children in this process. That being said, you may run over time but try and keep on track to a 10-15 minute time period! Children may get lost in exploring all the books they may have forgotten about which will derail your efforts to sort out your nursery or playroom.
- Timer - Phone, oven or egg - whichever timer works best for you grab it!
- A small to medium box - shoe box, basket - whatever you have accessible and easily within reach
- A garbage can or bag
- Optional - A good podcast - The Simple Sophisticate, Housewifery or The Dave Ramsey Show are my favorites!
- Start your timer!
- Gather all books together in one place, I used my daughter's nursery floor. We have books pretty scattered around our home, so when I do this quick clean up I really do need to go to two or three places to pick everything up. Completely worth it though!
- Working quickly after all books are piled onto the floor, go book by book to assess and set aside into four piles:
- Books that are no longer age appropriate (in our case we had a couple of books that were too young and Amelia no longer played with) are set in one pile to donate.
- Books that may be too advanced should be set in a separate pile for storage.
- In this clear out, I decided to take a 'Cat in the Hat' first edition copy that we had on the bookshelf and remove it for framing.
- Books that need some cleaning (Amelia likes to chew some board books) set in another pile for cleaning.
- Favorite books that will remain can be kept in the middle.
- Place books back in appropriate spots. Our bookshelf (ikea spice rack hack which I love!) Doesn't allow for a lot of books or objects to be placed on each shelf. So, I am choosy about what books will be put back in my daughter's nursery. The top shelf is high and I keep paper books that we read to her but don't allow her to play with. (Her current favorite is a paper copy of 'Peter Pan' which we have to flip through after every nap. Don't know what that's about lol). The bottom shelf houses all board books and her absolute favorites (currently those are "Dada" by Jimmy Fallon and "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson which I can actually recite now). In between the top shelf and the bottom are her other favorite books, and some books that I would like to introduce as favorites like 'ABC' by Dr. Seuss.
- Place books in storage. I have a storage container with books that are slightly too advanced for Amelia that have been gifts from friends and family. I store this in our cleaning closet so it's easily accessible. Any books that we have been given that may not be getting attention because of its content or age are stored in this box.
- Place books in box for donation. I have an ongoing donation box that I use for everything (clothing, books, purged items) so any books that have outlived their use and love are placed in this box to bring another child some joy.
BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! - ALL DONE
By the sound of the timer you should have completed sorting and storing all your childrens books. If, of course, you need a bit more time, take it! If you're working with your children on this project this is a great opportunity to teach them about sharing, giving to others who may be less fortunate or giving a gift to another child who will cherish what they no longer want! I'm so so excited to do these projects with Amelia! I plan on taking her with me to donate to the women and children's shelter in our town, as well as the Salvation Army so she can understand where her donated items are going!
Your's in play,