5 Ways NOT To Organize Your Shelves

I don’t know about you guys but I really enjoy telling people what to do. This might be related to the fact that I’m the oldest sibling (and the mom friend) and have kind of developed this thing where I love telling my youngest siblings what to do. And if they don’t do it willingly (mostly my brother) I bribe them with food. Seriously. My brother can be bribed to go grocery shopping with me (which he hates – apparently I take too long???) by offering him some fast food! It’s awesome. I get company while doing boring chores AND fast food. Win-Win!

But anyways, what I actually wanted to get at was the fact that today, I am going to tell you guys a couple of things I think you shouldn’t be doing while organizing your shelves. I know, I know. Everyone always tells you what it is that you should be doing – but why not switch things up a bit, right? And please, take my advice 100% seriously.

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Sorting Your Books By Author And/Or Series

This is actually how I try to organize my shelves (and I want to make sure we put a empathize on the word ‘try’ here) most of the time and it seems like as soon as I’ve got my books all nice and organized a beloved author announces that they are

  • writing a new series
  • adding more books to an existing series
  • write a new book in general – unrelated to previous books

and guess what? Now you’ll have to figure out a way to include those books by your favorite author with their existing books without demoting another author from their designated shelf. Because that’s just cruel. Don’t be cruel to authors, okay? They’re just as fragile as we are!

I am literally already dreading getting some of the books on my anticipated list because I have absolutely no space on my shelves??? And all of the authors that have designated shelves (or mostly designated shelves, some have to share) are blessing me with so many new books but I have no idea where to put any of them. It’s a tragedy.

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Sorting Your Books By Color

For this to make more sense, I need to set the scene! Basically, you are one of the very lucky bookworms who owns all the books in the world and you love to organize them by color because it’s so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to look at (and you want to make your fellow bookworms jealous with your ability to perfectly differentiate colors – that’s a SERIOUS skill). But that’s also where your problems start.

Because guess what? After spending hours and hours carefully sorting your books by color in all the beautiful variations of the rainbow, you’ve finally got it all on your shelves and you think to yourself ‘YES! Thank god I did it!’. Guess what? You’re a bookworm. You’re probably ALREADY waiting for at least 5 packages in the mail with new books that you will have to FIT IN SOMEWHERE ON THAT RAINBOW SHELF.

Enjoy spending another hour trying to find more space. I’ll just sit here and wait!

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Sorting Your Books By Favorites

Though, hey! If you were able to narrow down your books to any number that represents your favorites? I’m really freaking proud of you! I couldn’t do that. Ever. And I keep changing my opinion. Which is right where we run into our problem!

See, today you might think book XY is PERFECT. You wanna name your firstborn child after it. But then as time goes by? You realize that maybe it isn’t such a good idea anymore (me with Twilight. I was obsessed) and now you need to remove that book from your favorites shelf – which can be a good thing! LOOK MORE SPACE.

But you probably also already read at least three more books that you loved and you only took down ONE book. Good luck squeezing in three books in that spot!

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Sorting Your books By Genre

So you’ve decided to be reasonable and to sort your books by genre – makes for REALLY EASY finding of books to read! Which is always great! But guess what?

You just read that really, really great historical fiction novel and you never even thought you enjoyed that genre? And suddenly you’re waiting for seven packages each with at least three books all in the historical fiction genre. WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THOSE BOOKS? You never had any room for them on your shelf because you didn’t see yourself reading this genre.

Good luck figuring this out. And NO. You are not allowed to just stack those books on the floor.

how dare you

Sort Your Books By Read And Unread Books

Oh, you poor soul. I don’t even want to think about how difficult this might be to maintain. Because you’re a bookworm you read a ton of books and you buy a ton of books that you’re not going to read until weeks/months later. But you continue to buy more books because you need a variety of books to choose from – obviously!

But where are you going to put all those books? Because even if you remove one book from your unread shelf – where on your read shelf are you gonna put it? You know your unread shelf isn’t actually getting any smaller and making up room for a new read shelf. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

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You’re probably thinking to yourself ‘WELL HOW ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO SORT MY BOOKS THEN, SWETLANA?!’ and honestly? I don’t know. No matter which way you try – you’ll eventually run into space problems. There’s never enough of it and we all know it.

If you love the aesthetically pleasing look of rainbow shelves (which I 100% get) go for it! Want all your favorite books together? Go for it! Don’t listen to me! Who am I to tell you how to organize your shelves? You don’t want to know how often I go back in and reorganize my shelves because I just got new books and they need a nice and cozy home. I feel like its actually about time that I go back in there and reorganize them again…

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So, after reading my fabulous tips all about how you shouldn’t organize your shelves – did you find any of them helpful? Have you tried organizing your books by any of those categories and were you successful?

What’s your favorite way of organizing your shelves? And is there a way you love but just simply can’t do on your own shelves?

For example, I would love to have rainbow shelves but I don’t have enough books (in my opinion) to make it look the way I want it to. But I love staring at rainbow shelves! They are just so pretty.

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26 thoughts on “5 Ways NOT To Organize Your Shelves

  1. This post actually made me laugh out loud!!! I literally relate to ALL of these struggles (except maybe the first one because I don’t own enough books by all the authors to dedicate an entire space to them).

    I remember I once wanted to organise my books by colour and it started out alright but when I was finished I actually hated how it looked! For example, if you take all the books with red spines and put them next to each other you’ll realise THAT ALL SHADES OF RED ARE DIFFERENT. AND THERE’S NO SMOOTH TRANSITION BETWEEN THE BOOKS. AND IT JUST LOOKS UNEVEN AND UGLY. Long story short, after spending two hours organising my rainbow shelf, I took it down like two seconds after I was finished bc it was UGLY.

    Now I have a weird mix of sorting them bc read/unread as well as favourites. But the space struggle is real—I have two separate stacks of unread books on the floor because they don’t fit ANYWHERE anymore 😭 It’s actually getting embarrassing and my mum hates it jdjsjdjsjshs I NEED ANOTHER BOOK SHELF.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have an entire shelf (or more like cubicle sized shelf) for just Cassandra Clare because I have read all of her books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles and own them too and then Sarah J. Maas used to have her own shelf but once I needed more space, she got put together with some other authors. It’s just easier that way.

      Oh boy! Sorting your books by color and then within colors would probably be such a great thing for someone to do who is really particular about it and has an easy time differentiating the colors and their various undertones. I did this test once where you were supposed to sort colors but you had a starting and finishing point which made it easier! But i’m so sad to hear that all that work didn’t pay out in your case!

      JACKIE HOW DARE YOU PUT YOUR BOOKS ON THE FLOOR. And don’t we all need at least one more bookshelf!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry about spamming you with comments rn hahaha I’m just going through all my notifications and there’s A LOT.

        I also have cubicle sized shelves and it’s hard to squeeze books in there! I should have bought those huge shelves that everyone has with rows in them 😭

        DON’T YOU WORRY I have now moved my stacks from the floor to the tops of my night stand, book shelf, table, and just about anywhere I had space 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pffft organize books? what is thaaaaat? (pretending i haven’t seen all the beautiful shelfies online) :’D I am the artist type i guess, my books are everywhere: couch, piled on the corner of my desk, night table, kitchen…every flat surface available basically, and when i want to find one, I somehow know where each one is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, ShelfieSundays are both the best and worst days of the week for me on Instagram because there are all these stunning shelfies and I just want mine to look the same? But I can’t put up shelves in the apartment I live in so I just have these two media cabinets that hold my books – which don’t have anywhere near enough space.

      I admire the fact that you’re easily able to find your books though! I would think it would be a bit chaotic, but obviously not!

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  3. The only way I can organise my books is alphabetical order by author’s surname, just like in a library or a bookshop. It just seems like the most logical way for me to do it! If I tried to organise them any other way I just wouldn’t be able to find anything at all. Especially if I did it by colour. But I don’t think I have enough books of different colours to organise them that way 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a very well organized way though! That’s something I wonder about quite often too, actually! How people are able to find their books when they’ve got them organized by color! Because sometimes the spine doesn’t match the front cover (The Hate U Give for example has a white front cover but a red spine) and that would already make i more difficult to find for me – in the case of a less popular book. I’ve seen THUG’s spine SO many times now I’d always recognize the book.

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  4. Ahahahah, I love this. I’m the rainbow shelf kind of person, for now, but it IS a struggle to find a place for every new book I’m getting…. well, I think part of this is also due to the fact that I have, like, no place whatsoever since my shelves are fuuuuuuull ahahah 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay but organizing by genre is sooo hard! Because sometimes you’re not sure if a book is one genre or another or sometimes it’s a MIX BETWEEN MULTIPLE GENRES AND YOU’RE STUCK PULLING YOUR HAIR OUT

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to organize my books alphabetically by the author’s last name until I ended up with too many books and not enough space. Now I organize them by “where can I fit this book” and I just shove as many books as possible into every inch of space, hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. YESSSS. I used to have my shelves organized in the MOST RANDOM WAY… there was no correlation?? Except for some series I kept together. But now — despite only having one shelf and not a lot of books — I organized it to make a rainbow, and even tho I don’t have that many books, there are enough books for it to look pretty decent??? I personally love the rainbow because 1) it’s aesthetic, and 2) I’m visual, so I’ll remember the color of the spine, which will help me out if I need to find the book. Awesome post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post Swetlana it’s so unique! I agree with pretty much all of these but especially the organizing by colors! I would never be able to find anything if I organized my books that way! Plus like you said what do you do when new books come in, it really would take you another hour to organize!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The way I organize my shelves is by height and then by series. Which sounds great in theory, but for my bookish collection, it’s not. 😂 All of my books are in so many different formats, and some of my series are a mix of half paperback, half hardcover, and then new books are added to those series, and so many are incomplete. 🙈 It stresses me out, to be honest, but I like it (or I used to. My shelves are currently destroyed because of bookstagram.)!

    Liked by 1 person

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