6 Ways to refresh your bookshelf when moving house

One of the benefits of moving house in my opinion is the fresh start you can get on a few home organisational tasks. The bookshelf being one of them. Here are some of top tips for keeping your bookshelf not only visually appealing but practical as well. 

If you’re similar to me, you pick a book from your once tidy book shelf, read (or half read it) and slot it anywhere free on the shelf, or worse the book never makes it back to the book shelf at all. Personally, this gives me a slight sense of anxiety just looking at it but along with all the other chores and day to day requirements pulling each book down to reformat the shelf can seem like a task that will just never get done. This year in fact, I set some time aside to do just that, I got so fed up with the collection of dust and the mess and pulled every book we owned into a pile on the floor and sorted by height, colour, paper or hardback, there were quite a few books that also ended up in a donation pile. One of the benefits of moving house in my opinion is the fresh start you can get on a few home organisational tasks. The bookshelf being one of them. 

Here are some of my top tips for keeping your bookshelf not only visually appealing but practical as well: 

1. Don’t be afraid to play with height

Stacking a collection of books horizontally allows you to fit more books on the shelf but the play on height is also attractive to the eye. This style of stacking works especially well using them as a book end for a row of vertical books or by stacking a few vertical books on top of a small pile of horizontal books, if your shelf space allows it. Using this method of organisation allows you to stack a genre together or play with the sizes of your books biggest to smallest. This method works well if you want your book case to be somewhat of a focal point in the room. 

2. Arrange by colour

coloured bookshelf

You won’t be able to pass by your bookcase without admiring the colours of the rainbow. If you are a visual person and want to create somewhat of an art piece on your bookshelf this is the method for you. A little tip if you are organising your books by colour, check to see if the cover of the book is different to the book jacket. I personally don’t find this type of organisation very practical if you have a large number of books, it means you might be spending a while searching through the colours of the rainbow to find a genre of book. However if it is purely for a creative touch – colour away!

3. Organise by genre

Organising your books by genre is a tactful approach if you are a reader of many different subjects. If the only books you own and read are romance novels then you might be best picking another way of organising! But for the avid reader this will be useful when looking for a specific title or author. Most books will fit into a genre, otherwise create a miscellaneous pile for the others.  

4. Read or unread

Another method to organising your bookshelf is to separate books into two piles. One pile are books that you have read, the second are the books that you have not (or halfway through). This method can be a wonderful way to prompt more reading, or momentarily make you feel bad for all those unread books on your shelf. Nevertheless this approach is one of the easiest methods of organising your books. 

5. Alphabetical

If your book shelf replicates more of a library then this system might be the one for you. It is simple, it is effective and anyone pulling books from the shelf can follow it, so long as they know the alphabet. Most commonly, alphabetised books are organised by authors surname, however if you prefer to go by book title then go for it. 

6. Combination Organisation

A little note on combination organisation. Picking a few methods of organisation not only keeps your shelf looking top notch but it might be the most practical option for you and the types of books you own. For example, you might organise by genre and then each genre gets placed back on the bookshelf by height. 

It is one thing to start the book shelf reformat with the best of intentions but what we are ultimately searching for is a system that is easy to follow and a system that will look the way you had planned months down the track when you’ve finished a book and it needs to be returned to its rightful space. 

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