Compass Greater NY, LLC
Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES, Compass Greater NY, LLCPhone: (917) 623-0624
Email: [email protected]

4 Steps to Take Control of Your Book Collection

by Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES 05/09/2021

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Being surrounded by favorite books can be a calming experience in a highly chaotic world. However, when your book collection becomes a part of your chaos instead of a relief from it, it's time to rethink your organizational methods. If books are keeping you from enjoying an organized, clutter-free home, here are some solutions.

1. Donate the Duplicates

It's your all-time favorite book, which means any time you see an affordable copy or a new edition it must come home with you. Unfortunately, this is how clutter begins. On day one of your book re-organization, sort through what you have and put duplicate titles into a donate box. You don't have to give up your favorite copy but letting go of the other three copies of that very same book will feel empowering. It will free up space on your bookshelf and it will make that single kept copy feel more special.

2. Sort and Separate

Designate spaces for the following categories:

  • Books you're definitely keeping

  • Books you would like to keep

  • Books you are fine not keeping

Anything that ends up in the third category can go right into a box to donate. Then, you can focus on the middle portion and see if there is any more room you can make.

3. Dedicate a Space

Will you keep a single shelf of books, a an entire wall? Will you devote an entire room to housing your books and create a dedicated home library? Whatever you decide, ensure you have the room necessary to neatly store all the books you're keeping.

At this point you may need to buy or build proper book storage. Here are some ideas for storing books neatly and easily:

  • Purchase furniture pieces that offer inventive book storage, such as a raised bed or sofa that features book cubbies beneath the sleeping or sitting area.

  • Buy or create wall art that holds books, such as shelving built in special shapes or crates mounted up the corner of a room.

  • Use wooden boxes on wheels that you can roll easily under a coffee table or storage bench.

  • Place slender bookcases behind bedroom doors.

  • Fill a free-standing shelving unit with books and use it as a room divider.

Once you have all the storage you need, it's time to go back through your books and re-sort them.

4. Finalize Your Book Organization

Books in the must-keep category into the shelves first. They should be in the most accessible spots and ideally at eye-level. Once you're finished with that category move on to the books you'd like to keep. Sort and re-sort, according to the amount of room you have left. Books that don't make the cut at this stage should go directly into the donate box.

At this point, most of your dedicated space should be full, preventing you from keeping more books than you have room for. Donate any leftover books right away before you second-guess your decisions. Paring down your book collection may make you anxious. It may feel like you're doing something you'll regret later. But books are intended to improve our quality of life, not detract from it. This will help you take control of your own space and be mindful of future book collecting.

About the Author

Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES

Ann Marie Damashek has always been a natural at helping people prepare their homes for sale. She started out with a successful business selling goods for people on eBay. "Nine times out of ten they were hiring me because they were down-sizing,” Ann Marie says. "So I decided to get my license. I said, ‘Might as well sell their house too.’” The transition was a smooth one and for nine years she’s had a thriving full-time real estate business that allows her to marry her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for helping others. With an office in Larchmont, New York, she serves all of Lower Westchester County, with her primary market in the Sound Shore region. The majority of her business is "sphere of influence” with former clients referring her to friends and family. A gifted communicator, Ann Marie quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients by being both thoughtful and responsive; she understands that during the purchase or sale of a home, a quick response time is crucial. "I am very accessible,” Ann Marie says. "I always make time for my clients. They can call me, text me, email me up until 10 o’clock at night and I will respond. I’m available on weekends. I get back to people very promptly. I’m very customer service-oriented.” Her clients appreciate her professionalism, passion and enthusiasm and as a result her repeat and referral rate continues to grow each year. While selling real estate is serious business, Ann Marie knows that at times humor and a moment of levity can be a relief to clients. While she has a laidback and easygoing personality, she can be assertive when needed on her clients’ behalf. She loves being of service to them, and the continually changing nature of the work keeps her engaged and fulfilled. "It’s never boring,” Ann Marie enthuses. "Every day is different. That’s probably what I like most about it. But I also enjoy helping people sell or buy and educating them about the process. I love helping them achieve their goals.” This ethic of service has resulted in well-deserved recognition. Ann Marie has received the Westchester Magazine Five Star Real Estate Agent Rating four years running, in 2015 and 2016 she was the #1 agent in her office, and she’s a Zillow 5-Star Premier Agent. To keep in touch with former clients, Ann Marie sends cards to mark special occasions or reaches out via email. To market her listings, Ann Marie uses Multiple Listing Services (MLS), as well as, a service that allows both agents and their clients access to MLS data. She also uses a Facebook business page and ads to boost new listings or promote upcoming open houses. "That drives a tremendous amount of traffic,” Ann Marie says. She also uses the most popular real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. A strong believer in giving back, Ann Marie sits on the Board of Trustees of her church and is involved in a variety of social justice projects. She’s affiliated with Furniture Sharehouse, a furniture bank for Westchester County, which collects and distributes gently used furniture free of charge to those in need. "I love it on so many levels because as a realtor, it’s helps my sellers downsize through charitable donations. I like the environmental aspect of it as well. And it helps people who truly need things.” She’s also involved in Impact 100, a women’s philanthropic giving organization. In her free time, Ann Marie enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. For the future, Ann Marie wants to continue expanding her business and developing her brand, and she someday hopes to grow a strong team. But her main goal is to stay in the real estate business, helping her clients to achieve their dreams.