Have you seen the gorgeous home libraries of children’s books neatly organized and colored coded? What a beautiful dream, but I just can’t see myself doing it. First of all, I can’t do shelves with these kids. Both of the boys are climbers and have no qualms about disobeying me when I tell them to stop climbing on top of the computer desk. That’s just life right now. Shelving would be unsafe and drive me nuts. On top of that, the kids are too small to help me keep the books organized, and without their help, it’d be impossible.
I do try, however, to keep the books somewhat tidy, and finding the right organizing principles and storage solutions has taken time. We own a lot of books. The boys enjoy being read to and “reading” on their own. I keep the books available at all times, and I don’t have restrictions about them. I only discourage damaging them, but otherwise, have at it! (Their love of reading and positive experiences with books comes first.) Finding a way to manage our library has been difficult, but I’ve finally hit upon a solution that works for us.
The lowly diaper box. It ain’t pretty, but they are the perfect width for children’s books, and they are big.
I try to keep them organized, but at the moment, and most of the time, they are a jumbled mess. I go through them checking for damage and sorting them into five categories. Honestly, it isn’t a high priority because organizing them doesn’t impact whether or not they are used and loved. It is more for me than anything.
I sort them into five categories, and each category gets its own bin or box.
1. Board books
2. Picture books (Not board books) -- I keep some of these in the livingroom for the kids, but many of them I put away so they don’t get damaged. When the boys are more gentle, I will bring them back out.
3. Favorites and books I want to read with them -- I try to keep a smaller bin to keep these books accessible.
4. Bedtime books -- These books live in the boys’ bedroom.
5. Christmas books -- I pack these up with our Christmas stuff so they stay fresh for the holiday season. After Thanksgiving, I bring them out.
Once the books are all sorted, the kids pull them all out again, and the disorganization begins anew.
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.