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Should You Declutter Kids Books?

Books are one of the most controversial items when it comes to discussing decluttering. Many people would never think of separating with a single text. However, there are advantages to having a well curated selection. Here’s how I declutter kids books.

I personally get all my books from the library. When I do occasionally purchase or receive a book, I read it and pass it along to another person. This works for me because I almost never read the same book twice, and I am not using my books as household decoration.

My three oldest children have their own bookcases in their rooms and they maintain their own personal books. We also always get new books at Christmas. Sometimes they decide to pass along a book that they have outgrown, but that is rare.

What kids books do I declutter?

I do keep a pretty tight rein on the books for my three youngest kids. When you are in the toddler stage, it doesn’t take long for all the books to end up in a pile on the floor. If you spend more time putting books away than you do actually reading to your kids, it may be time for a change.

When sorting through kids books, first pull out anything you absolutely hate to read to them. (Unless it’s one of their favorite stories). If you’re not sure, you can always move some books to an out of the way spot in a closet. Just make sure to come back later and make a decision to keep or pass along.

Next pull out any books that your kids have outgrown or are no longer interested in. If you really want to go small, check your remaining books against the library catalog and declutter anything you are able to check out.

What books should I keep?

Because we go to the library weekly and get a big stack of books each time, I only keep a tiny number of kids books for my younger kids. In fact, the two pictures in this article show all of them.

Even during the covid shut down, our library quickly re-opened curbside pick up for books, and we checked out many picture ebooks and audiobooks during that time as well.

We currently own a small selection of board books that my 2 year old got for his birthday. I will keep these until he outgrows them. My 6 year old is a big Minecraft fan, so we have a few how-to books that he likes to refer to at a moment’s notice, as well as a few favorite stories he likes me to read over and over again.

The rest of our books are both kid stories and sentimental items. Pictured below are some battered and beloved Dr. Seuss anthologies from my husband’s childhood. These three volumes may look tattered on the outside, but its been very special to read to our boys and even my older girls find themselves lingering on the couch when we read these.

Of course the actual number of books to own is a very personal decision. With a quality library system and a large selection of digital books, you and your kids can stay very well read even if you don’t want to own the books all yourself.

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Cockeyed Jo

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Personally, I never decluttered my children's books. Some of them were my favorites from childhood even. They went through me, to my children. and my grandchildren. When I decluttered (read sold/gave away almost everything) before my move to north Georgia to live tiny, they went to my youngest daughter for her young children. From there they went to my first great grand. The joy of owning words, reading, and the value of books continues.


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Yes, it is definitely a very individual decision!

Some of my most precious moments with my older kids has been sharing my favorite childhood stories with them.

Personally, reading from a library copy didn't diminish that experience for us.

Each of my daughters has a couple books that I have already passed down to them, some from their grandparents. When the boys are older they will most likely receive one of the Dr. Seuss books from their dad.

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