The Great Book Purge of 2015 (And of Ever) - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
Join me in keeping on and beginning again!

The Great Book Purge of 2015 (And of Ever)


The before (the hole in the middle of the shelves was actually where we used to keep our T.V.)

I am what you might call a book hoarder.

I love books. I have a thing for books. I smell the insides of books. They are my children. We do not ever talk about getting rid of my babies.

Until now. Well, until the other day when I read a book that told me to get rid of books.


In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing the author, Marie Kondo, says that we should get rid of everything that does not “spark joy in our hearts.”

What a lovely way of encouraging you to THROW AWAY BOOKS. And everything else. But seriously, it was so helpful for me because my bookshelves really did need cleaned out (as well as everything in the rest of my house).

I took the author’s advice and took every single book off the shelf and then went through each deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. In addition to asking myself if it sparked joy in my heart, I also asked if it was educational for my children or would spark joy or relief in their hearts one day. If it didn’t, or I felt like it already served purpose in my life, GONE.


The fam even got in on the action…


We purged and we purged and we got rid of over TWELVE bags of books! CRAZY.

Oh my goodness, I had no idea how good it felt to PURGE! I feel lighter already. I can’t wait to tackle the rest of my house! PURGE BABY PURGE! Anyway, I’m telling you this because I recommend the book and the purging. It was so helpful for me. If you can’t get the book, it can be summed up in this: “Get rid of everything by going through it systematically by category instead of room (clothes, books, papers, etc.) and ONLY keep what sparks joy in your heart.” 

I am telling you, there is such freedom in getting rid of things and just keeping the things you really enjoy.

One quick caveat with the book before I show you the after pics: Marie tells you to hold your book and thank it and a few other things that I’m not into. As with any book, just pick the bones and keep the meat! 🙂

Okay, want to see the reveal? YEA YOU DO!





Doesn’t it look SO refreshing?!!! I know!

Best. Decision. Ever. I love it SO much, and I actually want to be in this room now! Yay! Thank you Marie!

Oh, and for those who are concerned about my babies, they are being given to friend.

Ahhhh, here’s to a CLEAN SPACE!

Now, want to clean WITH me? Check out my 31 Days to Clean series right here on the blog and/OR check out my new book Having a Martha Home the Mary Way (revised version of 31 Days to Clean)!

Love, SM

P.S. My husband built those beautiful shelves. 🙂

There are affiliate links in the post. Read my disclosure policy here.

Print this!

  • Nicole

    just added this book to my list of holds for ebooks at my library 🙂 we are a military family that moves every two to three years. our next move is in two months and we only get a certain number of pounds that will be moved. we purged our big people books and homeschool stuff, next will be our children’s/teen books.

    • Sarah Mae

      It feels so good! And wow, yes, when you have to move it become a necessity to purge!

  • Ssteph

    Did you purge kids books as well?

    • Sarah Mae

      Some, yes, but we have SEVERAL wonderful kids books we are keeping. Each child has a bookshelf in their room of books, then we have the dining room bookshelf of kids books, and the living room bookshelves with tons of kids books. 🙂

  • Katrina

    I’ve had the Kondo book on hold at the library for a few months – and I’m still 30-something-th in the queue.
    I have to admit, talk of purging books makes me feel panicky… I realize I have a problem 🙂
    It does look wonderful – and those bookcases? Perfect!

  • TruthMom

    I’ve done this but my shelves keep filling back up, especially with homeschool books and we are saving them for our son when he starts. It is so hard for me to part with books but hey, if it makes way for new ones, I’m all for it! 🙂 LOL!

    I love your shelving unit!

  • Becky Woller

    I just purchased this book on a whim this weekend! I love the concept of only keeping those things that give you joy. I already did a book purge a couple of moves ago and only kept my all-time favorite series by Diana Gabaldeon, but I have plenty of other areas to purge. Thank you for reaffirming my purchase and happy purging!

  • Kela

    I’m SO glad to see this post!! We recently moved and the majority of our books had to go into the attic (still in boxes) until my husband can finish constructing our offices and building bookcases.
    You know what…I haven’t missed even one of the book in the attic. I did, however keep the kids homeschool books and a few “key” and most favorite books for myself. Other than that, I already feel liberated!

  • Tasha

    I have 14 bookcases in my house……….going to pray about this one.

  • Charley Gee

    It looks so fantastic! Straight from a decor mag. I love how you still have lots of books but room for your pieces of art and decor.


    Your book shelves look AMAZING!! I love purging too, this was my third year in a row of doing a full house declutter in the winter/early spring and it feels SO good every single time!

All Content Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Mae | Design by Emily Rose