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Organizing

8 Things You Can Do If You Have Too Many Books

Time to organize your collection and prep for a #shelfie

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Photography: Florencia Viadana and Heather Schwartz on Unsplash (Main Photos)

As a bibliophile, one of my challenges in keeping the home clean involves organizing a huge built-in shelf. I love hoarding titles even if I have 50 books on my to-be-read pile and visiting secondhand bookshops has become a favorite pastime. If you also love collecting books, I’m sure book fairs and sales get you excited, too. While hardbound copies and stacks of paperbacks make for interesting décor, they can easily turn into eyesores if we just cram them into shelves.

Organizing is never easy, but if you spend enough time going through the books you love, you’ll have more space for new reads and finding a book to read will surely be easier. Get started with these tips:

1. Edit your collection.


Begin organizing your collection by grouping your books into piles: keep, donate, and sell. Keep only the titles you love and would want to read again and see how you can donate textbooks and references to schools and orphanages. If you want to earn extra income, you can sell some of your old books at secondhand shops. Fellow book lovers will agree when I say it’s not easy to part with a book. If letting go is difficult for you, think of it this way—you’ll get to share the story you love with others and in turn, they can pass it on to another group of readers.

RL Tip: There are some who will always prefer physical copies, but if you really can’t let go of a story, consider getting a digital copy you can store on your phone or e-reader. You may also schedule regular decluttering every three months.

2. Divide your books into fiction and non-fiction.


If you’re the type who loves these two worlds equally, chances are, you have quite a mix you need to organize. Separate fiction from non-fiction to make it easier for you to group them into smaller groups down the line.

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3. Organize the fiction section by author or genre.

Depending on the collection you have, you can group the books per author or per genre. If you have a diverse collection, grouping them per genre—mystery/thriller, science fiction, romance, young adult, and fantasy—makes picking up your next read according to your “feels” fun. Do you feel like going on an adventure or do you want to practice your Sherlock Holmes skills? Perhaps you're in the mood for a good love story? Organizing per genre gives your library a bookshop vibe.

4. Consider organizing the entire collection alphabetically.

Are you ready to take your alphabetizing skills to the next level? Would you rather do it according to title or the last name of the author? Doing this can be challenging (and tiring!) so before you decide, see if you have the time to accomplish it and if it will work for you in the long run.

5. Clean your shelves.

Once you have all your books properly segregated, you need to neatly place them on the shelf. Make sure the shelves are clean and free from dust before you place your collection. You can use a damp cloth or your go-to multipurpose cleaner to get rid of dust and grime.


6. Create stacks to break the monotony.

Looking at neat rows and books perfectly lined up can be rewarding. You can spice things up a bit by sprucing up your shelves with tiny accessories, framed photographs, and cute décor. To avoid a boring shelf, you can have mini stacks with some of your favorites in between rows.

READ: 5 Ways to Avoid Boring Floating Shelves

7. Have a special spot for your favorites.


My prized sets hold a place of honor on my shelf. Right in the middle are rows featuring Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels and my Harry Potter books. If you have books that you personally consider as superstars, they can have a special spot on your shelf, too. You can liven up this tier with accessories and personal décor as well.

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8. Assign a section for your to-be-read pile.

I’m guilty of buying a new book every payday which is why I have tons of books waiting to be read at home. To make it easier for me to choose my next read, all of my to-be-read books occupy a section of the shelf. You can also do the same if you have tons on your list or try stacking them into neat piles you can keep on your nightstand.

RL Tip: Make it a habit to clean and dust your shelf weekly. Return the books in its proper place to maintain the streamlined look.

Sources: MakeSpace | Home Storage Solutions 101

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