bookcaseA crammed, ill-arranged bookcase is often an overlooked issue for people trying to organize and declutter their space. They don’t see that turning their shelves into a catch-all instead of arranging the books to create a calming, ordered visual is the first thing to giving their whole space the calm they are seeking.

There are a few different ways to arrange books on a shelf, with just as many opinions about what is best. I’ve seen people arrange books by spine color, which is cool, if not somewhat unpractical. I’ve seen people turn their books around, spine to the wall so you see no color. This makes me want to punch someone in the face. Please don’t do this. When rearranging books, I like two things: Grouped by author and/or by topic, and then by size. I will say my OCD manifests in needing the lines to be somewhat progressive. All different size heights make me crazy a bit.

I did a different arrangement on each shelf of a little bookcase in our living room to demonstrate the 4 basic arrangement techniques. I actually like all four styles together, and this is what I’d do in general as I think it give interest to the shelves, but you can stick to one or two styles if you like.

Version 3Straight across. This is how I assume librarians and scientists wants their books displayed. No frills. Easy. Simple. Perfectly perfect.

Version 2Books as bookends. This is also quite simple (and practical, too). Some (equal sized) books on their side hold a line of books in place. And if you are someone who also likes to display little objects on your shelves, the turned books give a nice stage of sorts.

Version 3IMG_6322Piled up. Okay, I do love this very much (the bottom pic is another example). This works best with larger books. Those big beautiful picture books from museums and such.

Version 2Brick formation. A little more intricate. I really think this patterned feel gives some great interest to the books. In my example, I let the stacked books go tall, although I usually think the look works best when the stacks are as high as the books lined up next to them, but it still works well.

Got it? Now, get organizing, people. Xo.

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