Today I’m talking about how to store kids’ books. I’ll explain the best ways to store everyday books, sentimental books, and books for critical literacy. I’ve talked a lot about critical literacy, especially recently, and I realized it’s important to also share how we store these books. You may not be ready to put those books on the shelf quite yet–so what do you do with them? Keep reading to learn about my system.
My Best Tips for Storing Kids’ Books
Make sure everyday books are accessible for your kids.
We have done a lot of bookshelves, libraries, and storage spaces for kids in my clients’ homes. The parents always come back and say their kids love it or hate it. So it really helps to consider that before you start.
Once you’ve considered your kids’ preferences and habits, I think the best place to store kids’ books is on the bottom shelf of a bookshelf. It’s easy to keep it organized, and they can easily reach it. However, I know that’s not always feasible in a kids’ bedroom. So, another great option is using baskets or bins. For example, in one home I worked on, we created a kids’ library in the basement. Each week, the kids got to pick what books they wanted to bring upstairs. Then, they kept those books in a bin in their bedrooms.
Organize the books so they’re easy to find and put away.
Just like with any kind of organizing project, setting things up for ease of access is key. For that reason, I’m not a huge fan of stacking books. I prefer to line them up, library-style. You can see what they are, you can easily pull a book off the shelf, and you can just as easily slide it back into place.
I’m also not a fan of color-coding books. I like to store them in alphabetical order. You definitely don’t have to do that, though. If your kids want to go there, let them set it up.
Keep bookshelves tidy.
My kids each have a bookshelf in their bedroom, and the bottom shelf is reserved for books. Depending on the size of your bookshelf and how many books your kids have, you may or may not need to use bookends. If you don’t have bookends, but you feel like you need them, you can always use bins or baskets as bookends. For example, my son has the little Pokemon tins, and those work great for his bookends. Just like with other organizing projects, storing kids’ books in a tidy way is important.
Store critical literacy kids’ books in a different spot.
If you are practicing critical literacy with your kids, I suggest storing those types of books in a different location than their other books. Why? Because critical literacy requires a lot of discussions. I love that, but I don’t want to try to fit that in right before bed. Instead, my goal at bedtime is to calm their minds and get them to sleep. It’s just not a great time to open up a big conversation for us. The exception, of course, would be if you want to carve out the time for critical literacy before bed.
For that reason, I like to store my kids’ critical literacy books somewhere less accessible. (Otherwise, my kids might pull them out right before bed to read.) I’ll put them in a bin in their closet or on a higher shelf in their bedroom. Once we’ve had plenty of time to read it, discuss it, and analyze the text, I’ll put it on their bookshelf to pull out and read whenever they like.
Store sentimental or specialty kids’ books somewhere safe.
Just like with critical literacy books, I like to store my kids’ sentimental books just out of reach until I think my kids are ready for them to be accessible. I just don’t want the pages to get torn or to see them covered in sticky fingers. I also like the idea that these special books can still be seen. For that reason, I like storing some of the sentimental books stacked flat on a higher bookshelf. That way, they’re on display, but they’re also safely away from sticky fingers.