How To Organize Kids’ Books (For A Tidy Home Library)

There are many different ways to organize children’s books depending on your goals. The first step is determining why you want them organized. Is it to find something quickly or perhaps to look more tidy and pleasant? Deciding why you want them organized can help you pick a strategy for organizing your shelf space.

If you’re looking for ways to store your kids’ books, checkout this kids book storage article. You may be interested in storing books short term for daily use or for the short term on bookshelves, magazine holders, in a plastic bin, cute wooden crate, or in a book caddy. Long term, you might want to store books in cardboard or plastic boxes. 

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Organizing kids’ books once you’ve decided how to display or store them doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are a few simple ways you can organize your kids’ books.

Organize Your Kids’ Bookshelf By:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Title
  • Author
  • Category

Organize Kids’ Books By Size

Organizing your kids’ books by size is mostly for an aesthetically pleasing bookshelf. If you like the way they look, going from big to small, this could be a fun look in your playroom. It doesn’t have a big functional purpose except that sometimes small books like board books are for early readers like babies and larger books are for your older children… but that’s a generalization.

Kids' books organized by size
Kids’ books organized by size

Organize Kids’ Books By Color

Organizing books by color is a great way to show off a rainbow hued book collection. Having a rainbow bookshelf can be very cute in a playroom, living room, or kid’s bedroom, wherever you keep the majority of your kids’ books. Again, similar to organizing books by size, this doesn’t serve much of a purpose aside from looking cute. It has the same problem as sorting by size as it will be easily messed up once your kids start using it.

Kids' books organized by color
Kids’ books organized by color

Organize Kids’ Books By Title

If you have a TON of kids’ books, sorting them by title can be helpful so you can skim through a large shelf easily by alphabetical order. A genuine little home library of your own kids’ books could be the perfect solution if you have piles and piles of books to sort through.

Organize Kids’ Books By Author

If you have a lot of books by the same author or publisher this can be a nice way to sort them. For instance, I have a bunch of ‘Little Golden Books’ that are kept all together and a lot of ‘Dr Seuss’ books that are also kept together. It can look tidy if they’re all the same style of book cover and it’s helpful to know where to start looking for a book if you know the author already.

Organize Kids’ Books By Category

You can organize your kids’ books into some of the following categories: 

  • Books about shapes
  • Books about numbers
  • Books about seasons
  • Animal books
  • Books about holidays (separate further into Christmas, Easter etc.)
  • Bedtime stories / saying goodnight
  • Poetry books
  • Nonfiction vs Fiction books
  • Black and white books for infants
  • Books on specific interests (dinosaurs, vehicles, princess stories, superheroes, etc.)

Organizing books by categories can be a game changer in keeping track of them. It can be a great option to help keep a book rotation running smoothly. For instance, if a new season is coming up you can easily reach for all the types of books you have in a ‘Fall category’ and then tuck some away in late October and bring out a few in your ‘Halloween category’ for the next big event of the year. 

Organizing Books With Covers Visible vs Spines Facing Out

I have areas in my home that use each of these options. We have a large bookshelf in our playroom that stores the majority of our childrens’ books. We also have a big book wall in our playroom we rotate book titles through and a small book wall in the kids’ bedrooms for storing bedtime books. Ikea spice racks and picture ledges can be an inexpensive option to organize your books face-out on the walls of your home. Another great option is to purchase small bookshelves for toddler books in your child’s bedroom at a height that will be within easy reach.

Kids' books stored face out instead of spine out
Kids’ books stored face out instead of spine out

Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of organizing kids’ books in each way.

Covers Visible Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • Kids can easily see the books they’re looking for
    • Bright, colorful, attractive
    • Eye catching
    • Can use in place of wall art
  • Cons
    • Fewer books available
    • Will need to rotate titles to enjoy a larger selection throughout the month, season or year

Stacked Books Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • Can store large quantity of books
    • Easily find books by author or title
    • Great for older children who can read the spines themselves
  • Cons
    • Books can become ‘fun’ projectiles – some babies like to pull them all out at once
    • Harder for toddlers to engage with and become interested in a specific title
    • Books can become ‘lost’ or forgotten alongside too many options

Other Ideas On Organizing Kids’ Books

How you want to organize your kids’ books can also be determined by where the books are going and what their purpose is. If you have a main area in your home for storing the majority of your kids’ books, is it accessible to your kids? Or do you use it as part of a book rotation, so your kids only have access to part of your collection at a time?

Location Matters! Is it a bookshelf in a common space? Are your kids super young? If you answered yes to both those questions, you might be interested in doing a book rotation. Offering a smaller selection of books can benefit your younger children. It can narrow down their choices so they’re not overwhelmed and help you take good care of your books as well as encourage children to learn how books are treated. 

Are you storing these books away somewhere? If the books you’re organizing are out of reach of your children, then how you choose to organize them may differ slightly. An adult is much more capable of keeping book titles or author names in alphabetical order on a traditional bookcase than a child is. 

Declutter your books! Interests change and adapt as children grow. One of the best things you can do for your little library is to keep it up to date and remove books that no longer need to be accessible on the shelves your little ones can reach. Fewer books can easily mean less mess, especially if they’re in bad shape or unneeded.

I love childrens books! Reading them, rotating them through our shelves at home, searching for new ones… There are so many wonderful books out there to populate your little home library with. If you’re looking for some recommendations on which books to build your collection with feel free to check out some more of our articles here on Mama’s Buzz.

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  1. Pingback: How To Store Kids Books – Mama's Buzz

  2. Pingback: 45 Books About Gratitude For Kids (To Teach Thankfulness) | Simplify Create Inspire

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