Organize Your Books and Bookshelf

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated August 30, 2022)


As anyone that has ever collected any number of books can tell you, bookshelves can quickly become cluttered. In order to be able to keep this from happening in the future, and to also keep the disorganized mess from getting too out of hand, follow these simple steps and you are soon going to have a personal library that is the envy of your friends and family. While these steps are easy, there is just one thing that you might want to keep in mind before you begin, and that is this task can take a little bit of time. So be sure that you do project on a day when you have enough time to devote.

  • Remove. Begin your task by removing all books from your bookshelves. This way you are going to be able to start with an uncluttered space and organize it to your taste. Simply place all the books either on the floor or on a table for an easier time of organization.
  • Keep or discard. Now, go through your books and separate them into two piles. The first pile is for those books that you wish to keep. The second is for those that you want to get rid of, either by giving them to a charity or by taking them to a secondhand bookstore. Personally, I suggest that the books get taken to a used bookstore, if for no other reason than to be able to get credit in store to be able to purchase new books for your library.
  • Organize. Next, you are going to need to decide on how you are going to organize your books. You could separate them by subject, alphabetically, genre, size, or even through using the Dewey Decimal System that is used by libraries throughout the world. There are many different ways that you can organize your books, and after you have decided, you are going to be able to proceed to the next step.
  • Implement. Once you have decided on which way you are going to be organizing your library, begin separating the books into your desired organizational method. As you are separating your books, place them onto the shelves in the order or method that you have decided to use. As you do, just keep in mind that you are going to need to place new purchases into these bookshelves in the future.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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What is three more than 6?

2015-02-03 14:46:59


JJ: Thank you for the suggestion. I will proceed with that process.

2015-02-03 07:53:25


As for organizing them on the shelf, it seems logical to me to put them by category. I put mine this way: top shelf, language (thesaurus, sign-language manual, 7-language dictionary, etc.); next shelf, anything related to my Christianity (Bibles, hymnals, etc), music & poetry; next shelf, humour; bottom shelf, nature (birds, flora & fauna, clouds, etc.)---that's in one of my two reference bookcases. I hope this helps. God bless you!

2015-02-02 08:28:18


Pete: pack your books in boxes that are made of organically purified, lignin-free cardboard; make sure they're solidly in the boxes, to keep them from shifting round and being damaged. Leave the dust jackets on the books. If there's any possibility that your books will shift, wrap each one in acid-free paper. When you unpack them, keep the packing material handy, pass it along or recycle it. Please don't throw it out. And sir: happy reading! 😀

2015-02-01 23:06:43


Moved to smaller location. What is best way to store several (200+ books) for long-time storage. Plastic boxes, Cardboard boxes, to keep pages from fading, etc.

Thanks for any suggestions...

2012-10-25 12:25:36


Another tip is to organize books by color.