Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Cleaning Series - Bookcase Cleaning and Reorganizing

Hi friends,

I am back with a new series of blog posts and YouTube videos and it's all about cleaning and organizing!

Are you ready for Spring? I sure am, we had the worst weather EVER, here in Jersey and I am finally finding myself motivated to start big (and small) projects again. This time around I am going to focus on Spring Cleaning with a dash of general organizing.

I found a good Spring Cleaning Checklist on Martha but felt that it was not comprehensive enough for me. While it lists the general stuff we should do at the change of each season, such as rotating mattresses and the like, I still felt that I needed a bit more direction to keep myself motivated and tackle a whole bunch of other stuff I had procrastinated. So sure, enough, I made up my own list!

I went ahead and purchased this very inexpensive notebook from Michael's Arts and Crafts Store (you can find it in their $ bin).

 And started writing in my own list, a mix of Martha Stewart and a bit more that is my own and based on my ongoing list of to-dos around the house. 

I like the idea of using a notebook like this one because it allows me to check what has been accomplished, add on new items as I see fit and keep it around for the next year (provided I use a pencil to check those completed tasks). I even thought of extending it as a year long seasonal cleaning notebook by adding a tab for each season (Fall, Winter etc.) The elastic band allows me to keep other papers nicely tucked inside. It's a win-win!

Because the weather was just miserable this past week end, I opted to stay indoors and tackle one huge project: cleaning and reorganizing my large Living Room Bookcase. It is one of those projects I have procrastinated for ever, and just could no longer ignore. Check it out for yourself: is it a mess, or what?

This was no longer working for me as I identified too many issues:

  • Too many books - Most could be relocated to another part of the house
  • No room to properly display family heirloom and memorabilia
  • Book collections are disorganized and not clearly separated
  • It's just plain ugly to look at.
It was time for a change! While there are "after" pictures in this post, I did make a complete video of the process (and the thinking that went along):

So, one of the biggest task was to decide what to keep and what to relocate. I made the decision to only keep full collections in this bookcase. For instance, we have been collecting classic literature, in particular the  NY Times list of 100 Novels of the 20th Century. It took us a while to build up this collection, and while we are missing a few books, when combined with the Modern Library, we pretty much have all 100, plus some. I ended up placing those books by order of the list itself, and then by alphabetical order for the leftovers by similar authors.
In the meantime, a thorough dusting and cleaning of each book and shelves was done.

I also, made room for some of my most treasured heirloom, nicely tucked in to protect them from accidents either caused by overly excited boys or equally rambunctious dogs!

In all, I only kept the following inside the bookcase:

Anything else that did not fit those six categories was relocated to the basement/library and that was a lot of books!!!

In the end, and five and a half hours later, I had a bookcase that looked much more organized, completely free of dust and my special items and other decorative favorites are nicely displayed, they can be seen and enjoyed rather than hidden and overwhelmed by the clutter around them.

Here is another look at the before:

And the end result:

I May not look like a big deal but it was a lot of work, between carrying the books around, alphabetizing them and not to mention the dusting!

I am just glad I did it and cannot wait to keep going with my Spring Cleaning next week end as I will tackle yet another project!

Thank you for reading and sharing my post!

Don't forget the YouTube version of this post:

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Sophia, NJ.

*My blog contains affiliate advertising for which I receive a small commission when you purchase from the links provided. I am affiliated with Vera Bradley and Yves Rocher. 


  1. Nice to see you are back with your vlogs/blogs, I like looking at them all, but the reorganisation/projects are my favourite. I can appreciate the quantity of books and how to display them, as we have much the same amount. It's hard trying to get "like with like" due to the range of sizes. I think you did a really good job. Loved the dogs messing about, they did look very "cute" laying on the settee!. You certainly have motivated me to attack projects that I/we have been meaning to do for a long time, including my husband's business office, which is in a building that was built in abt 1770 - magnolia paint (large quantity) and a long roller. Look forward to more projects - sad really but I have missed my "Sophia fix", been watching previous ones again, LOL!!
    Lorna North Lincs UK

  2. I wish you'd make your lists available for us to print/copy. Great blog post and video as usual Sophia. Very inspiring. Thank you.

  3. Do you need free YouTube Views?
    Did you know that you can get these AUTOMATICALLY & TOTALLY FREE by getting an account on Like 4 Like?


I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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