This is part of the Minimalism series you can read here.

Today I want to talk about minimizing and managing your personal library. When we first were downsizing to fit into an rv, I put ALL the books on the living room floor. I could not believe how many books we owned!

This was when we first started purging. You can read about this season of my life here.

At that time, we donated trunks and boxes of books to the local library. We did have a few magazines or workbooks that just had to be pitched. We put in the rv the books we wanted to read and shoved the rest in a storage tote to go through at a later date. 

Yesterday I finally felt I was ready to go through the books. Time and distance gives us perspective on what is important to us. I was able to to let go of 1 1/2 Walmart size bags of books and pitch 3 coloring books that were finished up. I had went through my magazines last week and threw out 8 and gave away 3 good ones.

I was excited today to have extra room in my reading cabinet to store small boxes of pictures. 

Since we homeschool while living on the road (roadschooling), I like keeping books for my son to read. To keep reading exciting, we sometimes buy books at thrift stores and phase out old ones when we are done reading them. We also have traded books with fellow homeschooling RVers. This helps keep our bookshelves from overflowing like they use to. Some people like switching over to digital books but my family still prefers curling up with a good book.

This is the games and my oldest son’s book cabinet. Some of my husband’s books are in the hard to reach middle section. Tall books are in the open middle cabinet.

When downsizing your library, try to be honest with yourself about what you will actually read or use for refernce. You might only reference a book now and again but if it is a hard to find book and/or expensive, it is worth keeping. Some minimalist struggle with what to keep in their library. Only you can answer that question. What topics do you love and what stories are favorites that you want to return to? Keep those. 

My husband went to Bible College for two years and likes to use these books and binders for reference. These books are stored in an extra cabinet in our bedroom.

Keep up the hard work minimizing until you feel all the books on your shelves are favorites and great reference books. Try to analyze what’s in your library a couple times of year and replace if you feel the need to. There is no set rules on how big or small your library has to be. The point of minimalism is filling your life with what you love and use. So go on, enjoy those books!

Now that we are downsized, I can’t wait to start reading some of these books! The section to the left is all Bible Studies. My family now has easy assess to these booklets for devotion time.

5 thoughts on “Minimalism in an RV: Managing Your Personal Library

  1. Great tips! I have 3 boxes of books left in storage that I am supposed to be going through today.. Its probably not happening. The sentimental ones are so hard to get rid of- even when i know my kids are not going to look at them, like, ever.

    I, too, love curling up with a good book, however, i’ve bought 5 ebooks this month and just one hard copy.. I just don’t want to transport any more books. and i’ve grown to like the dictionary, highlighting, notes and flash card features on the kindle app.


  2. Have you through about swapping them at thrift shops? Some mom and pop type thrift shops do it around here. I’ve traded in a few books in the past and picked up new ones in their place – my collection technically never grows that way.


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