Books are the treasured wealth of the world,” stated Henry David Thoreau.

Oh… the joys of reading and learning; but oh… the dilemma of what to do with the accumulation of books! Take a lesson from a professional organizer to eliminate book clutter and get your treasured possessions organized.

1. Sort

-- Assemble all your books together in one central location so you know how many you actually have.

-- Decide which ones are the treasures to keep.

-- Books that are out of sight are definitely out of mind. You will never read or use them if you do not remember you have them.

-- Sort by categories--fiction, non-fiction, reference, cooking, sewing, gardening, religion, business, etc. This will give you a fairly good idea how much shelving space will be required for each section.

2. Purge

-- When purging, ask yourself the question, “Does this book need me?” Purging will be easier if you decide the book does not need you as the owner. Letting go is cathartic.

-- Share your wealth with others and gain valuable space for the true treasures of your life.

-- Books stored in boxes in the attic, basement, garage or the top shelf of a closet are lost treasures. Pass them on to someone who will enjoy them.

-- Let go of the overabundance and those that no longer hold your interest. Give them to your local library book sale, donate to hospitals or nursing homes, or consider selling to a used bookstore.

-- Swap books online at,,,,, and others. Just Google “book swap.”

3. Organize

-- Keeper books (your treasures) are best stored on an easily accessible sturdy bookcase or shelving.

-- Books need breathing space. Do not cram them together and be sure there is room for expansion.

-- As a general rule, do not stack books on their sides. It may seem a space saver, but it is difficult to retrieve the bottom one without disrupting the stack.

-- Large books that are unusually high may require a different location than on a standard bookcase.

-- Specialty books, like cooking, sewing and craft books are best stored in the location they will be used, such as: cooking books in the kitchen and craft books in the craft area.

-- Consider dividing large collections into subcategories. Fiction books can be kept in one location and subdivided by author or subject. Cookbooks can be subdivided by ethnic cuisine or specialty items.

-- Classics and infrequently read books can be stored on the higher shelves leaving the lower shelves accessible for books you refer to often.

-- Well-kept books give years of pleasure. Keep them in a dry place as humidity destroys the bindings. Use a feather duster to remove the accumulation of dust

When all the “keepers” are shelved and the overabundance removed, make a commitment to keep your books organized. When you acquire a new book, let go of one that no longer serves a purpose in your life. This way you will always have room to store your precious possessions.

Books are treasures to enjoy, but only if you can find what you want when you want it.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Ann Kirk, owner of Organizing Resources, believes that we can achieve a simpler, organized lifestyle if we so choose. Yes, it is a matter of choice--choosing to change behaviors and learning to make wise decisions. For over 15 years, Judith has provided hands-on and coaching services to individuals who have chosen to simplify their life and organize their environment. She uses a holistic approach to teach life management skills that assures an immediate physical, emotional and psychological payoff when chaos and clutter are eliminated. Order is the foundation upon which to build inner peace, contentment and joy. The process is simple: first simplify, then organize. You can create an abundant life of more money, more energy, more space and more time when you follow the fundamentals or organization.