An Organized Lifestyle

Calling All Book Worms: 9 Tips for Organizing Your Books

March 25, 2021

Hello, I'm Rachel
I’m a busy mom, entrepreneur, and an expert in organizing your home, office, and life. I believe in the profound impact of organizing on every aspect of life. 
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I have always been a big reader, I mean you can’t really go to law school if you are not. These days my reading is more parenting books than law briefs but through all of the phases of my life I have always turned to books. A lot of reading is now happening on screens but call me old fashioned, I love a good printed copy. The little “problem” with being a purist is books can be a source of clutter. So today I am talking about 9 ways to organize books.

Before we turn the page to the tips, I want to preface this blog post with a little disclaimer. Book organization can be controversial! You think people are passionate about sports or politics? Just wait until you start talking about how to organize books! I know that all of my tips below won’t be for everyone. I know that my Dewey Decimal lovers are going to hate tip number 2 and my interior designers are going to hate any tip that isn’t number 2. But, as with all types of organizing, the most important thing is to find a system that works for you and your home. A system that you will keep up with and that will help simplify your daily life. Now that we got the warnings out of the way are you ready to dive into some novel ideas?

9 Tips for Organizing Books

Tip #1 Create Categories – As I warned above you are likely either going to be a tip #1, #2 or #3 and nowhere in between. When organizing your books, creating categories can be a great place to start. Similar to how a bookstore or library has sections you can create categories within your home library. Perhaps business books are in your office, parenting books on your nightstand and novels in the armoire in your living room. Subject matter is a wonderful way to breakdown book collections as it is likely how your brain is going to think about the books you are looking for – you are not going to remember the title but know you need that one parenting book on how to talk to teenagers (oh no, is that just me?)

Tip #2 Organize Your Books by the Rainbow – I warned you, didn’t I? There are many people who would never consider organizing books by color but, in my opinion, there is a time and place for a little ROYGBIVing. Organization by color is great in spaces where the books are going to be super visible or where the order doesn’t really matter, like a kids room. While it might not be traditional your brain also does remember color and you are likely going to remember what color the book you are looking for long before you remember the title.

Tip #3 Organize by Author – The purists (or former librarians reading) are always going to gravitate towards organization by author. I personally tend to gravitate more towards subject but if organizing by author works for you and your brain – set up your own little bookstore in your home!

Tip #4 Create a Rotation – This tip is especially applicable to the young readers in our lives. Nothing makes my heart happier than a kiddo with tons of books but just like with toys if they have access to all the books all the time they will lose some of the appeal. I love when families set up a rotation of books to keep things fresh. Keep a bin in your basement or on the top shelf of a closet with extra books and rotate them in and out of your child’s bookshelves every few weeks/months.

Tip #5 Living on the Ledge – There is a reason that bookshelves have always been around – storing books vertically is a great way to maximize space and storage. But don’t forget that a classic bookshelf isn’t the only option. We love doing book ledges like this here, especially in kids’ rooms, to display lots of books without taking up a lot of space.





Tip #6 Remove the Dust Jackets – Removing dust jackets from books is an easy way to quickly make a space look tidier. Dust jackets are often designed to catch your attention, which is the last thing you need on your bookshelf at home, and they are easily wrinkled or moved out of place. A dust jacket free book will look neater and more organized in your space.

Tip #7 Utilize a Drawer – Drawers are often overlooked as a storage option for books but can be a great solution. Just like file folding leggings or t-shirts (here) can help you see things better in your dresser, storing books spine side up will allow you to quickly see a large number of titles all at once. I personally keep a stash of books at the ready in my nightstand.

Tip #8 – Don’t Skip the End – Keeping books looking neat and tidy is often just as big of a challenge as how to organize them. Bookends are a great way to keep everything in its place not to mention a way to get creative. I have included a few of my favorites below!

Tip #9 Declutter Your Books – If you have tried everything and are still feeling trapped between the pages, decluttering is always helpful! There are a lot of books that you will likely only read once and don’t need to hang on to forever (I am looking at your beach read). Check out this site here to see if there are any Little Free Libraries in your area or consider donating to a local charity or library.

Favorite Products for Organizing Books

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

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I'm Rachel, founder of Rachel & Company

I’m dedicated to helping you create a lifestyle that is more organized, sustainable, and joyously livable.

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