Are you decluttering old books and magazines? Here’s a round up 10 simple ideas for what to do with those books and magazines!

Decluttering Old Books

I have to admit that, even in the era of everything online, I still love hardcover and paperback books! In addition, I also love a good magazine subscription. It’s still fun to get mail. However, this month we are decluttering old books, so it is time for me to assess what we have!
If you have bookworms in the family, you can rather quickly amass a collection of books and magazines. Every once in a while, you need to go through all of your books and magazines and decide what to keep. My kids are big bookworms, collect a A LOT of books. Sometimes it’s hard to part with books..especially good reads!
So, I’ve come up with some ideas on what to do with books and magazines that might make you feel better about getting rid of them!


10 Tips for Decluttering Old Books and Magazines #repurpose #decluttering #organization

Pass Books on to Friends

One of my favorite things to do is to share a good book with a friend. One of the benefits of owning the actual book -and not a digital version-is that you CAN pass the book on to others. It’s a great way to keep a book’s life going:)

Donate Old Books and Magazines to Schools, Churches and Community Centers

If you check around a little in your community, you are bound to find an organization that could use your books! For starters, you could check with your kids’ schools to see if they could use any of your children’s books!

Sell Books to a Used Bookstore or Online

This past month we took some of our books to our local Half Priced Book store. I was pleasantly surprised that we got a good chunk of change for our books. It is certainly a little bit of incentive for my kids to go through their books and potentially get some  money in return!
Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I had great luck with selling textbooks online. These days, there are so many online sites, including Facebook groups, to sell your used books and textbooks.

Donate to Goodwill or Local Thrift Store

We always have a donation bin going in our house. So if we have a couple of books that we are ready to part with, I often will throw in with our weekly run to the thrift store. We also like to buy books at used stores–so many great book deals!!

Host a Book Swap

This is another one of my favorite ways to recycle and reuse books! A few years ago, my daughter hosted a book swap at the beginning of the summer. All of her friends brought a few books and the girls got to trade as many books as they brought for new-to-them books! It was a perfect way to kick off summer reading!
Throw a Book Swap Party | Coffee, Pancakes & Dreams

Use Books as Home Decor

Books can be used to make such pretty decor. For my daughter’s book swap, we made a fun book page banner with an old book. We tore out pages of the book and cut them into triangles and glued onto bakers twine. It was a quick and easy craft that we displayed long after the party.

I like to display stacked books around the house too. If the books are really old, I will take off the cover for a vintage look.

How to display old books #farmhousedecor #bookdecor #vintagebooks

Books stacked together add height to a mantle or shelf.

Also, I’ve seen book pages used as wall decor. You can frame a favorite page from a book and put in a nursery or kids room! So many fun ways to use old books as around the home.

Decluttering Magazines

Just like books, I can collect a good pile of magazines! It’s usually because I find a good recipe or one page of the magazine has a good article.

Keep the Pages You Want

Instead of saving an entire magazine for one recipe,  just tear out the recipe or the page you want and then file in a folder. You can have a folder for recipes, home decor, kids ideas, travel, etc!

Use Magazines for Crafts

I have to admit I’ve made a few magazine collages:) Nowadays, I sometimes save magazines that I think have good pictures for making collages or crafts for the kids! Recently, the kids made vision boards with old magazines. 

Analyze Your Subscriptions

Be realistic if you will ever reach for an old magazine again! I try not to pile up magazines for more than a month! When a new issue of the magazine arrives, I get rid of the last issue.

As much as I like magazines, I have to make sure it’s a subscription that I am really enjoying. If I find that I don’t really read the magazine or look forward to reading it each month, I make sure to cancel the subscription when I can!


I hope you feel a little about decluttering old books and magazines.

I’d love to hear if you were able to complete this month’s challenge or if you have plans to do so! Keri created a Book Organization Checklist if you need a little motivation to complete this month’s challenge!

Next month, Keri and I will be back to talk about arts and craft supplies! (This one will involve help from my kids. We have a lot of art supplies!) For more Clear the Clutter inspiration, be sure to join our Clear the Clutter Facebook Group! We share tips for organizing, behind the scenes, and it’s a place to ask questions and join in on a community!


Jaclyn Blog // Instagram

Keri Blog // Instagram


  1. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on October 15, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Love the idea of using books as home decor- so creative- we donate to our local library so other folks can enjoy the stories we have 🙂

  2. Lauren on October 15, 2018 at 7:32 am

    I’m so guilty of buying books knowing full and well I won’t read them for ages. Then my collection builds. This post was just the motivation I needed. Great work.

  3. Hazel on October 15, 2018 at 7:35 am

    I shall talk to my father about this! There will be a LOT of room cleared out in the house. ? great advice! thanks so much!

  4. Diane@worthbeyondrubies on October 15, 2018 at 7:45 am

    These are great suggestions! I actually just started doing book folding as well as gifts! So you can fold the pages according to a pattern and it makes the pages form an image. I have one I am doing that is from a picture of my dad! It’s fun and makes an awesome home decoration!

    • Jaclyn on October 15, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Oh how pretty! I’d love to see what these look like!

  5. Jill on October 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I have such a hard time getting rid of books and magazines. I love your idea of a book swap for kids books!

  6. ShootingStarsMag on October 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I sell books at Half Price Books a lot, when I amass enough at least. I’ve donated books to my local libraries as well, and I like re-gifting books to friends and family. I LOVE magazines and I subscribe to a lot – they are hard to figure out what to do with after awhile though. lol Might I invite you to my monthly link-up Glossies Made Me Do It? First Friday of every month, you share something you found in a magazine – did you make a recipe? Find something you had to buy? You can just share things you thought were interesting too, etc.


    • Jaclyn on October 15, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      I’d love to join that link up Lauren–thank you!

  7. Esther on October 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Personally, I’ve never thought of doing a book swap but it’s a pretty good idea to put old books to work and it’s a great idea to get other books i might not have read yet in exchange for what i’ve read. I also never knew it’s possible to sell old books online. Thank you for these amazing tips, have so many old books sitting around, now I know what to use them for

  8. Sarah @ Freedom is Hers on October 15, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    These are all wonderful ideas!!! We recently went through a massive purge/declutter and quite a few books went to new homes. 🙂 Now most of our books come from the library or the Kindle. While I do love holding a nice book in my hands and keeping them for a long time, I can’t justify the space since we live in a small condo.

  9. Colleen on October 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Great ideas. I love using books for home decor. They are great for adding color or height.

  10. Andy on October 15, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Just noticed that November is Arts and Crafts supplies. That one definitely needs to get on my to do list! I recycle my magazines every month. But it took me quite awhile to get into the habit. I wanted to keep them for the recipes, but realized that I never referred back to them again.

  11. Jessica on October 15, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    I love the idea of a book swap! I too find it hard to donate or get rid of books. Everyone in my family loves to read, so needless to say we have quite the collection. I also love holding onto a book in my hands vs some type of screen.

  12. Linda on October 16, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Oh I love the idea of a book swap! We have traded, sold, and swapped books at book stores and warehouse events but I never thought about a book swap! Great idea!

  13. Dara on October 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

    The book swap is a fun idea! I brought a bunch of books to half price books last year. They recycle the ones they can’t resell.

  14. waynna on October 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I love these suggestions!! They don’t have to be thrown out, other people can benefit from them too! Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  15. Shannon on October 16, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I love these ideas. I used old books as centerpieces for our wedding and they added a unique touch!

    • Jaclyn on October 17, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      What a fabulous centerpiece idea!!

  16. Traci Frett on October 17, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Love all of these suggestions! When my daughter was only a few weeks old, my aunt gifted us 2 huge bins of books – we haven’t had to buy a book since! We will pass them down one day when we are done with them. 🙂

    • Jaclyn on October 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      That is amazing to have start with such a stash of books!! How wonderful that you will pass them on to someone else too.

  17. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on November 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I love making collages! They’re good inspiration for me!

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