Tips for Organizing Books

September 8, 2022

Do you have piles of books that you would like to organize on your shelves? Or maybe you would like to practically be able to find the books you are looking for on a regular basis? Whatever your goals are, here are some tips for organizing books.

Sorting Options

There are a couple of different ways to organize books. It all depends on what is important to you. If books are not going to be referenced often, prioritize aesthetics and organize them first by color. However, if you reference your books often, then genre – or maybe topic or author – is of first priority. After that first sort, you can then organize them by color/size. 

Tips for Organizing by Color

When you organize by color, use the colors of the rainbow in their order: ROYGBIV. You can put black and brown books before red, and white books after violet/purple books. Sometimes white works well next to the really light yellows or pale pinks. It all depends on what books you have. A rainbow can be configured in many ways. Definitely experiment and try a few things out! See what looks best to your eye. Remember to look at the color of the spine, not the front cover, because sometimes they’re different – you want to use what you’ll see from the shelf!

Steps for Organizing Books

  • Take all the books off the shelf and put them in piles according to your sorting choice whether that be color or genre.
  • Next, look through to see if there are any substantial sub-categories that are important to you such as author, topic, or anything else that might make sense to be separated or clumped together.
  • Finally, organize the books within that pile by dark to light, or by height, putting them back in their place when you feel ready. You get to pick what looks best to you.  

Additional Sorting Ideas

  • Incorporate stacked books along with your vertically shelved books. 
  • Keep small stacks of books on guest room bedside tables.
  • Use coffee table books as decor throughout the house on shelves and tables.

A Note on Children’s Books

Depending on their age, kids’ books can be organized by reading level, author, topic, and always by color, too. A children’s book rack, set of connecting book bins, basket/bin, or any shelf can work wonders. It is also a great idea to keep any books that you do not want to read at bedtime out of the bedroom and in the playroom. Using shelving that displays and consolidates books, while making them visible, is the way to go. Help your children to get into the habit of putting back their book before getting the next one.

Go Green with Books

In terms of sustainability, one way to reduce consumption is by using an old fashioned library card! An eReader is also a great way as well. You can get ebooks on loan from the library with the Hoopla or Overdrive apps. There are also ways to listen to books through “books on tape” resources such as Audible.

How do you like to organize your books? Share your photos in our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook to inspire our organizing community!