Project Garage Organization: Battle of the Books

Pile of Books by Surachai

Project Garage Organization

Hubby and I have been plugging away at finally getting some order and purpose out of the chaos and clutter that is currently our garage.  There is still a lot left to do, but progress is being made!

Here are the garage “zones” I currently have plans for:
- Laundry Room
- Christmas
- Gift Wrap
- Craft Items
- Media & Books
- Childhood Memorabilia
- Sports Equipment
- Camping Gear
- Tools

The items above in grey, we already have a good start on.   I’m sure there will be some finish organizing to do, but those areas have been de-cluttered and I can actually find what I’m looking for in those zones.  Yeah!

I know a common tip for organizing is to completely clear the area and then only put back the items you want.  Well, our garage is honestly (and shamefully) too full to do that.  If we emptied all the contents into our driveway, there is just too much stuff to go through in a day or even an entire weekend.  Although, hubby has promised he could clear the entire garage in one day if I let him rent a backhoe and dumpster bin!

Instead, I have designated various “zones” for the garage.  We entirely clear that area.  Every item is decided to either:

  • Keep
    - Items that belong in the zone we’re working on get placed back in that area.
    - I also have a 8 ft banquet table set up for items I want to keep, but don’t belong in the “zone” I’m currently working on.
  • Toss
    - Items that are trash, broken, etc. get thrown in the trash bin.
  • Sell/Give away
    - Any items that are still useful (but we no longer want or need) get placed on a separate 8 ft banquet table (ie. garage sale, craigslist, donate).

With the heat in the triple digits this weekend, it made it unbearable to work IN the garage.  However, I found a garage zone we could organize, instead, IN the house!
Our “book zone”!

We had 8 big Rubbermaid bins FULL of books stored in the garage.  Hubby brought in each bin, one by one, and we went through each and every book to place in one of three categories:

  • Keep
  • Gift
  • Get Rid Of (ie. sell or donate)

Taking some tips from Project 7: Downsize your book and magazine collection of the ebook I mentioned last week: One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler

Criteria for books to get rid of (not hold onto ho-hum books for no reason):

  • You don’t plan to read it again
  • It didn’t rock your socks off
  • It was a gift, and you honestly have no future plans to read it

The exception is quality children’s books.  Save for kiddos’ different stages, for guests, and for future generations.


We whittled from 8 large Rubbermaid bins down to 4!

- We have set aside a few books, that are in like-new condition, to give as gifts.

- I have a couple lots of Star Wars books that I listed for sale on craigslist:
(any of you Star Wars fans?  I can ship for the prices listed below + shipping)
Star Wars books – huge lot (42 books), $1/ea. or $30/all
Star Wars – Zahn Trilogy (hardback books) – $10

- The remaining, I plan to try to sell at our upcoming garage sale.  Whatever doesn’t sell will get donated.

Now that we have downsized our book collection to books we’d read again and enjoy, I now need to find a place to display our remaining collection.

Another tip that Tsh suggests in her ebook: is to invest in a Kindle or a Nook.

My husband is a HUGE fan of this tip, however I’m not yet convinced as a convert.  Especially as I see a large number of the books my husband has decided to get rid of – books from his “favorite authors” that he doesn’t intend to re-read, a lot of them new releases “hardback books” at $30/ea.!

Currently our book budget is $0/month.  We either get books as gifts (holidays & birthdays), borrow from friends, or check-out from our local library.

What criteria do you use to decide what to keep in your book collection? 
Anyone have any luck selling their used books?  Do you buy books new or used, Kindle or Nook format, or check-out from your local library?




About Tonia

Hi! My name is Tonia. I'm happily married with three great kids - two preschoolers and a teen! With a previous career in software sales, I thrived in my career as a working mom until the birth of my third child. I'm now on a journey to discover how to be content as an "@ home" mom. I've been inspired to become the best wife and mom I can be, where ever that role takes me. I'm eager to try new things, looking for greatness, longing for contentment.
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