Do you find that you often have more books on the floor than on the shelves? Our books were always landing on the floor.
And, I found that my kids weren’t even picking most of the books we had on the shelves to read. There were too many choices!
Then it dawned on me! I rotate the kids’ toys. Why don’t I rotate the books too?
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Gather all the kids’ books from around the house and put them on the floor of your work space. I got this tip from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
This is a perfect time to purge your collection. I discovered that I had duplicate copies of a handful of books. There were several that truly were beyond on repair. And, there were many more that we had just outgrown.
Donate the books that you no longer want to keep.
Determine how many books you will have out at one time. The magic number for us was no more than 20 books per room.
Multiply the number of rooms you keep books in by 20. We keep them in the boys’ rooms, living room, bathroom and kitchen. So 5 rooms x 20 books = 100 total.
In each of our boxes I put 100 books.
*If you don’t have a large collection, that is fine. You can still rotate your books. You will just have a smaller amount of books in each of your boxes.
*Also, instead of rotating whole collections, you could just rotate books from one room to the other. This is just as effective as rotating your whole box collection for another box.
*I like to sort seasonal books to store separately. I keep them on a shelf in my office grouped together by holiday or season. It’s very easy to pull them off when a holiday approaches.
Pack each container. I like to include a mix of fiction and non-fiction in each container.
Speaking of containers…plastic tubs with lids work best for us. I store ours in the basement. Recently we had a water leak and I was so grateful that the books were in plastic bins and not damaged by the water.
Create a list of books that you put in each container. Hang the list on the container. This will help you locate a book that is currently in rotation in case you ever need it.
I just started cataloging all my books through Goodreads. I love that I can scan the books with my phone and add them to a shelf (aka my book boxes). Brilliant! You can also access the lists from a desktop and print your lists. There are lots of book cataloging apps you can use besides Goodreads.
You are ready to rotate! We have found that rotating books every 4-6 weeks keeps things fresh.
A Few Notes:
When it is time pack a collection away, there will always be a few books that the kids don’t want to pack. That is just fine! Let them keep them out for another rotation cycle.
Purchasing the same size bins will make stacking and storing easier.
Keep the organizing going and organize those toys too. Days with Grey shares some toy storage ideas.