Every other month or so, we take our blog-writing hat off and point you in the direction of content that already exists out in the world. There are thousands of blogs, podcasts, books, documentaries, tv shows etc out there and we don't want to bombard you. We take a moment every now and then to distill down a few of the things we've read over the past month to some of the most helpful or most meaningful and here they are! Our goal is to provide tools through the words and pictures of other good folks that have encouraged us. We hope you enjoy!
As organizers, one of the questions we consistently get from our clients is how and where to donate or sell the books that they are ready to pass along. We've compiled our list of recommendations and are eager to share it with you.
If you are ready to organize and purge your books, we recommend that you take the time to look through all the books throughout your home. Rather than simply purging a bookcase in one of many places that you keep reading material, plan to put your hands on every book in the house! Don't forget cookbooks, textbooks, and children's books. Once you've gone through all of them and have your purge pile, the following steps will come in handy...
Step 1: Determine whether each book is donate-able/sell-able or whether it simply needs to be recycled. If it's water damaged, dry rotted, or torn up it's not worth donating. Go ahead and recycle that sucker.
Step 2: Donate: If you don't want to fool with selling, simply donate your books to your local library or to a thrift store. If you have children's books to donate, you can also drop them at one of the many free little library's around town.
Step 3: Selling: There are many approaches and ways to go about selling your books. For a quick way to offload mass quantities of books, McKays is our recommendation. The amount of books you drop off will determine how you sell/how long you wait. For guidelines check out this link. In addition to McKays, Amazon now has a buy back program for certain books that they will pay shipping for and purchase from you in exchange for an Amazon gift card. For textbooks we recommend Barnes and Noble's buy back program.
Step 4: Enjoy the space you've created in your home by purging the books that you no longer need or want!
If you are heading off to college in the next few weeks or are moving one of your children into their first dorm room, we have a few tips to make the move more organized and seamless.
1. Schedule a day with your son or daughter and plan to go through everything in their room at home. This may seem daunting but you will be so glad you did it. PURGE PURGE PURGE. This is a great opportunity to do the initial clean out which will make packing that much easier!
2. Think seasonally. In most dorm rooms, storage is limited which requires creativity and careful planning to utilize the space well. How large is the dorm room? Are frequent trips home feasible? Figure out all of the details before you begin packing. Send seasonal clothing and accessories only and store the rest at home. Use storage solutions like over the door shoe racks, under bed storage, and rolling carts to make good use of your space. Check out this link for more dorm room organization ideas.
3. Pack in clear tubs. College students typically move a lot. Rather than going out and purchasing moving boxes for every move over the next several years, buy some large totes that you can load up and pack easily. Once emptied, the totes can be stacked inside of each other and easily stored.
4. Make the dorm room feel like home. No matter how exciting college can be, its always an adjustment moving out of mom and dad's house and into a space of your own. Although your kid may be excited about the change, it's always easier to adjust when your new room feels comfortable and homey. Remember that this is a dorm room and a college student. Styles change and college kids aren't known for being the most responsible. You don't need hire a decorator and take out a loan to transform a 10x12 dorm room into the next cover of House Beautiful.
Links for dorm room storage, etc., list of things to take with you to college