How to organize bookshelves


Like with like. I’ve heard this organizational idea quite often. Keep like things together. I thought I had been following it, until I did a bit of reorganizing last weekend.

First I worked on my bookshelves. I have one in my office, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. All three had various categories of books. And my office had three extra stacks of books that I started last year, but lost interest in.

The stacks of books taunted me and drained my energy. While the kids and my husband were gone, I took all my books and piled them into stacks according to category. Home, Creativity, Novels, Reference, Family, Personal Development, etc. Then I decided which category would go into which bookshelf. One category per shelf for the most part. The books that overfilled their shelf were first in line to be decluttered. And other shelves have room to grow. I labeled the shelves feeling rather organized.

I found some books that I may want to read this year that I never finished, so I listed them in a notebook. I didn’t want them to be forgotten. Once I read my current books I can check my notebook for what to read next. No more “to read” piles.

My library books are on my file cabinet. And finally, I have my stack of 5 books I am reading. I got the idea from Mark Forster’s blog post. I rarely read just one book at a time and this system allows me to flow through several books until they are completed. If another book catches my interest or I buy a new book, I can write them in my notebook and shelve them in their proper place until it is time to read them.

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Categories : Books, Organization

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  1. Ashish Mohta says:

    I am so bad in organizing my tabels.And book shelves…..thx for the tip.I will try to follow it…try mybest

  2. [...] Beth Dargis presents How to organize bookshelves posted at My Simpler Life. It’s amazing how an organized bookshelf can make or break a room. Don’t ignore this piece of furniture! [...]

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  4. [...] Beth Dargis presents How to organize bookshelves posted at My Simpler Life. It’s amazing how an organized bookshelf can make or break a room. Don’t ignore this piece of furniture! [...]

  5. Irene F. Songco says:


    I love books for the ideas that they provide. I have collected books and I have given away books that I have outgrown. I kept my books in clear plastic containers according to topics. Recently, I decided to do an inventory so I will not buy the same book. A simple way to do a book inventory is as follows: (a) go to an online bookstore site, (b) search either for the author or the book title, (c) copy and paste the author and the book title in an excel sheet (author’s name and book name), and (d) sort according to author’s name. By doing so, you do not need to type the author’s name and book title. In addition, you can include the book category and shelf number in your book inventory excel sheet.

  6. Beth Dargis says:

    Thanks for the great idea Irene!

  7. Ce Gordi says:

    there is a website called librarything …all you have to do is put in isbn number or librarey cong. number and all the info pops up … its a great way to keep track and also to show friends or 2nd hand book sellers what you have.

  8. Beth says:

    Thanks Ce!

  9. [...] various suggestions for sorting and organizing bookshelves. You can arrange your books by genre or by topic or by color. You can intermix your books with art or photos or trinkets. You can set some books [...]

  10. [...] Beth von mysimplerlife.com hat ihre Bücher nach verschiedenen Kategorien sortiert (Home, Creativity, Novels, Reference, Family, Personal Development) und jeder dieser Kategorien dann ein oder mehrere Regalbretter zugewiesen. Alle Bücher, welche sie dieses Jahr noch lesen möchte, schreibt sie auf einer Liste nieder (hier könnte das bestehende GTD-System verwendet werden) und stellt sie ebenfalls im Regal ab. Schlußendlich hat sie noch ein gesonderte Ablage für Bibliotheksbücher und fünf Bücher, welche sie aktuell liest. [...]

  11. Robin says:

    I like the tip of writing down the unread books in a notebook instea of having a to-read pile! That tip is going to be very helpful as I sort through my books-thanks!!

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