Declutter Your Bookshelves with This Two-Minute Tip from Dan Pink

Many of us are looking for something to do while we are stuck at home (not me, mind you; I’m plenty busy with Netflix and walks back and forth to our snack cabinet).

But if you’re the ambitious type, then this week’s Pinkcast may be right up your alley.

In this two-minute clip, Dan Pink describes a very simple, straightforward approach on how to clean out your overcrowded bookshelves. The method is based on what he learned from reading Joy at Work by tidying expert and bestselling author, Marie Kondo, and organizational psychologist, Scott Sonenshein.

Here are the steps:

  1. take everything off your bookshelves
  2. collect all the books in one place, and then go through each book, one by one
  3. with each book, ask yourself the classic Marie Kondo question, ‘Does this book spark joy?’
  4. Dan points out that if that question is a little too “woo-woo” for you, you can ask questions such as, ‘When did you get the book? Did you even read it? Would you recommend it to someone else? If you saw it in a bookstore today, would you still buy it?’
  5. If the answer to the question is yes, keep it.
  6. If the answer is no, here are some options for getting rid of books: public libraries, schools, or your neighborhood Little Free Library

This is a tidying up project I actually think I can handle…

Here is the Pinkcast:

P.S. If any of you, like Dan, are getting rid of any Dan Pink books, I’ll gladly take them off your hands…

*image from Facebook


46 thoughts on “Declutter Your Bookshelves with This Two-Minute Tip from Dan Pink

    1. it seems like a fairly simple task to do, but I am sure I will get bogged down paging through all the books. and glad to know there are other bookcases like ours!
      (found this in my spam folder for some reason, sorry for the delay in responding)


      1. yes it’s hard though, but i thought about why i still had some of them, and it put it in perspective. donated some to my family, little libraries in the neighborhood, and a shelter


  1. I don’t typically reread books, but I was staring at my bookshelf the other day, thinking, “I should read that one again. That sure was a great read!” Then I snapped back into reality and remembered I have twenty or more books waiting to be read for the first time on my Kindle. Oh well, it’s a nice problem to have.😎


    1. I rarely reread books as well. And I’ve got a pile to get through as well. And speaking of books, I finished yours the other day, and loved it. I kept telling my wife different stories along the way. Your students were blessed to have you as a teacher, as were your colleagues and admins.


      1. The thing about teachers is that whatever level we teach at, we can make an impression. Some of my favorite teachers were some of my college professors. Thanks for being part of an amazing profession, Jim.


      2. thank you, Pete. And like you, I take that responsibility seriously about the sort of impression we might be making on our students. Hope you and your family are doing well.


  2. Netflix isn’t available here during the day which is probably a good thing as my boys still have school. It ends tomorrow and it will be harder to keep them occupied during the day. Their eyes may fall out due to playing video games all day. Never mind, I’ll pick them up and put them back in [giggle]. I don’t give away books, they are like my babies.


    1. Is that your choice not to have Netflix available during the day, or is it some type of broad restriction? Thank heaven for video games at this time! And there are only a handful of books I feel any sort of attachment to, so it should be easy for me to clean out my shelves.


  3. It is difficult to part with books but, sadly, I’ve had to start doing so and, unwittingly, used similar criteria to that recommended by Kondo and Pink. I should be famous too! πŸ˜‚


  4. I’m envious of the snack cabinet. Curated treats & Netflix. I’m a day and a bit away from a long weekend bender. More salty, crunchy than sweet tooth, but I can be persuaded by chocolate.


    1. I have no filter when it comes to snacks – I’ll eat just about anything. And no need to be envious of the snack cabinet – my waist has paid the price for having one…


  5. Great post, Jim! Entertaining as always. I think the book selection process could be simpler. If you intend on rereading the book sometime in the future, then keep it. If not, donate it! A book that spends its life on a shelf is not fulfilling it purpose. A book must be read to be of value. But that is just me. Take care and be safe!


  6. I do like Dan’s approach … and his question is a good one! I’ve already spring cleaned my shelves … but my computer could us a total clean out. Thanks for inspiring me to get rid of old work data files!


  7. I am laughing too hard to begin this project. Yes, I probably need to empty the bookshelves and take stock of what I have. Eventually, like in the film “Groundhog Day,” I will be inspired to finish the journey.


  8. I don’t have Netflix but I’m watching lots of movies and binge watching series. I rewatch and re-read books too but only my favorites. And I must tell, I love emptying bookshelves and place it back (it will take way longer though because I’ll be reading here and there) πŸ˜‚


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