In my five years (and counting) as a blogger and active participant in the book blogging community, I’ve hosted many an event. From community read-along activities to secret gift exchanges for Filipino readers. But if I’m being honest, none of them gave me as much serotonin as last year’s first-ever Spring Cleaning in September project.
I don’t know what to tell you. There’s just something wonderfully empowering and inexplicably magical about a whole community collectively trying to get their shit together. Don’t you think so? Also, ever since I sold my soul to the corporate world, I’ve been feeling rather isolated from the community.
With that, in an effort to hit two birds with one stone, I’m reviving the ✨🍃 🌷 Spring Cleaning in September 🌷🍃✨ challenge, alongside the Goodreads Spring Cleaning Challenge (#goodreadance2021). And on its sophomore year, we’re decluttering with a vengeance. Read on for the details! 👀
Goodreads Spring Cleaning Challenge
The Goodreads Spring Cleaning Challenge is otherwise known as #goodreadance2021, a pitiful pun that infuses ‘Goodreads’ and ‘good riddance’ together. While the 2020 version ran for only a month, this year’s round starts from September to the end of November! This is to give participants enough time to accomplish any and/or all of the following goals:
- Sorting or organizing your shelves on Goodreads
- Removing book titles that you are no longer interested in
- Updating or changing your star ratings
- Writing Goodreads reviews for the books you’ve read
- And most importantly, sharing your approaches, goals, and personal experiences over time
How can you participate?
Simple. Just use the hashtag #goodreadance2021. Share whatever updates or tidbits that you feel like sharing! You can set concrete goals for yourself, or you can opt not to. It’s all up to you!
What else can you do?
If you’re feeling extra, you can challenge yourself further by completing some of these prompts and mini-challenges:
- Form a game plan and write about it. How will you reorganize your shelves? What criteria will you use for removing books from your shelves? How will your rating system change? How will you keep track of your progress?
- Create concrete, measurable goals. By the end of the challenge, how many books should be on your ‘want-to-read’ shelf? How many reviews will you write? What are your target numbers, ratios, and percentages?
- Do a before-and-after update. Before the start of #goodreadance2021, how did your Goodreads look like? And how did it look like after? How helpful was this challenge to you?
- Share tips and strategies. These can be extremely valuable to other participants and even non-participating readers who want to revamp their Goodreads someday.
- Reflect after the challenge. What are your main takeaways from this challenge? Did you learn anything? Would you encourage other people to try it?
If you do decide to write a blog post dedicated to #goodreadance2021, please link back to this post so that other people can find the challenge details and prompts. (Plus, I would love to see everyone’s experiences with the challenge!)
Do you need inspiration?
Still at a loss for what you can do or how to start? No worries! Check out these helpful blog posts from last year:
- Ursa wrote a cool wrap-up post on her #goodreadance2020 goals.
- Ikram shared a post-spring cleaning reflection on her blog.
- Cara showed the before-and-after transformation of her Goodreads shelves!
- Ara also shared how well she did for last year’s challenge.
- Tracy’s wrap-up post includes a cute bujo spread!
- Lay wrote a comprehensive post on how they revamped their shelves.
- Sam prepared a post-challenge snapshot of her Goodreads shelves.
Reviewing Last Year’s Performance
Before I dive into my goals for this year, let’s quickly revisit how well (or poorly) I did in last year’s spring cleaning challenge. For #goodreadance2020, I divided my goals into four major categories:
Boxes from my college dorm
👍🏼 Unpack all boxes and declutter unnecessary items.
Books in my physical library
👍🏼 Unhaul at least 40% of the books I own.
From a collection of more than 210 books, I now possess a humble library of 130 titles. Admittedly, I didn’t exactly meet the 40% goal (or more concretely, 84 unhauled books), it still falls within the threshold at 36%. So, it’s still a major win! 🥳🎉
👎🏼 Build a database of all the books and ARCs I own.
On the bright side, I created the cutest spreadsheet for this. But on the less sunny side, I totally forgot to actually use it. Oops. 😂
Spreadsheet trackers and databases
👍🏼 Create separate databases for physical books, e-books, and Advanced Reader’s Copies (ARCs).
👍🏼 Create a fresh database for publisher contacts.
👍🏼 Create trackers for reading and reviewing books, purchasing books, and requesting ARCs.
👎🏼 Actually use them. (But in my defense, I do use some of them. I swear.)
Shelves on Goodreads
👍🏼 Clear out books that I’m no longer interested in.
- 874 books
- 41 shelves
- 394 reviews
- 469 ratings
- 3.35 average rating
- 604 books
- 15 shelves
- 235 reviews
- 433 ratings
- 3.06 average rating
Setting Goals for This Year
Overall, I’m pretty happy with last year’s performance. Looking back, I think my progress was huger than I expected! With that, my 2021 goals are to continue making headway and to add just a few more items to the list.
🌷🍃 Continue the book unhauling.
While I’ve settled on which books to unhaul, I’m still in the process of selling my preloved copies. Currently, I’ve set up an Instagram account for book-selling. (Cough, if you’re a reader based in the Philippines, check it out!) And I’m really hoping to finally be rid of these books by the end of this year. Fingers crossed!
Aside from selling my unhauled books, I definitely think that my shelves would greatly benefit from more decluttering. My TBR cart is looking pretty full these days, and I might unhaul more titles from there. Especially now that I don’t have much energy for reading.
🌷🍃 Fill out my spreadsheets and trackers. (And try using them consistently.)
This is pretty self-explanatory. I have all the pretty, color-coordinated spreadsheets, but they’re either unused or out-of-date. I really need to put more effort into maintenance!
🌷🍃 Fix up my Notion pages in preparation for 2022.
Not exactly book-related, but definitely still relevant to the theme of being organized. Anyway, I still adore how my Notion pages look. But I do feel that an upgrade is called for. Personally, I think it’d be good to focus a bit more on the functionality of my Notion setup — and to finally finish my in-progress pages, such as my film and media trackers.
🌷🍃 Create a Notion iteration of the Must-Have Reader Spreadsheet.
I’ll be honest. Lately, I’ve been wondering if having my bookish trackers and spreadsheets would help me with my poor maintenance problem. It might motivate me to have everything in one space. Or not? I truly don’t know! But I am looking forward to experimenting and figuring out which works better for me.
🌷🍃 Declutter my NetGalley shelves.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have over 100 titles on NetGalley — a shameful total that I’ve amassed since 2015. I’m convinced that I have the worst ratio on that hell site, and it’s about time that I do something about it.
Final Thoughts and Gentle Reminders
I’ve said these words last year, but I believe they’re worth repeating: The mindset of this spring cleaning challenge is to focus more on the experience instead of the end results.
Personally, I’ve always found the process of decluttering and organizing as really cathartic. And it’s my intention to share that feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction with you. But I acknowledge that people have different coping mechanisms, especially during these perilous and uncertain times. I also recognize that deadlines and requirements — even arbitrary ones — can cause anxiety and stress for some people. In fact, that’s the main reason why I prolonged the challenge’s duration from 1 month to 3 months.
Regardless, here’s your gentle reminder that your worth is not tied to your level of productivity. As long as you’re enjoying the process, you’re doing great! 💛
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Thank you for reading!
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I’d love to hear from you!
🌻 How are you? What are your plans and goals for September?
🌻 Are you going to participate in this year’s Goodreads Spring Cleaning Challenge? Do you plan on giving the prompts and mini-challenges a try?