Week 7 | 52 Weeks to Downsize & Minimalize | Books & Magazines

Do you feel burdened by the amount of books or magazines you own? Do you find yourself lugging them around wherever you go, home to home, storage unit to storage unit, just to stack and store them on a shelf or keep them in moving boxes without ever reading them? Does the thought of getting rid of your books or magazines terrify you, as if you’d be slicing off a big chunk of your life’s history if they are no longer by your side? There are plenty of reasons to be inspired to downsize and minimize those beautiful things that provide knowledge, joy, and entertainment to all. Read on…  

Reason #1  – Friends of the Public Library


Libraries everywhere are in dire need of and accept donations. Some donations are needed as regular inventory, others used to fundraise for library programs. Libraries take current best sellers, classic fiction and non-fiction, books on CD, music CDs in jewel cases, timely non-fiction, large print books, popular or classic DVDs.  

Reason #2 –Prisoners Literature Project


A San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit group that provides free books to prisoners across the United States. They’ve been doing it for 30 years! They accept books that help prisoners with language and vocational skills, and inform them about history and culture. The most requested are dictionaries, how-to books, and those about African-American, Latino, and Native American history and culture.  



I had a client who was a world re-known author. In addition to her own writings, she had collected hundreds of boxes of literature over the years, many of which were sent to her by the authors themselves, signed and with personal notes to her. She was downsizing everything she owned, and instead of holding onto the books for longer, she made the decision to donate them to a leading research university. She felt freed from the burden she had trouble letting go of for so long, and excited that the books were going to be used for a good cause.

Reason #3

Your books may have increased, or drastically decreased, in value. It’s worth the research to know and possibly make tons of money off them.  

  • Amazon & Ebay – Set your own price. An easy online resource to sell books, textbooks, books on CD, CDs, DVDs, and more. I suggest researching the value of your books on these websites before lugging heavy boxes to bookstores. It can be worth it to sell them yourself from the comfort of your home.
  • Half-Price Books (over 120 locations nationwide) – They buy books, books on CD, music, and more.
  • Amoeba Records (Berkeley, San Francisco, & Hollywood) – They buy CDs, DVDs, records, video games, and more.



I had a client who called me to get his office organized. When my team and I arrived, the office was FILLED with boxes of music books, music magazines, and music cds. He LOVED music and never let go of anything he collected since childhood. His goal – at first – wasn’t to downsize…until I informed him of the high value of his mint-condition heavy metal and hip hop magazines that were collecting dust. The one that excited me most was a rare Grand Royal Magazine, put out by the Beastie Boys in their heyday. “The magazine was a mix of music, culture and random things the Beastie Boys thought was cool like kung fu, demolition derby, and Moog synthesizers,” and came with a floppy 7″ Beastie Boys single inside. Only six issues were released. He spent the next several weeks online saying goodbye to his stash and hello to cash.


Isabella Guajardo, founder and owner of Bella Organizing, is a San Francisco Bay Area professional organizer offering home organizing, interior redesign, and residential move management services throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Call (510) 229-7321 or email info@bellaorganizing.com for more information. Gift certificates are available.