Keeping Track of Inspiration

The last couple of weeks, a client of mine and I have been weeding through her books. The more we weeded, the more she realized that a vast majority of her books were simply for inspiration.

Don't worry, I'm not about to tell you to throw away your inspiration. Instead, today I'll give you options to prevent inspiration from becoming clutter-ation.


It's perfectly OK to keep books with ideas that inspire you. However, clutter is NEVER inspirational. The books need to fit neatly into your bookshelves, neatly into the amount of space you have in your home.

(Don't forget a major rule to organizing - respect your things and the space you currently live in. No junking things out!)

The bookshelves above were packed SOLID before I got my hands on them. After removing every. single. book. from the shelves, we sorted everything out by genre and my client let go of at least 40% of the items there. This allowed me to arrange the books by genre on the shelves and also made room for sentimental objects she loved but didn't know what to do with. It's now easier to find any book quickly and the shelving itself is now a source of inspiration rather than a source of stress. (My client said that she sometimes goes into this room just to look at her shelves!)

Wonder how you can do that yourself?

  • Remove everything from the shelves and sort by genre.
  • Remove any duplicates (this collection had a few).
  • Then start asking yourself the questions: how long have you owned the book and have you ever referred back to it? Will you ever refer to the book for inspiration? If so, when specifically? Can you find the information online? If you haven't referred back to it in quite some time, won't refer to it or can find it online, you can let it go guilt-free.

Binders and Magazine Files

Everyone knows I'm all about some binders. Perhaps you've got a lot of magazines for inspiration. Determine if the entire magazine still inspires you or not. If it doesn't, then pull out the great pages and use binders to house them, separated by category. If you are going to refer back to the entire magazine, use a file box to store them away neatly and upright. You can see in the first photo that we employ a series of binders and magazine files throughout the bookshelves. (placed alongside the books in the respective genre)


My newest indulgence is Pinterest.  A client invited me to join and I've been hooked ever since. It's like a giant inspiration board for the web. You can follow others' boards to see what they love. There's even a handy button so you can add anything while you're browsing the web. I love that I can find inspiration there and also use it as a reference for things I see and love - all neatly organized. Plus, there's the added benefit of not cluttering up your home. A fabulous win/win. Are you on Pinterest too? Follow Me.

Warning - It is REALLY easy for Pinterest to become a giant time suck. I limit myself to when I've just got a few minutes to kill so I don't end up losing hooooours to the site. And if anyone needs an invitation, just let me know!

Utilizing these three tools, you'll soon have everything that inspires you neatly organized and no longer cluttering up your home.

Do you hang on to a lot of things for inspiration? What are your favorite ways to keep it organized?