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3 Tips to Organizing Bookshelves

By Amitha Verma

Remember the goal setting system I shared with you recently?

Well, here’s a real-life example of one of my BIG two-week goals:

Organizing & Styling My Bookshelves

I’ll admit that since we moved back in, I did absolutely anything to avoid facing this project. But I finally caved to the nagging feeling that crept up every time I laid eyes on the unfinished bookshelves adorning our library walls.

I was finally going to complete this project for real. Not just on a superficial level where I arrange a few pretty books. No. I was going to purge all of the toys, knick-knacks, piles, stacks, and objects we no longer used and finally organize our book collection.


Here’s How I Got Started…

I popped in my earbuds, put on my favorite playlist and cleaned out everything that was inside the cabinets. There was no turning back now. I could no longer hide from this project! After I got rid over a decade’s worth of stuff, it was time to finally face the bookshelves that have taunted me for years.

Amitha’s Strategy For Organizing Your Books:

There are many systems you can use to organize your books: alphabetical by author, by title and more.

Here’s how I do it in my home: I organize each section by subject matter. So what I’m left with is one side of the shelves that contain my books, another side for hubby’s books and the rest of the space were the kids’ books. You can also organize books by color which creates an eye-catching “ombre” style to your bookshelves.

Now What Do You Do After Your Books Are Stacked?

The key to achieving the designer look is to fill in the gaps with decorative objects. You can use the following objects as bookends or to fill in the empty spaces:

  • -Boxes
  • -Plates
  • -Remnants on stands
  • -Brass or metal objects

On this uppermost shelf, I plan to add in a bit more consistency with sets of antique books and a few larger objects.

When you’re dealing with multiple bookshelves, the trick is to create a sense of rhythm. You can do this by mirroring your arrangements (or reverse them as you go along). So in this case, I simply followed my pattern but used the opposite arrangement on the next set of shelves.

Feeling lost? Not sure how to create a stylish arrangement?

Download these sketches of different patterns that you can use in your bookshelves.

Once you find one that you like, simply mirror the pattern on the next bookshelf!

Here you can see a before:

…and here is the after:

And there’s still more work to be done! I need easels for my paintings as well as boxes, decorative bookends and more. But because I started the project by organizing my books, I’m able to see what I’m “missing” rather than buying a bunch of stuff and crossing my fingers that it works out.

So now I want to hear from you:

Do you have a project you need to tackle?

Some empty bookshelves that need styling perhaps?

If you, too, want to organize & style your bookshelves in record time, I have created a simple worksheet for you.

Claim your FREE copy here

And if you need to get your hands on one-of-a-kind bookshelf décor, swing by our shop, Village Antiques, in Houston. Almost everything on my shelves came from there!

Know someone really struggling with bookshelves in their home? Be a good friend and forward this along to two people today!

Till next time, keep making your home special.

With love,


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Just a quick note to say that I love your new paint line!! The colors are beautiful and it goes on so smooth and silky. The gray wax is fabulous. I'm getting some great new looks with your paint but most of all I'm having fun using them!! Hope all is well.


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