Peter Walsh has a terrific mantra to make more effective decisions about what to keep. He says "SET LIMITS: you only have the space you have"

When it comes to book collections, no truer words were ever spoken. But what if you have the space to get MORE organizing tools (a bigger bookshelf for example)? Well then other choices must be made. Use my example, I could make it a goal to pay a carpenter to make the perfect built in bookshelf like my other house. Or for a quick fix, I could easily embrace the idea of taking the ferry and a road trip to the mainland to buy a close-to-perfect bookcase - in fact that was what I was planning to do before the lightning bolt struck.

The lighting bolt I am speaking of was found in the garage. I have been hanging onto some commercial-strength glass shelves for about a decade. I love the weight of them, the clarity, the perfect bevelled edge... but they never found a home at the other place. I moved them here thinking they might come in handy for the garage. And last week I saw them there leaning against the wall and felt sad that I wasn't using them. "SHAZAAM!"

The solution to my bookcase dilemma was right in front of me. And it was the easiest, fastest (and least expensive) option!  I would be able to us my beloved glass by getting rid of enough books to live with a simpler stacked bookcase!

A brief mission to find the right supports began. Flowerpots were too expensive. Bricks too messy. But some water hyacinth storage baskets with metal frames proved sturdy, clean, grippy for the glass, affordable and reasonably priced. Viola!

under construction
Not nearly the capacity of my old shelving wall. But now at least I know what space I have with which to set the realistic limits Peter Walsh is talking about. A dozen or so boxes of books to fit into 16 linear feet of shelving.

Just yesterday I took 3 boxes of books to the Elementary school. It was hard to get rid of some of the old favourites... (I did keep a short stack of the younger-age books) But so many of the classics are easily found at the library (I had to finally admit it, my boys aren't big readers).

And for my own selections, I decided the very best place for my favourite pocket novels and the "yet to be read" collection should be narrowed down to JUST ONE slim, rolling, under-the-bed container (another space that has definable limits). It felt good to accomplish that. They are still easy to access and in a logical place (since I like to read in bed).

More boxes to charity, more purging and prioritizing and sorting... here we are!

I'm pleased with the low height. And tickled pink seeing the glass shelves being utilized too!
Total cost... $53.76 for the baskets. It was so reasonable that I treated myself with the picture rail shelf above... obviously I'm taking that "set limit" to it's maximum capacity. Maybe time to consider the quantity of family photos I like to display?

What do you think?

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