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Clear your Clutter: Ridding your life of too many books


MPM Author, Kate Emmerson, made the decision to go location free as she spreads the wisdom of living light, living large. During the time she was paring down her belongings she had to make some very ruthless decisions. Her book “Clear your Clutter,” published by the Keys Press and Micro Publishing Media, is a guidebook for the clutter challenged. We think it is the best approach to learning to make the decisions that enter into why many of us become buried under our belongings. Kate wrote this minimalist manifesto to share her own experience. We are grateful she walks her talk and have excerpted some of this here as a you too can free your life of the burden of too much stuff.

Too many Books

For Kate ridding her life of her books was the hardest thing. She is an author and teaches other writers who are also book lovers.

From her manifesto: 

"With slightly sweaty palms I am staring at approximately 100 books wondering what to do, what to do, WHAT TO DO? The people who know me, love me and truly “get” my message have not been phased in the slightest about my bold, upcoming moves to LIVE my message in 2016. Yet without doubt everyone has said “But Kate! What about your BOOKS – you have to keep all your BOOKS!”

While I have done a big “thinning out” before, this time around it cuts deeper, way deeper. I have felt a compulsion driving me, urging me and begging me to find a new way for a new Chapter.

Her resolution:

I’m going to LIVE this work, do all these books really serve me and do I really want to keep all these bound words before me?

Kate’s way of approaching the books she so dearly love was to ask the following questions:

  • 1.Do I LOVE it? (Not LIKE, must be LOVE)
  • 2.Do I USE it? (no conning of self)
  • 3.Does it add VALUE and ENERGY to my life? (As opposed to drag me down)
  • 4.“Do I truly love it enough to lug it with me in my suitcase now OR will I want to ship

Even though this is not the same for everyone, it is a great exercise for you to use to determine how much you love and want to keep a book. Books require maintenance. They require space. Is their energy dragging you down and if you wanted to move or scale down, could you?

"Let go or be dragged." - Zen Proverb

From Kate:

What about the books?

Kate's bookshelf before she went location free. Still less than probably most of us she was able to pare it down even more. Here is how: 

"I have reference books I use when writing, novels I re-read to lift my spirits, a few books I just love in my bookcase and some still to read! Ok-time to be MEGA- ruthless. I decided to keep my favorite reference book to read once more then pass on, and 4 books I still need to read. Some of them I passed on to specific people if they wanted them, others I sold for some cash. De-cluttering always mobilizes money! In fact, when I placed them on an online platform to sell, one woman said, but they are so prettily color coordinated, you should keep them. A total stranger getting attached to MY books!

THEN, my real dilemma kicked in! I was faced with all the copies that authors have personally signed to me over the years…. yep, dear KATE. People whom I call friends, clients and colleagues!

Guilt, fear, OMG what will they say?

I always tell clients, readers, listeners and anyone who will pay attention that clutter clearing and letting go is not for sissies and so those words were ringing in my ears at double speed and double volume. Then, lightening bulb Bingo. I realized I cherished the message as I had already devoured the book upon receiving it, so I piled them all up so I could see the spines and the titles, and took a pic. Then one by one took a pic of the inscription made out to me. Digitally saved under precious memories forever! There, that wasn’t so bad after all.

And I’m keeping just 5 books. And one journal to make notes in written form – journaling, gratitude lists, workshops etc.

You can learn more about clearing your clutter in Kate’s book:

Also available on Amazon as well as other online retailers. 

Buy now in the MPM Store

Make sure to check back for Kate’s tips and inspirations.

Her wisdom is your gain. We at MPM are booklovers and collectors. We are daily releasing some of our books to our store for sale. We have the unusual titles we are known for. Sign up for our list. We are adding new products every day so check out the store. Even if you are trying to clear your own clutter, well-chosen and thoughtful gifts are always appreciated. We now offer gift certificates for the hard-to-by-for members of your family. 

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