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Tidy It Up: Bookcases

Updated on October 11, 2013

Revive a room by arranging books on bookcases so they are orderly and pleasing. Bookcases perform the job of holding book collections; they can look inspiring or disorderly. A disorderly bookcase can affect the feel of a room. A messy heap of books is not a nice sight to view every day.

A bookcase that has some order and arrangement adds to a room, create a show place for treasured books and mementos. A bookcase that has some order and arrangement adds to a room. The bookcase shelves are a wonderful space to house and display your books, photographs, and favorite mementos.

Organizing a bookshelf is a task that might seem overwhelming.

First empty everything off the bookcase.
Clean and dust everything; books, shelves, knickknacks, bookends.
Start with a clean slate.

Remove books you no longer want. Sort through the memorabilia on the bookcase shelves, if there is something not worthy to showcase, ditch it.

Color Coordinated Bookcase
Color Coordinated Bookcase | Source


Spread out the rest of the books and organize them into categories.

There are many ways to categorize books; alphabetical by author, subject, size, height, or color. Whatever category you choose sort by author within that category.

Organizing by color creates an interesting colorful twist that is easy to do. Just grab and sort the books by color.

Organizing by height is also easy to do. First sort out all the tall books, then medium, and then smaller books.

Organize the books by theme or genre. Place the books alphabetical by author. Books in sets look stylish and are easy to group on bookcase shelves.

Choose a category system for your books and bookcase that is convenient for you to use.

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Bookcase with baskets.
Bookcase with baskets.
Bookcase with baskets. | Source

Paperback Books

Corral the paperback books.

Place baskets on the bookcase to place paperback books and magazines in.

If you don't want the paperback books out of site then stack them horizontal to add some punch to the shelves.


If you have a lot of magazines place them in magazine files. Baskets and magazine file holders can help to keep a bookcase organized.

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Add some punch to your bookcase. Paint or wallpaper the back wall of your bookcase to add some texture and pop. Paint the back wall of the bookcase a darker color than the room wall. Paint or wallpaper creates a great accent when added to a bookcase.


Hiding Place

Instead of a cabinet door add a swing out picture on your bookcase to hide paperback books, small television, or other items behind.

This is an easy diy project., Screw hinges into the frame then screw the other halves into the bookcases. Based on the artwork size there are a variety of hinges that could be used: Zero Clearance Hinges, cabinet hinges, or piano hinges (mount flat in between bookcase and picture frame).

Replace the books back on the bookcase. Place the smaller books on top and the larger books down lower. A heavy book on a lower shelf, one is less likely to drop it when removing it from the bookcase.



There are many ways to create a dazzling display on bookcases. Create patterns by alternating books and displays. Lay some books horizontal to with a decorative eye-catching item on top to create a miniature still life. Place artwork or interesting plates to the back of the bookcase to create a visually deeper bookcase. Place books on each end of a shelf, in between place an attractive front-facing book to showcase a special and interesting book. Don’t stuff the shelves full; leave about 10% or more space for breathing room, bookends, and mementos. Don’t over clutter, a few striking items added to a bookcase can create an interesting display.

Take a step back and assess your work. Rearrange until you are pleased with your pretty and cleverly arranged bookcase.

How to style your bookshelves


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