This was one of our bookshelves just a couple weeks ago. I had the other one on a different wall, but only took this pic, so picture this times two. That was the amount of books that lived in my 3 boys' room. Both were packed to the brim and we had no sense of organization whatsoever. I can't tell you how many times I had straightened the books up just to have them look like this again within days.
So, I was helping out in one of my son's classrooms and I couldn't help but notice how nice and organized her bookshelves were! She had a bunch of labeled bins and they looked so nice! I went right home and started looking up bookshelf organization ideas. It made so much sense!
The key is to make it easier to keep it clean than to mess it up. It's so nice and easy for kids to pull out a bin, flip through until they find the book they'd like, take it, then push the bin back in it's place. It's much better than looking at the spine of the book (kids like to see the fronts, anyway!), then pulling out a whole slew of them until they've decided on the perfect book, leaving a pile of un-wanted books on the floor. Why hadn't I thought of this before??? I've been a mom for 10 years. I've been battling with organizing my kid's bookshelves nearly evey day of those 10 years! What a waste of time; it kills me to know how much easier it could've been for me!
Let me introduce you to our new, organized shelves. I know you're thinking- Where are all the books? There's no way you fit what was crammed in the picture above (times 2) in these shelves. But it's TRUE! I DID! I only threw away a few books that had totally fallen apart and were missing pages. It's amazing how much extra SPACE we have on the shelves now!
Below is a picture I took AFTER a full day of the kids pulling out and reading books. Hardly a mess- and it only took seconds to put back.
I decided to test this new system out and see how well we could keep it up...and here we are two weeks later with perfectly organized bookshelves still!
Since I knew it was something we could maintain, I decided to make labels for each category. I was out of my laminating sheets, so I used packing tape.
Here they are after labels-
Looks better with the labels, doesn't it?
I categorized them as-
Chapter Books, Early Reader Books, Rhythm & Rhyme books, Abc books, Bedtime Stories, Religious books, Non-fiction, Scriptures, Holiday books, Animal books, Little Golden books, Disney, Seuss, Muppets, and misc. Some of the labels were placed on the edge of the shelf itself.
I used these wash basins from the dollar store-
And shoe boxes-
I found this bin for the books that didn't fit on the shelves-
Ah, organization! :)
I was having so much fun, I decided to put new labels on some of our toy bins.
Double yay for a system that finally works for us! I'm so happy, I could just...I don't know...go organize something else!
Now, I'm off to the girl's bookshelves!