Organizing Bookshelves: How to Best Organize Your Home Bookshelves

by interior designer

in General

Organizing bookshelves can make a great impact on the look and feel of a home interior. We often don’t bother to arrange our books in any order which can lead to a lot of searching at a later date. There’s also a taboo of sorts about having our bookshelves organized in any meaningful way and this translates to shelves being arranged without any order or systematic arrangement. However, a tidy and organized bookshelf does make a difference both in style and ease of use.

The process of reorganizing bookshelves will at first take time to complete but once done, the adding and taking away of books will be so much easier and less time consuming. Before beginning the bookshelf organizing process, it is best to review what exactly you have such as the general number of books, the types of books and how much bookshelf space you have and their locations. If you have books on the floor or in storage which you would like to transfer to shelves, then a new bookcase or bookshelf might be in order.

Decide what genres of books you have and whether you want to mix these topics together or keep them separate depending on the room in which the bookshelf or bookcase is located. For example, reference books might be best placed in a home office whilst novels will be better suited to the living room or a bedroom. If like me you have lots of design books, then these can either go in the living room or the home studio if you have one. In the past, I’ve even seen part of an upstairs landing becoming part of a small kid’s library area.

Another factor to consider when organizing bookshelves is the size and design of the books themselves. Many books especially those connected to art, history and design have decorated spines which means an array of color when slotted together on a bookshelf. This can look lovely in the main living room especially if you regularly entertain guests there. When I visit other people’s homes, I am immediately drawn to their books and if they are out of the room for a few minutes, I can’t help but scan the titles. With this in mind, find the most interesting books you have for an area where friends, family and visitors are often welcomed.

To begin organizing your books, start by taking off all the books from just one bookshelf in your home. Make a decision about what type of bookshelf organisation process you desire and keep to it. This can be whatever you like and that which is easiest for you to handle. For example, you can arrange your books alphabetically either by using the title of the book or the author’s surname. Alternatively, you can arrange the books by their color, size, publishers, date of publication or genre. Whatever suits you and which will help you know where all the books are when you need them in a hurry. Place any books for a different room in a pile and take them with you when you leave.

Continue the above process for each bookshelf or bookcase in the home and eventually your book organisation will be complete. If you are really dedicated and like to keep a detailed reference of all the books you own, then you might consider documenting them on your computer. Type each title and author onto the computer and note in which room and particular bookshelf they can be found. This is extremely helpful if you have many hundreds or thousands of books. It will take time to do this but if you do 50 a day, it will build up. You can print the final list and perhaps place it on a wall in your home study or library.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Iraida Desmarais 03.13.10 at 21:41

I feel you should add a video clip to your blog post as a way to make it more exciting. Even though I loved your writing style

interior designer 03.14.10 at 10:55

That’s a good suggestion. I’ll keep that in mind for future posts.

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