HomeYour BooksTop Ideas for Organizing Childrens Books

Today, I tackled the task of organizing childrens books. I have 4 children, ages 13, 11, 3, and 3 months. I’m a homeschooler, so you know that I LOVE Books. We have so many books and they can get really out of hand and all over the house if we do not have a designated place to home the children’s books.

This is what the book organization looked like after the move.

Homeschool Room Before

These boxes represent only the toddler’s books. They sat in these boxes for about 2 months before I could handle it no more! My 3 year old would take a ton of books out of the boxes and strew them throughout the house. Organizing the children’s books therefore became my top priority this week.

 There are many ways of organizing childrens books.

I think it is important to have functionality over perfection. The toddler books don’t have to look perfect. Believe me, they will not stay that way.

 Key points to consider when organizing childrens books:

  • Create a home for the books so that the children can easily return them
  • Make sure they are accessible to the little ones (on a low shelf)
  • Rotating the books available will keep it interesting and not overwhelming
  • Make sure the books available for little ones are age appropriate (store older children’s books on higher shelves)


After I unpacked the boxes

Here you can see I used these toy bins to store our toddler and pre-k books. The bottom two rows are full of books that my small children can easily reach and help clean up and put away! You can get bins like these here: Tot Tutors Toy Organizer, Primary Colors

Bins with childrens books

If you have a lot of children’s books to organize, only keep out a small amount. Put the rest of the books in a basket, and rotate the books to keep it interesting for your young ones. I also like to do this because I get tired of reading the same books over and over again several times a day!

As for organizing older children’s books, you can use a traditional bookshelf. I like to organize our books by type. You will see in this picture, I have the reference books on the bottom shelf, such as encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, and thesauruses. The next two shelves include classic novels as well as free reading material that my older elementary and teenage children enjoy. One shelf includes our family bible collection altogether. The top right hand shelf includes biographies that we have collected over the years.

 White Bookcase

 I also use a separate closet in our homeschool room to store our homeschool curriculum and textbooks. The bottom shelf consists of homeschool paper supplies and manipulatives. All of the books we are currently using this year are on the next shelf (it is eye level with my children). The top two shelves house books and curriculum that we will use in the future or reference occasionally.

Closet books

This is what works for us in organizing our children’s books. I keep the books I read for pleasure or reference in a bookshelf in my bedroom. I have it organized by topic. For example, I have a section for self-improvement books, fiction, nonfiction, and devotionals.

More Top Ideas for Organizing Childrens Books

Label Your Children’s Books

This is a great site with free labels to attach to books. She color coordinates the books by subject or topic. This is another way of organizing children’s books.

Free labels for book organization

I also found a great website, Kinder-Craze, where she posts where she bought all of the organizational bins and baskets for organizing her children’s books. She also sells labels for the bins.

shop for classroom book organization

Donate Your Children’s Books

Many organizations would LOVE to have the books you no longer use or enjoy. Some places to donate used books include:

  • Local Library
  • Church Library
  • Daycare Centers
  • Nonprofit children organizations
  • Women and children shelters
  • Salvation Army




Sell Your Children’s Books

If you want to make a little extra spending money, then you can always sell your children’s books you no longer need. There are several avenues available where you can sell your books:

  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Yard Sales
  • Half Priced Books (retail locations)
  • Online book resellers
  • Homeschool Book Swaps

More Children’s Books Storage Solutions

There are many pieces of furniture or accessories you can use to organize your children’s books. Here are a few ideas:

Rain gutter bookshelf

Rain Gutters for bookshelves

 

Baskets

Cubbies

I feel so much better now that my children’s books are organized and we have a system in place.

What ways have you used in organizing childrens books? I would love to hear them!

top homeschool room ideas organizing


 


Comments

Top Ideas for Organizing Childrens Books — 70 Comments

  1. I actually have a toy box like the one in your picture, lol. For now my kids book collection fits in the large tubs of their toy box. Next year I might invest in a bookshelf or use the rain gutters idea you shared.

  2. I love how organized your books are. I really like the idea with the tubs. I never thought of organizing my books this way but I need to clear our selves and I think I’ll have to use your wonderful tips.

  3. Your organization of your children’s books is an inspiration! We have a lot of our children’s books on a shelf under our TV but they become a big mess fast as my little ones (age 5 & 3 year old twins) like to pull them out. We do have a few cubby bins in their room that holds some books. I saw on pinterest a few years ago how you can make a cute “hanging” book shelf out of a small curtain rod (one for a window) & some fabric. I wanted to do that in their room but being overseas and without a sewing machine it did not happen but that is another cute idea for books!

    • OOh the curtain rod to hang books on is a neat idea. I’m trying to picture what that actually looks like. I haven’t ran across that idea before. I”ll have to look into that soon.

  4. I have all of my children’s books on shelves in the playroom and in their bedrooms. I also have a basket full of books in our family room. I really like the idea of the rain gutters and creating a book corner. I need to do a better job of rotating books though. I have them all out but there are so many that it is overwhelming. Thanks for the idea!

    • Yes Karen. All the books in all the different rooms can get overwhelming for sure. I like to keep them in only a few areas and not all of them out at once.

  5. Those rain gutters for book shelves are an awesome idea! I would have never thought of that. All of my kids are grown, but my former-teacher daughter homeschools her 4 boys and I’m going to show her this post. You can never be too organized. Great tips!

  6. I love this. I really need to rotate my children’s books and make sure I am keeping the options interesting and challenging–once the older one is ready to part with a book, I save it for the younger one, but it’s hard to remember when to do all the switch-overs. I should build it into the calendar! Thanks for the great post with useful suggestions for doing just that–and keeping the books accessible for the younger ones. Best–Sarah, aka, The Educated Mom.

    • Building it into the calendar for rotating the children’s books is a great idea. Maybe on every birthday that passes, set out fresh books and put others away for later.

  7. My kids are older now, but I still need to find a way to keep the books organized (and manage the old books that I can’t part with). I like the idea of labeling – I could get the kids to do that, actually. And I love the rain gutter shelves – a great way to build book space into small spaces, and make them stand out to encourage the kids to choose specific books.

  8. This sings to the organizer in me. I love it. I’ve never given much thought to how home schools are organized, but it makes sense that it would be like a traditional school, but on a smaller scale. Well done. Now I’m wondering what I can apply to my home office.

    • Yes these ideas can definitely be carried over to organizing your books in your home office. When I owned my CPA firm several years ago, I had all of my accounting and reference books organized by type of small business, IRS topics, etc. You could do the same with your business books.

  9. Whenever I have books I don’t want, I add them to my communities Little Library. Then, someone who really wants them can take them. It works well for kids books.

  10. Your book organization looks great! I love books but it can be hard keeping them organized. Especially when you have little ones getting into them every day! Maybe you should come to my house in Mexico and organize for me 😉 Since we just moved I could definitely use the help!

    • I know how hard it is after a move. You saw the “before” picture above after our move. It was a mess. It will happen for you. Just take one step at a time. If the kids tend to strew them all over the place, rotate them out of reach and only keep a handful of books out at a time for them to read.

  11. I love how you organize your books, my kids have a few books yet, I am collecting some for growing up years. I also kept my novels in a cabinet. Maybe in the future when I have tons and tons of books, I might buy a personalized cabinet for them. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  12. This is so inspirational, thank you! I need to get in there and organize all of our books. We moved and they’re just thrown on a bookshelf haphazardly. I love all the great ideas. Now I’m motivated to finally weed out the ones my daughter has outgrown. Thanks!

    • Glad I gave you some ideas and motivation! Donate the books she has outgrown to your local daycare center or nonprofit. They are always looking for quality donations.

  13. Hi from Blogelina. Where, oh where were you 10 years ago?! I actually have a pretty good library system for our older kids/adult books, but when they were young things were a mess! I just love the label and rain gutter ideas. At this point, I will store this info for my grandchildren. Thanks so much!

  14. We love books, in spite of have e-readers, a real book makes such an impact. We pass on fiction books to opshops and our local cat rescue for sale. I can’t imagine not having books, and storing them well too!

    • I am a book lover too. I am always reading 3 to 4 books at a time. That is great that you can pass them on to local missions when you are done. Great idea!

  15. As a veteran homeschooler, I’m well aware of how messy and frustrating things can get when books and supplies are not organized. I wish I had seen some of these ideas when we were homeschooling. The gutter shelves reading area is great. I’d like to use that idea in one of the rooms in our house for our grandsons to use. The color coordinated categories is a neat idea, as well. All the talk about books and organizing has me wanting to go work on a reading area for the little ones. Thanks for the ideas.

  16. Lots of great ideas here. Those bins are really cute, and I love that they are so accessible to the kids. I’m forwarding this on to my sister-in-law. They’ve got children’s books in English, French, and Korean, so keeping them organized is probably a constant challenge.

  17. Hi! Great tips for arranging books! I never thought of arranging my daughter’s books this way. She’s only 2 so I have time to do this and build on it. I love organizing and your post is a great help!

  18. As a reader and an organizer–I love the idea of this.
    I bookcross a lot of books, and my old book group, the Rubber City Book Posse, usually gives over 2000 gently used or new books away every year at the Akron reading festival!

  19. These are some good ideas. Ours are stuck where he can’t get to them and I never thought of bins. Maybe I could use boxes too? It’s more a question of room dynamics. When he moves off of his little bed onto the big bed then we will have more space for a bookshelf.

  20. It can be a challenge to organize the books. I like the variety of tips you offered. In my daughter’s room she has a book shelf with several books. In my preschool we used rain gutters on the wall. I keep the “special” books on the top shelf. Donating the unused books and outgrown books is a fantastic idea.

  21. Hmm… we homeschool as well, (and thus have lots of books). I don’t my kids have the cubby style bookshelves in their rooms. One of their favorite games is taking as many books off the shelf as they can and playing “library.” I’m just happy when the books are on the shelf and not on the floor! But I love the idea of organizing them!

  22. This is a great post. I love the rain gutter idea. When we downsized we got rid of lots of books. It was a little sad but we just didn’t have room for all of them anymore. But my 9 year old still has lots & the rain gutter idea would work great in his room.

  23. My granddaughter has a Little Tykes bookshelf for her books that they are just put on there in random order. I try to keep my books from biggest to smallest but with her being 4 she just doesn’t have the patience to do that lol

  24. I have a couple of low shelves for my kids’ books and then I also have a higher one for library books where my 2-year-old can’t reach them.I love the idea of only keeping a small number of books out and rotating them!

  25. This is a great post. I don’t have children yet… but I just love the ideas for organization of their books. Especially since I am considering home schooling when it’s time for them 🙂

    • Homeschooling has been such a blessing for our family. I love the flexibility and the one-on-one time with each of my children. It is wonderful that you are considering homeschooling.

  26. Great organizing tips for books. My children are in their 20s. We donated books to adirondack ministries, and kept thier personal favorites to save when they start their own families. Great suggestions for getting books to people who need them.

  27. What great ideas! Now I’m motivated to get my books & magazines organized. I’ve used those storage baskets from IKEA, but then I have the task of sorting through them to find the book that I want. Will definitely use your fabulous ideas in my sorting adventures! Thanks! 🙂

  28. LOVE this! 🙂 I am already building our children’s library for future homeschooling use. I posted on it awhile back, though I do need to reorganize it. I recently set up a small book shelf in our nursery. I love your idea of the bins. We are also investing in one of those cube organizers. I am hoping it will be helpful when we start home schooling in the future. (Here is my post: http://www.theengagedhome.com/childrenslibrary/).

  29. Well, I used to have one of those cutesy Disney princess fabric toy shelf things and used one of the baskets to keep her books in… Then she decided to climb it (now it is at Granny’s and mostly destroyed) so I swapped it for a small toy tote – we live in a camper full time so toys are limited – and she has a play kitchen. Most of her books get set on the bottom shelf of the play kitchen because it is fast, easy, and she usually drags 3 out each night to read. 🙂 One day, I’ll have a truly organized house and she’ll have a book shelf.

  30. I have five kids and I’m always looking for ways to organize our stuff. These are great tips. I’m definitely going to use them to organize all of their books. Thank you for sharing.

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