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Tips for Organizing Your Bookshelf

Tips for Organizing Your Bookshelf

Mark Twain has rightly said, "Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." You care for your friends. Right? But why not about your books? Learn some simple tips to organize your bookshelf and impart longevity to them.
Kundan Pandey
"Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them"
~ Arnold Lobel, A famous American Author of Children's books.

One of the most pleasing sights for me is that of a well-organized bookshelf. It is a common dream of many avid readers to own a house with one room in it, completely dedicated to books. A room full of books, that is organized to perfection brings with it warmth, relaxation and peace of mind. Merely organizing the contents of your study table or your wardrobe is a great stress buster and it un-clutters the mind. You must have experienced that just by shifting your room furniture to a better place in the room, gives you a sense of satisfaction and clears the mind right! Besides triggering a feeling of enhanced comfort, organized bookshelves represent our personal values of discipline and self management. If you have a disorganized and sloppy bookshelf, try organizing it and you will be surprised to see the psychological impact it will have on your mind. Your productivity will boost and you will spend less time, finding the required books (especially, if you have a room full of books, with many bookshelves). Don't let clutter cause unnecessary stress in your life. It does affect your work and personal life.

The Art of Maintaining a Beautiful Bookshelf

Most of us have a deep emotional connection with our books. Instead of keeping them at any random place in the house, it is a great step to arrange them in the bookshelf and add more meaning and life to them. If your bookshelf is a disaster (like mine was a few days ago), focus on some fundamental tips on how to organize your bookshelf.

Get Rid of All its Possessions
To arrange your bookshelf properly, firstly, empty the shelf completely. Since you are aiming at a complete overhaul of your bookshelf organization, it is the most logical step to do so. You will be able to come up with interesting ideas to rearrange the books in racks. It will give new life to the bookshelf. Remove all other items kept on the bookshelf like keys, cups, trays, toy, random bills or any other thing that you had kept it there, just because you were too lazy to find the appropriate places for those items.

Consider Shifting it to a New Location
Once your bookshelf is empty, you must consider if its place needs to be changed. If you think that changing the place of the bookshelf will give the room a better look or will highlight the bookshelf more profoundly, don't hesitate to change it. The case may be different if you have a wall mounted bookshelf.

Clean it Thoroughly
How many days have passed since you last dusted or cleaned your bookshelf? A bookshelf laden with dust is a classic example of laziness and poor book care. Now, it is the right time to clean it, when it is completely empty. Also, get the dust off from all your books. Properly clean them and only then place the books, back on the bookshelf. You may like to color the bookshelf, so that it gets a new look. Consider all the options depending on the time available to you.

Sort Your Books
Before putting all the books back in the shelf, do some brainstorming like:
  • The size of your bookshelf vs. the number of books you are planning to stack on it. If you have more books than the space available in the bookshelf, try to separate some books aside, that you have read or don't need frequently.
  • Don't overburden the bookshelf as it will look congested and stuffed.
  • Depending on the type of books, sort them in various groups like self help, fiction, non-fiction, academic books, autobiography etc. It is possible that you don't have enough books to categorize them separately. In such a case, arrange books on other factors like thickness (size), color combination and shapes.
  • By putting few sets of books in horizontal or vertical stacks, check which style looks the best. A harmony in the stacking style of the books, gives a uniformity to the structure, which looks pleasing to the eyes.
Put Them Back
Finally put your books back on the shelf. You may choose to keep your books on different racks, depending on your choice. I keep all the books I have read a couple of times on the top rack of my bookshelf, followed by those that are my favorite collection. In the middle rack, I keep my academically important books. Since I have to pick them occasionally, I prefer them to be in the middle racks. In the lower racks, I keep all books that are not so appealing to me but they have been a part and parcel of my book collection process. If there is a space left on your bookshelf, you have the best option to decorate it with fancy wallpapers, photo frames, designer trays, cups, trophies and many other things.

What are some of the tips for organizing kids' bookshelf? While many fundamental things for organizing kids' bookshelf remain the same as above, you must ensure that for kids, the books are arranged in ease of accessibility depending on kids' height. The kids' bookshelf needn't be of great height, as it may be uncomfortable for them to manage. Moreover, you must put labels on everything on their racks so that they don't forget to keep the books and items at the right place. Once kids get a hang of living in an organized environment, they will eventually catch up with the habit. Nevertheless, don't get mad at them, as in the initial years of learning, they will mess up their rooms, especially the bookshelves!

There is no particular best way to organize a bookshelf. It is completely your choice and what you prefer. If you follow the above instructions for organizing bookshelves, it will help you in giving a great appearance to your room.
White bookshelf