New Year's Book Sweep

Put your best reading foot forward this New Year with these simple steps to clean out your bookshelves.
By Amy Mascott
Jan 09, 2017



Jan 09, 2017

Editor's note: This post was originally published on January 6, 2014.

There's no better time than the New Year to do a household Book Sweep!

The holidays may have left your family in a haze of new toys, lots of clutter, and the need for a start fresh. So what better way to begin 2018 than with a home library that works for your entire family, especially your kids. You can then pass along any reading material that may work better for friends and neighbors. 

A Book Sweep is simple: It's essentially "sweeping" clean the books in your house to make sure that what's there will work. We want the precious space on our bookshelves to be used wisely. We want the books on them to be what interests you and your kids the most. 

And anything we're not using, or don't plan to, is best given to others who will use them!

Here are the very simple steps to a book sweep:

1. Gather the family together. A family book sweep is only as good as your team making decisions as a whole! (You may also need everyone there to take votes on some titles.)

2. Work with one bookshelf at a time. Assess the books on the shelf. Talk about them and put the books in piles to Keep, Give, and Move.   

The books that you choose to keep, you will obviously keep on that shelf. The books that you choose to give away, you can plan to donate to friends, family, neighbors, community libraries, and bookstores. The books that you decide to move, you'll move to another place in the house.

3. Clean the shelf. Give it a nice proper dusting and disinfecting. Your shelves and books will thank you.

4. Deliver the books! Put the books back on the shelf that you designated to stay there, and deliver the books to a new shelf or place in the home where they will be a better fit. The books that you decided to give to others can be shared or donated.

5. Rinse, repeat. Do this for each spot in the home where you keep books.  

You will surely "unearth" some reading treasures along the way — books that have been sleeping on shelves for the past few months, that your family will be thrilled to discover (after stashing it on the shelf unread) — or even better, rediscover for a second or third read.  

Book Sweeps are a win-win! Let's get sweeping and start the year off on the right reading foot!

Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page and let's continue the conversation!

Featured Photo Credit: © AleksandarNakic/iStockphoto

Raise a Reader Blog
Age 13
Age 12
Age 11
Age 10
Age 9
Age 8
Age 7
Age 6
Age 5
Age 4
Age 3
Age 2
Age 1
New Year's Day