Reorganizing My Bookshelves

Posted April 1, 2016 by Emily in Other / 4 Comments


Spring is here! And I’m on spring break so that naturally means spring cleaning. Along with spring cleaning comes decluttering and reorganizing. I ended up moving my bookshelves and reorganizing them… sort of.

Choose a Method

I worked as a shelver at my library for a little over a year. Basically, I was paid to put books back on their shelves by alphabetical order by last name after they were returned to the library. As a result, I organize my books by author’s last name. Old habits die hard. Appearantly not too hard though, as I like to keep book series in the order they are published rather than alphabeticalized by title. I tried organizing my shelves by color for a while. It didn’t last long because it drove me crazy not seeing them in alphabetical order. 🙁

Meet the Players

Introducing cheap (and dusty) bookshelves from Target.


And THE books.


The keeper of THE books is camera shy. But it’s okay because she’s not important.

In Preparation…

There are a few things I like to do before I actually start organizing my books. Besides being in love with alphabetizing books, I also love to catalog them. I tried a few cataloging apps but they’ve all let me down so Goodreads is still my go to. I just use its barcode scanner to scan all my books and put them on the “own” shelf I created. Having them all there will be helpful for me later on.

Also, you can’t forget to clean up those dusty bookcases.

The Procedure

Step One – Sort

I like to shove all the books on the shelves where I think they will end up. Sometimes I fail, but usually since I’m really just reorganizing my shelves, I have a pretty good idea where they will go.

organize shelves 1

Step Two – Organize

Part of why Goodreads is useful is that as much as I like alphabetizing books, I’m also very lazy. Goodreads lets you sort shelves by author’s last name (among many other things) so it’s really helpful for me. I just follow Goodreads’ sorting and viola… Sort of. Goodreads doesn’t take book titles into account so when I have authors with multiple books, say Gayle Forman for example, it’ll just list all her books in the order I added them. If I Stay will be before I Was Here even though if you use the alphabet, it should be the other way around. My life is so difficult, I know.

organize shelves 2

Step Three – Beautify

Gotta add some accesories on the top of the shelves (since I don’t put more books there). Here’s the final look… for now. It probably won’t look like this after I finish taking pics for Instagram. Sigh.


Oh, and here’s a gif of the progress.


How do you organize your shelves?
Do you have any tips to keep them organized?



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4 responses to “Reorganizing My Bookshelves

  1. I love this! What a cool post. I like actually seeing the steps of progress. I reorganized my shelves last summer after my move from the previous November. I could not understand why my books were not getting back in the right places, despite consulting previous pictures. For now, all of my read books are on the lower shelves. They are sorted more by genre than anything else (two favorite series together, chick lit together, romance together, classics together, literary YA together…is that it?). The first shelf is chock full of books I haven’t read, as is the top. The top also shares some space with my literature anthologies. Anywho, here is my post from last summer:

    Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders recently posted: Feature Follow Friday ~ April 1, 2016
    • I probably should start sorting my books by read and unread. That would probably help me actually read the books I own instead of just borrowing ones from the library. I haven’t thought about sorting genres today. I only really own YA (all the books from my childhood are sitting on a smaller, less pretty, and less organized shelf) so there’s that…

      Thank you so much for always stopping by and commenting Charlie! 🙂

  2. You could also use a page flag and just tag the spines of books you haven’t read, if you’re really holding onto organizing alphabetically. All of my children’s books are in boxes in storage…which my new sister-in-law tried to steal! And my mom almost let her! Gah! I had to prove – by glancing at a particular book’s spine (in the scary dim alley-where-all-the-killings-happen-like light) that it was my Ariel book. Of course, it was. That ended the conversation.

    Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders recently posted: Feature Follow Friday ~ April 1, 2016