I knew we had a LOT of children’s books.
I had no idea we had 500+.
Seriously. This is not a joke.
There were books in the living room.
Books in the play room, upstairs and down.
Books in the girl’s bedroom.
Books in Brock’s room.
Books in the guest room.
Books. Books. BOOOKKKKSSSS.
This is the part where I tell you I don’t have a book shopping problem (well, maybe slightly there is a chance) but I did NOT buy 500+ children’s books.
Yes, when Kayla was a baby I probably bought a few books. Then people started giving us books. We had a baby shower where everyone brought books. Friends started sending us books their kids grew out of. Mom started cleaning out my sister’s books as she got older and they all got passed down to us.
And then there are the book fairs for school fundraisers and we’d let the girls buy A BOOK.
And before we knew it – our house began to explode books.
First of all, we had one main “bookshelf” downstairs that has been golden for years. The girls use it, we all use it. Fine and dandy until Brock started DESTROYING the books. We tried blocking the shelf with pillows and it was not working. He’d get into them and pull them out and then tear them and the girls would cry and it was not good.
So I said to myself, “Self – we have to move the books.”
Before moving the books, I thought it would be good to bring all the books together.
The order for the day was for everyone to bring ANY AND ALL CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO THE KITCHEN. Brian and I started sorting and counting. Brock just made a mess, as usual.
We have baby books, Golden Books, chapter books, Bernstein Bears books, Dr. Seuss books, Where’s Waldo books.
Then there are alphabet books, Fancy Nancy books, Goodnight Moon books, pop-up books, color books, shape books, Disney books, activity books, Bible books and more.
Indeed, we have our very own Children’s book library. Who knew????
Oh, and then there are about 30 books that belonged to ME when I was a little girl. Can’t get rid of those antiques!!
Also, I have aunts that are elementary school teachers and guess what they would send us over the years as they cleaned out classrooms??? BOOOOKKKKKSSS!!!
This is not funny.
I’m proud to tell you that over Christmas – our family only received 2 books. And I did not buy them, thank you very much.
We had a very fancy systematic way of counting our books as we sorted and stacked.
There you go.
Immediately, we got rid of 153 and sent them to our daughter’s preschool. Brian was so happy his face about fell off. I think he delivered them the very next day after we bagged them up.
And perfect timing it was – the lady at the front desk said, “I was about to put in an order for new books!!!”
Before you get all mad and think, “But Starr, you still have 374 books….”
Yes. Yes, we do.
But it isn’t 500.
And we’re getting there.
Have you actually counted your books lately? I bet you have way more than you think. 500 books can hide easily in a house with 3 kids. I kid you not.
I would love to scale down to under 250.
As my friend Sarah rolls her eyes because they are super minimalist people and they have like 2 books.
One of my goals this year is to spend more time actually reading these books with our kids. Making the books accessible and organized is key.
Back to that shelf where Brock kept destroying the books – I made it BROCK PROOF TODAY!!
All of these books are Brock proof – in that they have hard solid pages, no paper to tear. And can we please note the color coding?? I have wanted to do this FOREVER. No, Brock won’t keep it this neat. But our girls sure can do some color coding and they will be able to put them back like they are supposed to go.
Brock loved it, by the way!
I moved all of the books with paper pages to our cabinet below the TV with doors so the girls could get them when they wanted.
Now all the books have a home in our living room and we can keep up with what we have!
We learned early on with kids that our living room quickly became a toy-fest. We didn’t necessarily like that and moved all our toys to a play room downstairs (office turned playroom). Books are the only thing I allow to stay in the living room now.
Last summer, we got rid of our sectional couch and got these comfy chairs with ottomans from IKEA.
I love that they can hide all of Brock’s toys easily and discreetly. And bonus – the entire chair and ottoman is a slip cover that can come off to be washed!!!
I also love that we can move them around any way and easily add additional seating for having friends over. The couch and chairs have been a welcomed change from our sectional that could only go one way in our room.
And yes, Christmas is still going strong here at the Haigler house – just in case you were wondering.
Someone hold me to my goal – under 250 books by June.
And this is the part where I tell you we haven’t even started counting the non-children’s books!!! Oooopppssssss. Houston, we have problem.
Step 1: Gather every book from around the house.
Step 2: Sort and stack the books according to type and levels – helpful for kids. We needed our chapter books separate from the baby books.
Step 3: Figure out what to keep and what to donate. Preschools and schools are great places to take your gently used books. Discard any books that are torn or drawn in (yeah, we had those too).
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