Adventures into Alice’s Decluttered World – The Bookcases

As many of you know Alice has been sharing her decluttering escapades with us for a while now and she is still at it.  This time, bookshelves beware!  I wanted to share this declutter session with you to prove that you don’t have to have a project that takes you all day to make a big difference and to remove clutter from your space.  Some times it only takes 30 mins of your time to make a big impact.

Alice and her husband had two bookshelves in their house, one in the living room & one in the guest bedroom.  There was a mixture in both shelves of recipe, religious, business, financial, old college annuals/programs, relationship & fiction books along with old VHS tapes, CD’s, audio books, extra picture frames & board games.  Mr. Alice’s stuff was mostly housed in the living room & Alice’s were mostly in the bedroom.  Alice wanted to combine the various genres instead of having them separated…I mean come on two become one when you get married right?!?!?  Alice admits that when they moved into their house 3 years ago there was a system, but as the years have gone on that system is gone lol.  Can you relate?

So lets look at the before pictures:

Bedroom Before

This brought such joy to my eyes as, this bookshelf happened to be one that I had given Alice years before when I was decluttering my home.  See one person’s junk is another person’s treasure!

This before picture is the bookshelf in the living room:

Living Room Before

Alice’s mode of attack was to pull everything out of both shelves and sort them into the following categories.

Business (Architecture)
Misc (coffee table books)

Alice started filling in the main bookshelf in the living room with items they use the most often.  Recipe & Religious books took refuge on the top shelf in order of size left to right. Recipe books took two cubes, the third being religious.  The middle shelf started with Business (two cubes) then Misc (coffee table books).  The bottom started with Financial (two cubes) then Landscape/Garden and Relationship.  So, here is the finished product.

LivingRm After

She then moved on to the guest bedroom shelf.  On top, she left the games.  The 1st shelf was dedicated to the small fiction paperback books.  The 2nd shelf received hardback Fiction and any other leftover misc books that wouldn’t fit in the living room.  The 3rd shelf housed old college annuals/programs, picture albums, large books.  The 4th shelf held those old VHS tapes that she just couldn’t part with just yet.  She is still battling with this because she hated to throw them out (maybe she can get them transferred to DVD…first we must figure out what is on them).  The Bottom shelf belongs to old CD’s, audio books and extra picture frames that need pictures in them before they are displayed. So here is her finished product.

Bedroom After

The only suggestions I have for Alice is to (1) get some book ends to make the books standup properly or maybe put other books laying on their side at the end so something will hold them up.  (2) This is just personal preference, is to move the board games lower or remove them from the shelf and put them somewhere else (maybe under the bed or in a closet).  They seem to be an after thought to everything else that is on the shelf.  Regardless, I can see the difference in both of the bookcases and I’m proud of Alice for tackling this project.

In summary, this was a very easy project for Alice and it helped her build her decluttering confidence.  Oh and by the way….she was able to get rid of about 15 books and 25 movies.

What small decluttering project have you tackled lately?  Please share your projects with us and you too can be featured on Thehappinessbucket!  Just email us at

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