Monday, August 3, 2009

Organizing 101 : Bookshelves

What did you do this weekend?

I spent Saturday afternoon organizing the furniture & bookshelves in our new living room!

This is true "use what you have" decorating in this space!!
I only used things that we already owned, and so far so good! We have all of the major furniture pieces, except a rug. And I have a little something (actually 2 little somethings) that will be added to the bookshelf later on 2 of the middle shelves with only a small out-of-pocket expense!

I used to be unsure of how to decorate bookshelves so that they looked "pulled together" and not like a jumbled mess.

Once I figured it out though, I have "decorating-the-bookshelf-fear" no more! :)

Here are a few easy pointers to Organizing Your Bookshelves:

  • *First, decide the overall "look" you are going for. Do you want shelves full of treasured books, with a very library-like feel? Or, do you want a more decorative approach with just your favorite books and added accessories too? Having a vision in mind will help you get your bookshelves organized just how you'd like them!
  • *Next, it's time to de-clutter! Go through your books and decorative items and decide what could be donated. If you're pretty sure that you'll never read a certain book again, why keep it? Pass it on to someone else! Are your shelves loaded with knick-knacks? Why give yourself more to dust, not to mention a clutter-y look in your space? Choose only a few special things to display.
  • *Get your bookshelves dusted so they are nice & clean & ready to hold your items!
  • *Group books together by: size, color, paperback vs. hardback, subject, fiction vs. non-fiction, etc. Decide on a system that works for you! I personally choose to organize my books by subject (decorating books, fiction, business, Christian, yearbooks, cookbooks, etc). This is an easy way for my family to find what we're looking for! You do what would work best for YOUR family!
  • *Start to place your books on the shelves. If you're going for a library look, then you can just fill them up! If you'd like some decorative items on your shelves too, then leave some spaces open for adding decorative accessories, such as: greenery, framed pictures, a decorative box, pieces from a collection, or seasonal items.
  • *For a more interesting look, place some books standing up and stack other books on top of each other.
  • *If you have sections to your bookshelves, like I do, you can make things easy by keeping things symmetrical. My two end bookshelves are arranged as mirror images. If you only have one bookshelf then just start by arranging the books so that they are pleasing to the eye.
  • *When adding accessories be sure to think "zigzag"! For example, if on one shelf you have an accessory placed on the right, then on the next shelf down put an accessory on the middle, and then the next shelf place it on the left, then middle then right. If it's a shorter bookshelf then just do: left, right, left for example. You just don't want all of your accessories grouped in a line straight down. It looks better to "stagger" them.
  • *Don't feel like each shelf needs an accessory either. Be selective!
  • *Try things out, move items around, and have fun!!! The most important thing is that YOU like it! Now, go get that bookshelf organized!!!

{I haven't decided what day of the week I'll be doing the "Organizing 101" series it may switch a couple of times till I find the perfect day!}

Have a great Monday :)!!


Darlene said...

Hi Stacey,

That looks great and those are excellent tips we can ALL use to try to keep our bookshelves orgnized and looking GREAT!

Christy said...

Thanks for all the great tips! Mine are in series need of re-organization. Hope you're enjoying your new home :)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Sweet! My bookshelves are in need of some tlc..bad~

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I'm sorry, but have you been reading my mind??! ;) I am terrible at bookshelves. I love to read, so mine are full of books, but I really like the accessorized look too.

I've been through the books and donated/boxed up many, but I think I need to do it again. There is a nice set of Ethan Allen shelves at my Nannie's place that I'd love to have someday, but I need to work with what I have now. ;)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Thanks for the great tips - your bookshelves look awesome, of course.

NicNacManiac said...

Thanks as always for the great tips. It is really fun to decorate your home with you!!

Gwen said...

I never thought of it as a zigzag, but you are exactly right! Good tips:)

Shannon said...

Your shelves look great!

LuLu said...

You must be having so much fun decorating your new home! i just got caught up and love your master bedroom redo! It looks wonderful.. I have the itch to redo ours and hubby and my family who are visiting me are telling me it's fine... darn! it doesn't help the itch to redo!! hee hee
happy decorating,

Tricia Anne said...

Hi Stacey,
What great ideas. Thank you for sharing!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Sandy Toes said...

Looks pretty!
sandy toe