How to Organize your Home Library

How to Organize your Home Library
If you have a lot of books and find yourself unsure of where to find what you need, it might be time to organize your home library. Follow these tips to make it easy.
If you find yourself searching for hours on your bookshelves to find that one book you know you have but just can't remember where you put it, you are not alone. If this is you, though, it might be time to start organizing your bookshelves. Following these easy tips can help you to know where all your books are, loan them out without fear you'll get them back, and make more room in your home library. It might seem silly to organize your books, but once you take the time to do it, you'll be happy you did.

Organize Off the Shelves

Before you start organizing, take all your books off all the shelves in your home and put them in one room. If you try to organize books by shifting them around on the shelves, you'll never get it all done. Once you take all the books off the shelves, decide how you want to organize the books: by genre, by author, by color - you choose. After that, start separating books into piles. If you have books in separate rooms, you might want to organize them by genre so you can put the novels in the reading room, the reference books near the computer, the kids books in the kids' rooms and so on, but it's up to you. After you separate your books into appropriate piles, take this time to clean your books with a duster or a vacuum. Bookshelves get very dusty and are often neglected in housecleaning.

Shelve Where Convenient

Once you organize and clean your books and bookshelves, you're ready to put them on the shelves. Put shelves where it's convenient for you to access them. You don't necessarily want bookshelves behind couches, even though that might save you space in your room, because you won't be able to easily grab a book from the shelf. Also, it's a good idea to put books where you'll use them. If you find yourself reading in your bedroom, have a shelf or two in there. If you read to your kids at night, make sure their books are in their room or low to the ground. If you like the idea of having a library or reading room, put all your books in there.

Loan Books with Style

Have a notebook and pen near your books to write down who has borrowed what book and when. Write it down as soon as you hand the book to your friend because, otherwise, you might forget. It's also a good idea to keep bookmarks or bookplates with your name on them in an envelope in that notebook. Put one in each book you loan out so your friends don't forget who the book belongs to. This way, not only will you be able to find any book your friends need, but you'll also be sure to get the book back.

Make Plenty of Room

For book lovers with more books than they can fit on the shelves, it might be time to make some more room. Before you go out and buy a new bookshelf, though, try this quick tip. Cut a box in half and cover it with acid-free wrapping paper. Put the boxes on your bookshelves, up against the back of the shelves. Then, put books on top of that box, and put books in front of the box. This trick gives you twice the space on each shelf while still allowing you to see all the books you have. Be sure you put books you use less in the back, though, because it can be a bit difficult to get the books out from behind the first layer.
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