Bookshelf Mania: Organizing (or lack of it)

How do you organize your bookshelves?

I’m doing a post like this in order to spur myself into organizing my bookshelves. In the past few months I’ve redecorated my bedroom with multi-colored furniture and old crap I had in my basement, and it’s a lot better than the stark white kiddy furniture I’ve had since I could crawl, let me tell you. Since I’m living at home before getting a job/moving into (hopefully) Manhattan (but most likely Queens) in the next couple years, the luxury is having the freedom to just let my possessions seep into every nook and cranny, but my penchant for organization is rebelling against this instinct. So–organization it is. I don’t have much of it when it comes to my bookshelves.

My basic “organization” method is to put books where there currently aren’t any. If room runs out, find a new place. If there are no new places, buy a cheap bookcase. And put it on top of another cheap bookcase. Clearly, I need some help…IMG_4995

the “Classics” bookcase, artfully scattered with weird souvenirs like the ulu I bought from Alaska and a music box that plays “La Vie En Rose” from a sidewalk shop in Paris. Espresso cups and makers are widely represented as well, for obvious reasons.


This was my first bookcase, one that’s built into the wall. When this space ran out I had to get creative. YA books, high school reading list books, historical fiction, and the Harry Potter shelf, in a state of disarray since I lent them to my sister.

Photo Mar 24, 6 07 26 PM

Floor bookcase. Stolen beer glasses, contemporary fiction, some YA and genre, old notebooks, and the best thing I’ve ever read, Motley Crüe’s The Dirt.


1920s set of Charles Dickens, the first half (the second half didn’t fit). Liquor bottles (empty, sadly), a beaded lamp from Sicily, jewelry, and the much-abused iPod dock. Elephant finger puppet.


Thrifted used books, ftw.

IMG_5006Bottom half of nightstand. Travel photo books, old neglected yearbooks, London shot glasses and B&N classics stored two deep.


And my personal favorite: on top of the wardrobe. I call this masterpiece, “I Buy Too Many Books.” Both TBR and recently read. I would kill for a proper library with adequate shelving! I think that’s a spider on my wall…

So that’s it! I need to tip my room on its side and let everything fall out, and then build it back up a lot more organized than it was before. I don’t even want to show you what my closet looks like.

How do you organize? By genre, name, color, size, or like me, with zero thought and reckless abandon? Let me know in the comments.



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  • I am beginning to think we are the same person! My books have seriously been neglected since I moved back home still unpacked in boxes under my bed. I dream of having a truly beautiful and organised space where my props, crafts, clothes and books live as one, but setting that space up at home makes it feel a little more permanent that I can face just now xx

    • I feel bad for those books stuck in boxes! But I know how you feel. Right now I’m pretty content staying at home; I’m really close to my family and I’m enjoying this time. But I’m also itching to have a space of my own and do whatever I like with it! I’m going to have a walk-in closet and a beautiful library, mark my words. 🙂

      • I actually love living at home, but at the moment I am feeling a little nomadic, and have to get up and go wherever my show or the theatre world needs me, I suppose laying roots and unpacking anywhere would feel a bit too permanent for where I am at the moment! I’m gonna get some books out just for you x

        • I get it. I think it would be wonderful just to travel for a few months and be spontaneous, live out of a car, et cetera. I’d bring books and some boots, and be just fine. In the meantime, bed is warm and Mommy cook.

  • ha! I have to be honest, I’m a little surprised your wall shelves haven’t collapsed! they are stuffed! Not that I have any room to criticize. Probably 1/2 of my books are still at my family’s house in Texas. Meanwhile, my itty bitty $15 used bookshelf in my apartment is rather disorganized. It doesn’t help that I keep a stash of old Vogue magazines, as well as all the publications I worked on in college. Sigh.