I don’t know about any of you, but I am constantly re-arranging my bookshelves. I can’t be the only one, right? Some people arrange their books by author, title, or even no order at all. As much as I love taking down my books and re-arranging, it can sometimes be overwhelming when you don’t even know where to start. Here’s is what I do step-by-step when I want to spice up my bookshelf.
Choose a Style
There are so many ways you can organize the books on your bookshelf:
- You can arrange them by color, which can actually transform the entire room.
- You can place them all in magazine trays to give color and for easy dusting.
- You could order them by size to create a wave-like effect.
- You could share the bookshelf with other memorabilia.
- You could also arrange some to be stacked, while others are filed vertically.
Personally, I like to have my favorites stacked separately, keep reference books on their own shelf, and then place memorabilia on its own shelf as well. Unfortunately, my bookshelf is currently a mess… Maybe another time I will share it! In the mean time, there are many ways to dress up your bookshelf and you can check out Flickr for more ideas.
The key idea here is to have an idea of how you want your shelves to look like first. So do some research using the links I’ve provided. Once you figure this out, you can go on to the next steps with a purpose in mind.
Clean and De-Clutter
Take every single book out of the bookshelf. Be careful — you’ll probably be attacked with dust, things you thought you lost, and books you didn’t even realize you still had. After I take out all of the books, I wipe down every shelf. It’s rare that this happens when there are actually books on the shelf, and it’s best to start clean. Before you start heaving books onto the shelf again, go through them! One by one pick up your books and decide whether or not they really deserve a spot on your shelf. If I find books that were gifted and never read, terrible reads, books I know I will never read, and books that are falling apart I put them in a separate pile and donate them. Only put books you love or have yet to read back onto your shelf.
Please never throw away your books. Donate them to a local thrift store, library, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. What seems like trash to you is treasure to someone else!
Leave Room to Grow
I always try to leave some space in my bookshelf for new additions. I used to cram my bookshelf until it burst — with two rows of books on each shelf and no space for new reads. If you didn’t skip the previous step, you should have some space for new books. Until they find a space on your shelf, occupy the space by getting creative with your arrangement, putting a picture frame in, or even just leaving it a little bare.
A full bookshelf is not always the most impressive one. Sometimes your use of space and creativity can show off your collection in a much more memorable way!