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I love books!  I counted the shelves one day & there are over 25 shelves of books in our house.  And it isn’t limited to my hubby and I–we have been building a children’s library since my oldest was born 5+ years ago.

Toddlers & Board Books

In the beginning, we had a small 2 shelf bookcase filled with board books.  Since I am a little particular about things being put away, we had a small (12 inch x 12 inch) basket that we taught her to put books in when she was done.

Children’s Picture Books

After we started amassing a collection of picture books, we bought a larger 3-shelf bookcase.  The bottom shelf originally held many of the board books and the others held picture books.  Soon, the picture books swelled to fill the whole shelf & board books live in a LARGE (3ft x 3ft) basket.

Having 3 shelves & a basket is where we have set our hard limits for children’s picture books & board books.  If there are more than fit, some need to be passed along to others.

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Secret Book Management Tip – Electrical Tape

I have a trick that I’ve used for keeping the books organized, now that my 5 year old is old enough to put books back on full shelves —

electrical tape.

Yep, electrical tape.  Since many of these books are used for ‘homeschooling’ I like to know where to find them.  I purchased a 10-pack of colored electrical tape for the spines and set them up library style.

Top shelf

Green – religious books/stories
Blue – ‘old’ classics
Red – ‘modern’ classics

Middle shelf

Purple – everything else

Bottom shelf

Black – Disney books.  Yes, there is a whole shelf of Disney books.  We like Disney in the Steed house :).

Practical Aspects of Children’s Book Management

Now that Lil Bit is old enough, it is her job to re-shelve books, even though her sister usually pulls them all off while looking at them.  When her sister is big enough we will pass the torch :).

I haven’t done it yet, but plan on doing similar things with the homeschool books I’ve collected, perhaps by subject.  In addition, I hope to rearrange the books shortly, putting the mindless & annoying books (or twaddle, as Charlotte Mason, calls it) in their room so we don’t have to read it as often :).

Chapter Book Expansion Plans

We plan to expand to a 5-shelf bookcase in order to make room for the chapter books we have for reading-aloud, plus space for new chapter books for blossoming readers.  It won’t be long now :).

We are going to try to keep to 2-3 shelves of picture books & 2 shelves of chapter books.  I anticipate that the lower shelves will be more vigorously pruned (and/or packed away) as everyone outgrows them.


Wow.  I had planned for this to be a short & sweet post about using electrical tape so kids can shelve their own books.  I had no idea I had been thinking so much on this topic!

How are your children’s books organized?  Do you have hard space limits?

Jen S.



This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family and Ultimate Homeschool Link Up @ The Homeschool Village.

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1 Comment on Children’s Book Management {WFMW}

  1. Stephanie
    25 April 2013 at 2:31 PM (11 years ago)

    Very good tip! Our children’s book shelves looks exactly like yours minus the organization. 🙂 Seriously thanks for the tip…and right here at spring cleaning time…which I also haven’t started. LOL
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Growing My Faith


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