It’s been almost a year and a half since I last KonMaried my book collection. A lot can happen in a year and a half. Like, 10 library book sales, half a dozen birthdays and holidays, and rapid maturation of bookworm reading interests. This all added up to a home library collection that was a MESS. I finally gathered my courage and took on the herculean task of taming the book beast. As I shared in my last post, I took on the added step this time of cataloging our books! I entered each of our children’s books and audiobooks into an app which allows me to know exactly what books we own (all 466 of them), and to search for topics within our collection. I am so glad to have done this!
In case there’s another OCD bookworm out there, I’ll share my process of organizing our home collection. Godspeed, my friend.
Similarly to my last major overhaul, I loosely followed the Kon Mari method. I began by gathering all of our books into one GIANT pile. This meant corralling all the mini collections into one area– they seem to fill all the empty spaces in my home, in no less than fourteen disparate areas (I counted).
This was the most time consuming part of the process, and burned the most calories to boot. Once all of the books were in one place, I began the sorting process. My littlest bookworm is just over 2.5, and to my sorrow, he has outgrown the baby books. I boxed those up with a Kon Mari “thank you for your service” and saved a few for the bookworms’ memory boxes.
In another year or less I know I’ll need to repeat the process because I held onto several dozen board books that I just couldn’t bear to part with just yet. I decided to resurrect the “short books basket” that we had great success with for Bookworm #1 when he was this age. Maybe this will give them new life. Fingers crossed.
The rest of the books I sorted into the following categories, each destined for a different home as I’ll describe in a minute: music & art, poetry, treasuries, chapter books, holiday/seasonal, religion/Bibles, general fiction picture books, and general nonfiction picture books.
Because the music & art as well as the poetry and treasuries are beautiful and look nice on display, that’s where they went! They will be easy to pull from and remember since they’re prominent. The chapter books and holiday/seasonal went onto a less accessible shelf in my storage area. The religion/Bibles went in Preschool Bookworm’s room split between his open shelving and his closet for rotation. The general nonfiction picture books were organized loosely by topic and stored on a more accessible shelf (to Mama Bookworm) in my storage area. I pulled out the topics we’re interested in this week (solar system and ocean life, if you’re curious) and the others are lying in wait. The general fiction picture books I split basically in half– half in storage for rotation purposes, and the other half in the aforementioned fourteen locations around my house. I’ll rotate these among their locations and from storage on a somewhat regular basis, whenever we need some freshening. I tried to include a mix of genres, lengths, and topics in each location.
Splitting and re-homing all of the books was actually a breeze! And had such a payoff! The kids were suuper excited to see their “brand new books” (note to self: do not reveal said books at bedtime). We’re enjoying our books with renewed interest, and I literally know where every single book is. A particular picture book that we own was used during a nature class this week (Stone Soup by Marcia Brown after making forest soup at Tinkergarten), and when we got home I knew exactly where to grab it from for our own storytime reread. #winning!
How do you organize your home library? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Connect with me in the comments or on the Facebook page.