Getting your bookshelves cleaned and organized can be a daunting task. Until you run out of space for new books, it’s not something you really want to handle. But those overstuffed shelves are creating clutter in your space that you have to look at every day. Even if your space is clean and tidy, an overstuffed bookshelf can make the entire room look cluttered and small. These tips show you the best ways to clean and organize your bookshelves.
Best Ways to Clean and Organize Your Bookshelves
It’s time to deal with it and reduce the clutter. It’s a big project so you may want to get help from your spouse and your kids; after all, their books are probably contributing to the mess too.
Start by removing everything on the shelves so you can give them a good cleaning and dusting. But do this with purpose so it’s easier to put the books back later. Set aside any décor items and give them a wipe them down to remove any built-up dust and grime.
- As you start to take your books out, organize them into piles based on how you want to put them back (more on that below). Wipe each book off with a dust rag and don’t forget the exposed page edges.
- If there are any books you no longer want, set them aside for donation to the library or used bookstore later.
- Now that the shelves are empty, give them a good dusting with furniture polish, making sure to get into all the corners.
- Start planning to put your books back by measuring your shelves and your largest books to see if you need to adjust any shelves. Plan to put your heaviest books on the bottom shelves.
Next, it’s time to get the books back on the shelves in an organized manner so you can find what you need. Here are a few options you might like:
- By frequency – Place books that you use frequently and books you plan to start reading soon on a shelf within easy reach and eyesight. Books that you use less frequently can go to the top of the bookshelf.
- By color – If your bookshelf is a focal point of the room, you can arrange books that are similar in color together on each shelf to create a pattern.
- By size – Place smaller books on the right, working up to larger books on the left on each shelf. Or go from top to bottom with small books on top and larger ones at the bottom.
- By genre – Organize your non-fiction books on one shelf or set of shelves and your fiction books on another. Sort non-fiction books by their topic and fiction books by genre or author. Keep all your cookbooks on one shelf together.
- Alphabetically – Set your shelves up to easily find what you’re looking for later by alphabetizing them according to the author’s last name. Note: this is very time consuming but can help you find what you’re looking for quickly.
Clean and organize your bookshelves! This project may take an entire day to complete, but it will be well worth it when your shelves are lighter and brighter, opening up the room and reducing clutter.
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