Bookshelves are a great use of vertical space and a great way to store your belongings or showcase your collections. But the tricky thing about bookshelves is, if you don’t organize bookshelves well or decorate them with a purpose, they’ll become more of an eyesore than the functional and beautiful pieces of furniture you intended them to be. You see, most folks have a hard time figuring out how to organize bookshelves and make them look good. They are after all, just a series of flat surfaces that scream “Come on! Go ahead and stack your pile of junk right here!” Sure they like to collect clutter, but organizing and decorating them is actually pretty easy.
Here are some easy tips to organize bookshelves and get them looking great:
1. Spruce up your bookshelves with a little bit of paint or wallpaper. One of the coolest tricks to making your bookshelves standout and look more decorative is to paint the inside of a bookshelf or put wallpaper on the inside back wall. So, so cool!
2. Organize bookshelves by using containers to keep loose items organized. Magazine boxes work great to store, well…magazines or any other soft or thin booklets like owners manuals and children’s paperback books. Paper trays or paper drawers are nice for storing loose papers and materials. Wicker or woven baskets always look great on an open shelf and can be used to store things like toys, video game components, electronics, craft supplies…you name it!
3. Another way to organize bookshelves is to display tiny collections and figurines on a tray, a decorative serving dish or in a clear jar or bowl. You know what you can do with all those match books you collected while bar-hopping in your twenties and all the wine corks you collected in your more sophisticated thirties? Well, you can display them nicely in a clear jar or fishbowl on your bookshelves. This also works great for soaps, seashells, colorful buttons, etc. And those small figurines you have can be displayed on an antique tray or other decorative serving platter. Bonus: it’s a lot easier to dust when all you have to do is move the one tray or bowl instead every little piece!
4. Use decorative bookends. Finally! You now have a use for that heavy rock you found on your Mt. Everest expedition! It’ll make a great bookend! Actually, I have a few military awards from my former career in the Air Force and a couple of them have worked out nicely as decorative pieces and bookends. But if you don’t have anything lying around the house to use, check out these bookends I found on Amazon to give you some ideas.
5. Not all of your books need to be vertical. Try organizing bookshelves by stacking them 3-4 books high and topping it off with a nice trinket, framed picture or even another decorative book propped up on an easel. If you have several stacks of books on your shelves, be sure to stagger the stacks from one shelf to another in a ‘zigzag’ pattern to keep the shelves decoratively balanced.
6. When all else fails…USE CURTAINS! Seriously, curtains can be a great way to add a little decorative flair to your bookshelves…or save you 20 minutes of cleanup when you’ve got last minute guests coming over! Try using a decorative “eye catching” fabric to brighten up the space.
7. One last thing…be sure to measure the height, depth and width of your bookshelves before you purchase any bins, paper sorters, drawers, etc. Products and shelves come in different sizes so measure both before you shop!!!
That’s it! A few simple tricks and tips to help make your bookshelves organized and decorized (yeah…I made that word up). For more inspiration and design ideas, check out these links: