Monday, May 7, 2012

Organizing Kid's Books

I mentioned before that I had become interested in finding inexpensive storage solutions to help organize our belongings.  The most difficult room to keep organized is Eva's toy room. I have redone that room 3 or 4 times since we moved in, and we've only been here 8 months.  Every chance I get, I am donating toys she has lost interest in. Nothing I was doing was working, and it was so frustrating.  Then I came across the IheartOrganizing blog.  I mentioned it in my very first blog post.  I cannot rave about it enough. After oohing and ahhhing over all the great organization ideas over there, I decided to get serious about organizing Eva's toy room in such a way that it would be easier for her to keep it clean and organized.  My first victims were her bookcases.  She has one in her bedroom because we read a book each night before bed and she has one in her toy room because she likes to sit on her little Pottery Barn couch and read.

Here is a Before & After of the toy room bookcase:

Yikes!  Before we had no way to separate paper backs or giant books from pocket-sized books.  It was a huge mess and I found myself organizing it pretty much every single day. I knew I needed to arrange them in a way that kept similar books together, so I started shopping around for baskets.  I found those cute pink baskets at Hobby Lobby for about $2 a piece, and this is how I went about organizing all those books:

1. I took them all down and separated them by type, for example, all of the Little Golden books in one stack, pocket-sized books in a stack, Dr. Seuss books in another, thin, flimsy paperbacks all together,etc...Yes, it was a pain to have to do it, but it was necessary and it really didn't take all that long.

2. I separated the books we no longer read, like the baby books made of soft materials.  I put those in a separate pile to donate.  

3. I neatly put back all the oversized, heavy books at the very bottom.  They wouldn't fit in a basket and are easier to pull out this way.

4. I knew I had four baskets to work with, so I mixed some of my piles, like the little golden books and the  Dr. Seuss books.  Then I stuck each of the four piles into its own basket.  

It seems like such a silly thing to have to do, but let me tell you, it has worked wonders!  I no longer have to organize Eva's cabinet.  Now she can easily find the books she wants without having to take all her books off the shelves and when she's done, she puts them back in their corresponding baskets.  It worked so well that I went ahead and bought baskets for the bookcase in her bedroom and here is how that turned out:

It was a simple task that cost me less than $10 per bookcase, and it has cut out a problem that would stress me out so it was totally worth it!  Do you have an organization system for your bookcases that works well? If so, please share!

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