A List Maker's Life: Organizing a Home Library

Monday, January 27, 2014

Organizing a Home Library

One of my dreams for our new home was a huge built in book shelf.  Our house didn't come with one, but it did offer a great place to add one.  Kevin and I discussed dimensions, counted our tubs of books, planned how many shelves we needed and set off to buy the lumbar at the hardware store.  Yikes!  The price of the wood was much more than we were ready to spend (especially because we still want to finish the plumbed third bath on out lower level).   Plan B.  We headed to the local hotel furniture outlet to see if their warehouse was home to a cast off book shelf we could refurbish.  No luck.  However we walked out past rows and rows of headboards the employees complained they could not sell ~ our inspiration for building a  bookcase out of king size headboards.  The length: perfect.  The wood: pre-sanded.  The edges: nicely beveled.  The price: hundreds less than lumber.   We are excited about how it turned out!  Once Kevin's job of designing, building, and painting was complete it was my turn to load the shelves.

After sharing this picture on Facebook we had questions about how we organize books and what we keep in the storage baskets.  The organization may be a work in progress, but it is a start.  The large brown basket on the bottom shelf is for the younger boys to use when returning books since it is difficult for them to know where to shelve them. 

The other two baskets on the bottom shelf are home to many of our instructional books.  


Leveled Readers

Math & Science Non-Fiction Early Readers

On one side of the baskets is our collection of children's Bibles.  On the other side are the reference books (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.)

On the second shelf from the bottom picture books are grouped by topic.  Dog books, Penguin books, Patriotic books,etc.  We are working on separating each category with wooden paint sticks labeled with Sharpie.


The next shelf up is categorized by favorite authors or genres.  I have a significant collection of poetry books and another collection of ABC books.  We also have several books by Patricia Polacco, Tomie De Paola, Jan Brett, and Theodor Giesel grouped together on this shelf.  Toward the end is a basket full of piano books separating the picture books from the pile of school yearbooks.  

Shelf four is primarily chapter books sorted by author and series number: Magic Tree House, Junie B, Beverly Cleary, Box Car Children, and Baby Sitter's Club make repeat appearances on this shelf.  As dividers we used a few more picture books, all of our Cliffords, Mercer Mayers, Arthur, and Berenstain Bears.

Further up where the kids are not able to reach on their own are some favorites and collectible-type books: Winnie the Pooh, special hard covers given to our babes, and Golden Books.  We have also sectioned out any books about the history, or legends, of Michigan and specifically Holland.



The top two shelves, not pictured, are filled with Kevin and Katie faves.

Hopefully, in addition to being one of my favorite cozy corners in our new home, this will be a place that encourages our kids to read, read, read!

How do you organize books in your home?
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you! I never thought about dividing sections of books by merely changing the stack from vertical to horizontal. Brilliant. AND aesthetically appealing. I am inspired. Oh, and do you happen to have the "We Help Mommy" Golden Book classic? If you ever come across it at a yard sale or thrift store, I'm on the hunt. One of my favorites. You'll know why when you read it :)

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