Organizing children’s books

I don’t know about you, but we have A LOT of children’s books.  I mean a whole bookcase full of picture books, and that’s not counting the ones in the garage that are boxed up from when I was teaching that I need to get out now that the “kids are older.”  Or the tubs of books Jeff and I both saved from when we were kids, or the chapter books….

organizing children's books


Well, you get the idea.  Organizing children’s books was on my list of ways to punish myself.


Then I started organizing children’s books by subject, I had them all in nice little cardboard magazine boxes, and the ones that didn’t fit were in a different small box.


But, I was the only one using that system, so very shortly it was a huge mess again.


children's book organizing system supplies

Enter my new plan, and this one is working.  You need magazine boxes (I got mine from Ikea), stickers, contact paper, sharpie, and scissors.


First I divided the books up into rather broad categories: Bible, Fairy Tale, Princess, Hero, Science, History, and maybe one or two others.


organizing children's books

Next I put a sticker on each book for a particular category.  Yellow dots in my house are any series books: Scooby Doo, Bernestain Bears, Diego, My Little Ponies, etc.


organizing children's books

Then I put the same type of dot on the magazine box, covered that in contact paper, and also put contact paper on the bottom, to reinforce it.


Now, the kids know to look for the sticker and put the book in the box with a sticker.


I do have a few books that don’t fit in the boxes, and those just go on the shelves, but it’s a small manageable number.  I’ve now only got the top row to finish going through and then it’ll all be done.


One final thing I did.  I created a reading box, I’ve had one of these off and on for years, but right now it’s specifically designed with only the “I Can Read” books and a few others books they really like.

organizing children's books


So, that’s the first project I’ve completed for my Summer Bucket List, books are done.  Well, kids’ books are done, my shelves are still a horrible mess.


I’m not quite sure why a hair brush is there, or why a dragon sits on the shelves.

And now I really smile when I see this.



So, there’s part one of my new unofficial series: Organization for the Unorganized Mom.

organization for the unorganized Mom


19 responses to “Organizing children’s books”

  1. I like the book organization! I might just have to do this. I just have books spread out between several different bookshelves 😛

    1. It’s been working for us for a week or so, so I’d recommend it. The only thing is you have to really push the kids to remember to put it back in the correct place.

  2. Only you would have a list of ways to punish yourself! I’m wondering why you needed to be punished??
    Great idea for a new series. You ought to have a link up and we can all help each other. Although I’m so naff at organisation, I doubt I’d ever have anything to link up!!

    1. Well since I view most all cleaning as a form of punishment, it’s not really that I needed to be punished, so much as the act of cleaning is punishing…….

      Hmmm…. I’ll think about it, but I’m not sure I want to try and run ANOTHER link up 🙂

  3. Great idea but I hope you don’t spend all of your summer on chores, I fell into that trap the last break we had. Enjoy your break, you deserve it 🙂

    1. Oh no, certainly not going to do that, my plan is to spend one day a week working on the boring chore type stuff and the other days having fun.

    2. Great to hear!!!

  4. Well, aren’t you the smart one???? Very smart. I would have never thought of that.

  5. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    I need to do this! I also want to buy a bookshelf with more small sections – we just have long shelves, and they are not picture book friendly!

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  7. The Law of Attraction sent your post my way 😉 We are moving and I am faced with the task of….REORGANIZATION..dun dun dunnn..I am definitely going to try this!

    1. Your comment cracked me up! If my kids and I can keep it going for over a month, then you can too.

    2. 🙂 Actually, I am excited about it. Now I’m REALLY excited to organize AND I get to color code! (That’s my inner nerd coming out 8) ). Thanks for the vote of confidence! I’m also going to implement a “return” bin as a dis-organization prevention mechanism (DPM 🙂 )

  8. What to do with kids’ books?

    […] on the book that corresponds to the box.  It’s been working great.  I’ve got a full tutorial on my site with tips for reinforcing boxes, where I got them, etc.  That’s been working very well for […]

  9. […] using another magazine box (same ones from my organizing books post) to hold the latin, English from the Roots Up, and Easy Grammar {affiliate […]

  10. I missed this post before. I like how you are doing it!!

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