Tackle your out-of-control TBR piles with these simple tips
I have a confession: I have A LOT of books (I’m a bit obsessed) and have only read a fraction of them. And that’s before you start counting the boxes of Nancy Drew stashed in my mom’s attic. I’ll tell you something else though, none of them are on the floor or taking up precious table space. With the right tips, you can easily store and organize all of your reading material to be stylish, functional, and out of the way.
Sorting Your Books
Like any organization project, the first step is to go through everything and purge as needed. You don’t have to follow Marie Kondo and only keep less than 30 books (though if that’s what you prefer, go for it!), but rather make smart decisions about what to keep. Try asking yourself:
- Have you already read it?
- Will you re-read it?
- Did you enjoy it?
- Does it hold sentimental value?
- Does it look nice? (Yes, it’s OK to judge a book by a cover!)
Keep what you want, recycle any that are damaged, and donate the rest. Not sure where? Check out where the closest Little Free Library is to you.
Where to Store Your Books
Now that you’ve evaluated how many books you have, let’s figure out where you have space to put them. The obvious choice of course is a bookshelf. If you have the space for one, this is definitely the way to go! What a “bookshelf” is can be a bit fluid. Try using your entertainment stand or under-bench storage. Another way to create your own bookcase is to place shelves in a wall alcove – instant library!
Whether you don’t have space for a full bookcase, or have one filled and still have a surplus of books, another way to go is to put them in a closet. Use shelf dividers as bookstands to keep them upright, visible and accessible. These are also a great tool to organizing bedroom and linen closets, so stock up!
This one may seem weird, but bins are actually great for books as well. Plus, they fit perfectly into those on-trend cubby furniture pieces. Place books you don’t need constantly into the bin. They’re easy to see with the clear design and easily accessed with the built-in handles.
Do you have lots of kid’s books? Try using these 3-tier organizers to keep them corralled and easily available for your little ones to grab. Bins also work great in nursery and playroom closets. Divvy up books based on age, add labels, and then as they grow, you’re ready!
Still limited on space? Look to the walls! Mounted shelves are perfect to show off those pretty covers. Grab your favorite tomes and create mini collections.
Last, but not least, you should always have a book (or three) on your nightstand for those sleepless nights. Curl up with a hot cup of tea and escape into a story!
How to Organize Your Books
Now that you know what books you have, and where to put them, the next step is to decide how to organize them. There are many schools of thought on this. Some popular methods are:
- By color
- By size
- By author or title alphabetically
- By genre or subject
- By what you’ve read/haven’t read
- By date published
At the end of the day, there is no “right way” to do this. As long as they fit, do what makes you happy! My bookshelf has books 2 deep that I rotate as I read so there’s always a new book in front for me to grab.
Creating a Library Drop Zone
Since we’re talking books, let’s take a quick second to focus on library books. First, libraries are the best. Einstein once said, "The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” Misplacing a library book on the other hand is not so great. Man can those fees rack up! The best way to avoid this is to have a designated spot in your home for library check-outs. I keep mine on my entryway table. Once I finish a book, I put it back in the pile and grab the next one. When I was a kid, we had a designated large tote bag that we kept next to the sofa. It’s never a perfect system, we definitely still lost a Barney VHS (I’m dating myself, aren’t I…), but 1 item in 30+ years isn’t too bad. Find a system that works for you and your family and stick to it.
OK, I know that was a lot, but look at those insta-worthy book solutions you’ve created! Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to get back to my book. Happy reading!
Chelsea McCulley is the Digital Asset Manager at mDesign
and an avid reader and Jane Austen fan.
How do you stay organized? We’d love to hear your story!
There are many ways that you can contribute and be part of our family.
Add your social media photos to our website and more! Visit mdesignhomedecor.com and learn how you can help spread the word. Get 10% off your first order when you subscribe to our email list. Plus, follow us on social media.