book smart

Get Clutter Free in 30-Days

With these easy Quick Tip solutions to simplify your life and organize your home, you'll see less clutter each and every day.
 How did you do on yesterday's assignment? 

Maybe you have noticed, each day the assignments seem to be getting a little more involved and they take a little more effort... The point isn't the completion of the assignment in one day; the point is to know the organizational skills of the assignment and to set a firm date for completion.

30 Day Challenge
Day Eleven:
Book Smart

Are you a book lover?  You stand in the book store and debate on whether to buy the $9.95 paperback or the $23.95 hardback of the same book because the hardback is so much nicer in quality and aesthetics. It would be a beautiful addition 'when' you get those coveted bookshelves organized (or just get them built)?

When you are finished reading the book, what do you do with it? Store it in a closet? Loan it out and maybe never see it again?  Tuck it away on the bookshelves that are piled high with more books? Now buying the book is only Part One of the Book Lover's Code. Part Two comes with the task of taking care of it once you're finished reading it. 

Yes, the bookshelf is the best home for a tome, but how organized is that bookshelf? Is it a thing of beauty or just a stack of books... upon books... upon books? Rather than filling shelves with only books on end, why not arrange and organize your books.

Here’s how to organize your book shelves to bring order to them. I am offering a lot of information here, but please be sure to read to the bottom for your assignment.

If You Have Only a Few Books

Layer to create dimension. Prop picture frames with stacks or rows of books and cluster collectibles, such as contrasting shaped object, to add visual punch.

Pick a color to tie everything together on your bookshelves. Choose a color that's in the room, maybe a yellow chair, and add a bright yellow frame, flowers, and vases to complement the chair.

Balance the look. Make sure that a cluster of books appears on every shelf. Line them up at or very near to the edge of the shelf so there is no room for dust in front of them.  Bookshelves are a chore to dust – let's make the chore as easy as possible while you arrange them.

Paint the inside walls of the shelves. This adds contrast and sets off the objects. You can cut pieces of fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper to fit and affix with glue or double-stick tape. This will help add visual appeal to the shelves if your book collection is sparse at the moment. I love to cut mirrored glass to add to the back wall of shelving. It is amazing the difference it makes if you add a little dimension to the shelves themself.

If You Have a Growing Collection of Books and Other Media

Hide unsightly things. Buy containers for what isn’t display-worthy.  Stash spare USB wires and instruction manuals in colorful labeled boxes, baskets or even tucked in behind books. (I hate visible wires of any kind in the room.)

Think ahead. If there are certain books you need to access often, don't place objects (like a framed picture) on top of the book.

If You Have Lots of Books

Mix and match. Arrange most of your books vertically to save space, but incorporate a few horizontal stacks to spark interest.

Be sure to still add decorative items. Never place more than 30 books vertically without breaking the line by stacking a few horizontally and even adding a pretty object or frame.

Don’t overdo it. Leave at least one quarter of each shelf free to give a sense of airiness – to give the eye a place to ‘rest’. Unless you have THE collection of books, leather bound first addition, etc. etc., then your bookshelves can look like the library at the Biltmore.  Ok, you know me & my LOVE for The Biltmore Estates... I HAD to add a photo here!

Illuminate your books. Attach lights to the top shelves. If the bookshelves are adjustable, add a lamp on a couple of the shelves to add interest.

Treat your books well. Lay large volumes horizontally to protect their covers. Vertical, large books need to be supported by books of equal size to prevent warping. Some information via

Your Assignment for Day Eleven: 
Take inventory of your books - make a plan on how to store them properly. Are they on shelves but seem disorganized?
Are your large coffee table books lying horizontally?
Are your smaller books supported vertically?

Books are an investment - be sure to treat them like one.

Good Luck!