How to organize your children’s books

Organizing your children’s books can help kids find the books they want when they’re in the mood to read. It can also help teach them about caring for their books and even make it easier for them to put them away when they’re done.

Of course when your children are really small, the book organization is going to be mainly for you. If you’re anything like us, you end up grabbing the same books again and again, even though there are dozens worth reading on the shelves. The problem is, you just can’t see them all. The skinny paperback books have to be pulled out to see the title, and the tiny board books can get lost behind some of the bigger ones.

So here are some ideas to help you organize all your kids’ books:

By color

If you put all your kids’ books on the shelves according to color, it will be easier for older children to put books back in the proper places. This can also help them learn the different colors and their shades.

The trouble with this method, though, is that the books can be all different sizes, from large picture books down to the tiniest board books. Not a recipe for a neat shelf.

By size

Take a look at the types of books you’ve got and see if it makes sense to organize by size. We have one shelf on our bookcase that is quite short, so we’ve got all the little board books there. These might be also suited for a more shallow shelf, though—perhaps mounted on the wall. The great thing about these books is they are cute to look at, too, so they can actually be part of your child’s room decor.

Thin paperback books are the ones that often get the least exposure. Rather than putting these on the bookcase, how about placing them upright in a basket for easy flipping through? They are also good choices for display in a sling bookcase.

By topic

Perhaps too advanced for younger children to keep up on their own, organizing kids’ books by topic could be useful, however, if you have both boys and girls. (Your boys probably aren’t going to pull out a book about fairies and princesses, right?) If this is the case, you could even think of having a separate bookcase for boys and girls.

By age appropriateness

We’re soon going to have a newborn and a three-year-old in the house. Many of the books that are now too simple for our older boy are going to be back in circulation. Perhaps we will keep these up higher, so mom and dad can see them easily. We will keep the ones our first son needs on lower shelves, so they are easily accessible on his own.

Keep all books on a big bookshelf and then bring out a bunch each week so different ones get rotation.

This takes a little effort on the part of the parent, but it will be worth it to make sure your children are exposed to a variety of books. If you’ve got a sling bookshelf, rotate the ones you’ve got displayed there each week.

If your children are older, ask them what sort of organization system they might prefer.

You can even put up labels to make it easier for kids to put books away. Just prepare the label according to how you’ve chosen to organize your books.

How do you organize your children’s books?


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Comments (2)

  1. Bea S.

    Great ideas! Thanks!

  2. Jessica Beard

    Great ways to organize. I really like the idea of rotating my son’s book, so he is exposed to a variety. He’ll love having new books to read each week. As a former second grade teacher, I organized my classroom library by genre. My students learned about the different genre’s throughout the school year and were exposed to many new kinds of books. I’m obsessed with buying books, so I’d like to hear other ways of organizing. I need a whole room devoted to kid’s books!

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