Spring is there, the holidays are long gone, and I finally have time on the weekends to read, relax, and organize. It’s never too late for spring cleaning and I’ve been more motivated lately to clean off my bookshelves as well as spruce up my blog. I’m fairly good at keeping the front-and-center things update since they’re so visible (graphics, links) but there are so many behind-the-scenes things that I tend to forget about and then they stack up! Today I’m sharing some of my spring cleaning goals and listing a few ideas to help get my blog and bookshelves a bit more organized!
I usually reorganize my bookshelf every few months. It’s a big process since I have a very specific way I organize them (by genre, read or not read, series, color — they’re all factors that are involved) and so when I get a new book that needs to fit on a shelf that’s full, it’s a big deal. I tend to stack books up until I have the time to reorganize practically the whole bookcase again!
- Designate piles for all of your books: Keep, donate, sell, giveaway/trade. If you’re looking to get rid of some of your books after this process, decide which ones you want to give away, if you want to donate any to resale stores, or sell them to a used book store.
- TIP: If you’re looking to keep your shelves organized and clutter-free or find yourself with too many books you don’t think you’ll read, check out Hannah and Alexa’s Picky Pledge posts! They’ve got great tips and details on how they’re being more selective with what they buy and accept/request for review.
- Find duplicates. I’m sure most of us don’t have duplicates (or too many) but I know I have a few. Some are ARCs that I know have in a finished copy. Others I received randomly or bought by accident not knowing I already owned the book.
- TIP: Want to get better at avoiding duplicates? Create a shelf on Goodreads or an Execl spreadsheet for all of the books that you own! The initial set-up will be a bit grueling but especially if you own a ton of books, but it’ll be so much easier to pin down what you own — and it’ll put the number of books you own/buy into perspective.
- Weed out old ARCs. I’m constantly amazed at people who actually read their entire TBR (like, is that even possible??). I have the best intentions when requesting review books but sometimes I end up with older ARCs that I’ve decided I just won’t get around to or don’t want to read anymore. I really do try to read all of the books that I request and I’ve hung onto many older ARCs even though their pub date is long gone because I really do still want to read those books! I end up passing on books that haven’t gotten great reviews so I don’t spend the time reading something that I’m fairly sure I won’t enjoy or a books where my tastes have changed since I’ve requested them.
- TIP: Don’t know what to do with old ARCs? Although they may be harder to unload since you can’t sell them to a used book store (no selling ARCs!!!), many bloggers will still be happy to have a copy of a book even if it’s not a finished copy. I usually do giveaways for mine! You can also check to see if local libraries are interested or if any local charities are looking for donations.
These are the areas that I feel are less obvious (and places I tend to avoid). Blog maintenance isn’t nearly as much fun as sitting in a room full of your books and listening to music while you organize BUT it ends up being a necessary part of blogging! Here’s what I’ll be focusing on:
- Delete old graphics/images. I have many images that I’ve ended up uploading to my blog that I change or update or delete. I’ve updated my graphics along the way and then never delete the old ones. If you’re a WordPress user, you can go into your media library and switch the drop-down menu from “All Media Items” to “Unattached”. There you can see what images are not attached to a blog post or page BUT be careful that you don’t delete an image that’s in your side bar/header! Those will show up as unattached as well.
- TIP: Aside from just your blog, you can delete old images from your computer as well. Pictures take up a lot of space and it’ll free a bunch of memory for you computer. (MAN, do I need to do this one.) I can’t tell you how many versions I have of the same picture before I decided I liked the graphic, but then didn’t delete the old ones.
- Review + graphic clean-up. If you’ve recently (or not recently) switched up your graphics or are still converting your reviews from old format to UBB plug-in format, take the time to do some of those little by little. It’s so much easier to do a few a day than try to sit down and do it all at once!
- Delete unused/old tags and categories. I’ve recently cleaned up some of my categories and made the more streamlined. This has also applied to some of my UBB items (like publishers and sources). Instead of each one being a main category, I created some parent categories (like filing time travel and parallel universes under sci-fi).
- Organize pages. I have a few index pages that automatically update themselves (thank you, UBB plug-in!) but others I do need to keep updated myself (my infographics page and pages like My Latest Bookish Addiction).
I am always in need of some sprucing up on Goodreads. My TBR is always out of control and I feel like I’ve gotten better at not adding every book to my TBR but there’s still a lot out there to weed out!
- Delete duplicates on your shelves. Go to “My Books” and then below all of your shelves you’ll see “find duplicates”. Just MAKE SURE you’re deleting the correct version! I accidentally deleted a version that had all my status updates for a book and I was pretty bummed. There’s no way to get that back if you delete the wrong one!
- Create new shelves and delete ones you don’t really need. I’m a Goodreads shelf fanatic. If you’re looking to get more organized, create some new ones for genres, star rating, POV, currently own, or where you got them from! Or you can delete some of the shelves you haven’t really been using.
- Go through the books you’ve shelved and make sure they’re shelved properly! For some reason if I add a book to a shelf and don’t put it on Read/To-Read/Currently Reading, the default is “Read” so I’ve had to go back and swap that around to “To-Read”. I’ve also gone through ALL of the books that I’ve shelved and made sure they’re all in the right place!
- Update to proper versions: I’m not too huge on having the correct version of a book on my shelves but I know some people are! For me what matters is the right cover, most of the time but if you like Goodreads to reflect the proper versions that you own or have read, hop to it!
- TBR Culling. Go through your TBR and remove books that you don’t want to read anymore. I’m sure we all have HUNDREDS of books on our TBRs so now’s a good time to weed through what you might be able to part with, especially books you don’t already own!
- Cross-post. If you’ve been meaning to cross-post, that can be an epic project to start doing too… But that’s another thing to start on little by little! Once you (finally) get caught up, it’ll be easy to cross-post as soon as a new review posts!