This week's challenge is all about purging and organizing books. This post will accompany your challenge. The process of clearing out books can be overwhelming if you have many of them throughout the home.
First, start out by taking all the books throughout the home and place them in one room. Check inside drawers and closets where books may be stored. Don't forget to go through your moving boxes for books since these boxes are the last things that get pulled out after a move.
Vertical space works best for books, Finding a tall floor to ceiling bookshelf will make keeping all your books in one place easier.
Start the process and get rid of the books you want to give away. Make a pile of books for donating, selling, and give to family members. These piles will remind you of the next steps in the process.
Make a plan to get rid of each pile of books. Then, get rid of the books that you don't want. Donate them to a nearby used bookstore or visit your nearby public library.
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To decide how you want to organize the book collection, ask yourself these questions. When I need to find a book, what do I look for first? The author's name? The name of the book? The type of the book? The color or picture in the book?
Here are five ways to organize your books (in no particular order):
By genre? Sorting the books by categories works for romance, science fiction, realistic fiction, etc...
By author or series? If you collect your books by particular authors and like series, you can organize your books by author's last name or by the series title.
Organize by color. Interior designers like to organize the books by color, so it is less distracting to the eye. Grouping the same color books will give you groups of color that will be pleasing to the eye.
Chronological order? This is useful for scrapbook or photo album organization and other time-related books like yearbooks.
By activity? If you do crafts and have many reference books, maybe you would prefer organizing the books by the type of work or activity you would use that reference book for in your day to day life.
If you find that you need even more organization to find a book, after you sort them into a group, go back and sort them in ABC order by the last name of the author or by title. Either way, will help you get to the book you want quickly and easily. Keep in mind this additional step of organization may be extra work to keep organized. If you don't need this level of detail, I suggest not using it. It's one thing to be organized and another thing to be meticulously organized. It will be difficult for others who may use the bookcase to keep up with the system.
Other articles I found that also were helpful with organizing books:
HOW TO ORGANIZE BOOKSHELVES WITH A LOT OF BOOKS
27 Insanely Clever Ways To Display Your Books
7 BOOK STORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL SPACES
Whichever method you decide to use for your library, stay consistent and simple. This will help everyone in your home remember the system. Now, it's your turn. Do you organize your bookshelves? What method do you use? Please leave a comment below.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.
I would love to organize by color, especially if the colors are bold and beautiful. But, I often feel compelled to organize by book height. I have no idea why that appeals to me. It just does. I like seeing books arranged from shortest to tallest. Odd but it works for me. =)
Books and Clothing are big ones for clients. Books are like old friends or they can be about the person I want to be someday. Especially, if I haven't read the book or maybe I have but didn't put anything to practice. So, its a dream of the way my life could be. For me, I have my books grouped by category. I don't have a lot of fiction, mostly self help books and organizing books.
I try to get clients to donate books before they become old, outdated and moldy. I enjoy giving clients options, like 5 ways to organize books, so they can use the system that is best for them. If they pick organizing by colour I make sure to discuss the pros and cons of that systems.
I recently worked with a client with a vast book collection. In order to keep the collection at a steady level, I taught him the one-in-one-out philosophy and encouraged him to not bring a new book into the house until he had read a book and paid it forward to a friend, thrift shop, or the recycle bin. We organized his books like you advise in #1--by genre. When he feels like reading a mystery, historical fiction, or humor, he knows exactly where to find it!
Last year, I decided to organize my fiction alphabetically by author, then by title. It bothers me that my series are now out of sequence and that the paperbacks and hardcovers are intermixed, but what can you do?
Books are one of the few things we have in abundance. I'm great at purging other things (and for the most part my family goes along), but I do get push back when it comes to parting with books. I like your idea of thinking about what you would search for if you were looking for a particular book because what works for one person might not make sense to another. Personally color is meaningless to me. I prefer genre or topic for the basis of organizing, but others really connect with the visual appearance of a book or like the way books look lined up on a shelf according to color.
We have a lot of books in our home and home offices. LOTS!!! It would be unwieldy to gather them all in one location to do the editing portion. So instead, every so often, I'll look at one room or one shelf at a time to see if there are any books I can donate. Most often, I'm able to fill up a bag to bring to the library. But the truth is that I love books and I do refer to them after I've read them. Of all the things that we have, the books are the most difficult ones for me to let go of. Even so, I keep trying.
I don't tend to keep many books around. The few I have are in a couple of discreet locations. To me, books are the ultimate "reusable," and I like donating them. That said, my husband has quite the collection. He has an office full. He has organized them by category or genre, and it is easy to find what you need. I'd still like him to shed a few more, though:)
Love these ideas - I've tried both organizing by topic and by color. Although the color idea looks nice, for me personally it only works with books I'm not likely to go back and re-read often. Books I refer to over and over I have to have grouped...and I don't think I'm patient enough to try alphabetizing!