A little motivation and a Giveaway!

New Year… New plans right? Clean out, get rid of, start fresh. That’s what it’s all about right? I’m about ¾ of the way through The Clutter Diet and oh boy am I getting into shape. Lorie Marrero suggests using motivation to help toss the stuff we don’t need anymore.

Honestly I don’t really need motivation for most things. I don’t have emotional attachments to the items around me…. usually. There is one spot in the house though that has become over run with clutter. The kids’ bookshelf. Ick. Piles and piles of books that are going unread because they can’t find the one they want anyway. The worst part is that this clingy need to hold on to these treasures is me… not them.When my sister, Penny, and I taught preschool. (We had a home family child care for 8 years). We acquired books… lots of books. As we closed the doors, both in our last trimester with our first babies, we sat on the floor dividing the books. I vividly remember that day, talking about how it would be so much fun to read our favorite books to our own kids. Deciding who got which book (which didn’t matter anyway because we’ve borrowed, traded and shared for the past 6 years).

 I look at these books and for some reason I have the hardest time admitting that they don’t work for us anymore. M and M are more interested in chapter books lately. We go to the library a lot, so there is always a stack of new books. And most of the books that I can’t bear to part with M and M never really loved anyway. They were my favorites, not their favorites. So for this area, I needed motivation.

 I found it. Big M attends a brand new school… with a very small library. I love the idea of helping them build up this important center and the idea that I can borrow them whenever I want!

That’s not all of course!

You motivate me all the time (you being my amomwithalessonplan friends.) As I was packing up the books I came across two of my all time favorites.  Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles and Rod Clement, and My Friend Bear by Jez Alborough. What better way to give these wonderful stories new life then to put them into your hands?!?!?

 So here is what I am going to do. On Sunday February 5, I will pick 2 of my email subscribers. Both of those 2 “winners” will receive one of these adored (lovingly used) books along with an activity I have prepared to accompany the story.

 Over the next two days I will review each of the books (and tell you why I am having such a hard time parting with them) and share the how to for both activities.

All you have to do is make sure that you have signed up as an email subscriber.

Enter your email address:

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 Once you have done that you will receive an email asking you to verify your request. (Make sure you do this to complete the process!) If you are already an email subscriber… THANK YOU… and you are automatically entered to win!

On Sunday I will pick and announce the winner (USA only… sorry everyone else:( ) Then on Monday I will do my best not to cry on the packaging as I wrap them up and send them off.

 What is the hardest area for you to “clean out?”



  1. says

    We are going through the same thing at our house right now — sooooo many books! I love books, but I guess that there really is such a thing as too many (never thought I would ever say that!). Wish I was eligible for your giveaway.

  2. Trisha says

    Hi all, I totally can relate! And donating to libraries are AWESOME solutions for giving new life to books. May I also suggest offering your book to your local AAUW (Association of University Women) book fair which most branches host. All money raised from the book sale is given away as college scholarships for women (both traditional and non traditional). It’s another way to give back, with books and more!

    I wanted to offer another alternative but didn’t want to be a “pusher” :) BUT if you are interested in the organization or getting involved in your branch, you can check out more (and look for your local branch) at the national website http://www.aauw.org OR on Facebook. Thanks for letting me share! :)

    PS Thanks for your awesome blog!!!

  3. Trisha says

    Our problem is the garage. We had so much in storage while we waited on buying a house. Now we have the house and tons of boxes to sort through. I remember everything being important when I packed it, but I’ve lived without these things for 6 months, so are they really still needed?

  4. says

    I LOVE this idea and may steal it. I have an attic full of books and corresponding activities from when I worked with preschoolers, now I work with the little ones but can’t imagine parting with all of my handmade therapy materials that I’ve moved all over the country. BUT…I’m going to seriously consider it and you HAVE motivated me!

  5. Cortney says

    Books is a tough area but before my husband and I were even married he said he would never tell our future children they couldn’t have a book….luckily I often try to find said wanted book at the library first. My tough purge area is the what- if items. “oh what if this vase/curtain/blanket/trinket/ etc can be used in our next house.” We are a military family and move on average every 2 years and sometimes as often as every 7months…..that was a fun one! So here I am 7 months in this new house with piles and Rubbermaid bins everywhere….I am hoping to purge and donate before we move next fall…..yup we are already moving again! Thanks for your blog I love getting it delivered to my inbox!

    • says

      I wish my Hubs felt that way about books! Reading is one area he does not love. (At least he loves that I love it. 😉 )

      The what if’s are so hard. And I’m sure dragging stuff everywhere is even harder. I hope you get to feel settled until the fall. (At least you have me to follow you were ever you go… thanks for subscribing!)

  6. says

    I can totally relate to what you’re going through, Jillian!! Once I start purging, I’m golden, but there’s always a hurdle around setting aside the time to sit down and do it. I’m working on a whole-house overhaul at the moment, and it’s been a game-changer for me. It’s baby steps, but in many areas of my life I already feel a little lighter and more efficient. Good for you for sharing these books with a place that will actually make good use of them. It’s hard to figure out when kids outgrow things, until it’s completely evident that the time has come. And now there will be more room in your lives for the things you love.

    • says

      I think figuring out when kids have outgrown toys is the hardest thing. They are so creative with their play, they pull objects from everywhere. (of course if there is too much stuff, they will never find anything to bring into their little play world!)

  7. Alyssa says

    Donating to the school’s library is a great idea!

    Hardest areas here are toys(how did we end up with so many?) and the boy’s clothes( I could clothe 5 more kids!). I’m constantly going through and filtering but it seems never ending!

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