How do You Organize Your Shelves?

When we moved into this house, one of the first things that I did was to set up my “library.”  A few months later, baby # 1 was born, & 22m after that we brought home baby #2… and there went my “library.”  My hunky carpenter husband, however, quickly built me some shelves in the walk-up attic.  Not ideal, but better than books in boxes!

So, here we are, six years later, having work done on the house & correcting much of the “Here, this ‘ill do it! Good enough!” work of former owners, which includes, but is not limited to, pulling down all of the insulation rolls in the attic that are covering our roof vents.  This will actually make our attic no better for storage than a shed would be, and if it was not ideal for my books before, it is a definite no-no for them now!

Books downstairs: Good! However, I now have the “opportunity” to reorganize all of my books, and am overwhelmed by the choices I have in doing so.

To put it in better perspective for you:  I have packed about 20 HEAVY boxes of books from my attic and will be adding them to… wow! I don’t even know! A couple thousand of other books throughout our home.  Child 1 & Child 2 each have their own stocked bookcases in Child 2’s room.  Children 3-5 share one (admittedly not as well stocked) bookcase in their room.  There is a long but low, two shelf bookcase in the living room with nothing but board books for the little kiddos, a smaller book shelf of mine in the living room (for those books I plan on getting to sooner 😉 ), two large side-by-side bookcases in the dining room, and a hanging, corner bookshelf also in the dining room.

What would you do?

Do your organize you books according to size? (A little out of the question for me with over a thousand, but I did do just that when my collection was just getting started.  I also had fewer books then than my six year old has now!)

Do you organize your books by author and title? (Those that I had in the attic were organized in this way.)

Do your organize them by genre? (If so, what do you do with the authors who write in more than one genre? Split the author or split the genres?)

Do you organize by chronology? (By when they were written or by the setting/subject? ) I am guessing only you with history (or Lit.) fascinations would even have that thought cross your mind.

Do you have a bookshelf for everything you’ve already read, and another for all those you have yet to read? If so, just out of curiosity, which one is more tightly packed?

Or do you just shove them on whichever shelf they fit? If so, can you find the one you want when you want it or do you search them all while mumbling, “I know I have that one here somewhere! It has a blue spine… O! Here it is! Okay, so it has a red spine, but I found it!”

I am leaning towards genre, but I hate separating authors! I have thought about a good deal of it being chronological because of the way we homeschool by time periods.  I think it would be easier to set them up in order to read down the (time) line, but that may get muddled too.

It will take a few weeks to finish the house and reorganize the collection.  I will let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, how do your organize your book shelves?




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2 responses to “How do You Organize Your Shelves?

  1. Simply put, my shelves are pitiful. I don’t have enough space at all. The homeschool stuff is just on a shelf with not much order. My books are in several locations and I have a bookcase in the basement that is ruined from mold, when the basement used to flood. I need to dispose of the whole thing, thus lots of books. Many are old and have outdated info so it’s not a huge loss. I actually think the best thing to do is burn them since they are ruined. Is that wrong? lol…

    Great blog by the way. I’ll have to add you to my blogroll.

  2. burn *gasp* but, hey, never mess with mold!
    Hubby suggested that I put books in the basement here, but I don’t want to chance it. It is not the prettiest of basements.
    It would be nice to have a large wall, without doorway or window interruptions, to build a floor-to-ceiling bookcase on, wouldn’t it! Child#1 says, “Mommy, our whole house is your library!” Well said, my darling! Now, no talking in the library! lol

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