Homeschool Organization: Books


 
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Over on my blog, In All You Do, we have been talking about Homeschool Organization this week. And today I want to talk to you about organizing and reigning in that ever-growing book obsession most homeschool families have.

Home School Library Books Organization

Organizing your books may seem either seem like a simple task or an overwhelming, heart attack waiting to happen. Me…I’m the latter. I love books and I love finding great deals on them. In fact, we are blessed to have an amazing “book wagon” that is at our local Farmer’s Market each week. In fact, I volunteered at it 2 days this past month. I normally come away with anywhere between 20-50 (sometimes more) books each week. And I get them for a steal! Needless to say…our book obsession has kicked into high gear and I had to quickly find a solution.

Sadly, it has taken me nearly 5 years, a move and almost weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market gathering books to figure out how and why I need to organize our books. Here are 5 tips and ideas that have helped us conquer the piles of books mounting in our schoolroom.

5 tips organize school books

1. Start Early – Okay, so I didn’t heed this advice and now I’m paying for it. If you are a new Homeschooler or a relatively new homeschooler take my word for it! Start organizing now!! Create a system (we’ll discuss that in a minute) and get started. Even if you only have 10 books – start now!

2. Create a System – Now here is where you will need to spend some time thinking, discussing (with your hubby and/or older kids) and researching different ways to organize your growing library. Are you going to organize by genre, subject, author’s last name, alphabetical – or a combination? We have chosen to organize our books similar to that of a library – by genre/subject and then alphabetical by author’s last name. It may be a tedious process, but it will be worth it in the end.

3. Organize, Organize, Organize – This may seem obvious, but there are several ways you can do this. If you don’t mind the mass of books taking over your schoolroom or dining room table, you can begin one shelf at a time and sort your books out according to your system. Lay them out around the room where you can stack them together in groupings. And if you really want to be super organized and impress your family and friends – print out these awesome labels to use on the spines of your books!

4. Invest in good bookshelves – Don’t go wimpy or skimpy on the bookshelves. Did you hear me? Don’t go wimpy or one day you will walk into your precious book room to find all your books in a heap on the floor. Ask me how I know. But seriously, invest in some nice, heavy duty bookshelves that won’t buckle under the weight of the mass of books you will acquire over the years. You can pat yourself on the back later. I also recommend anchoring them to the wall for more stability.

5. Create a list – Now comes the daunting task of recording all the books you have. There are 3 ways you can do this.

  • You can do this the “old” fashioned way and keep a record with paper and pen. Not recommended in this technology age.
  • You can go slightly more advanced by creating a spreadsheet and recording the books there. You can alphabetize them and you are usually able to do a search for something specific, but it’s still pretty limited.
  • Use an app. Yes, there is an app you that will log and store all your books, CDs, movies, games and MORE!! It truly is a dream. Simply scan the barcode and it will pull up the title on file associated with the ISBN number. You can also scan a books barcode while you shop to make sure you don’t already own the book. It really is the coolest app there is and has been a lifesaver for us. You can download Home Library for Android and iPhone/iPad/iPod/Mac products. There is a LITE (limited) version that you can download and sample for free, but it is totally worth the small price for the full, unlimited version.

BONUS TIP: Do a check out system! Figure out someway to track who has what book or who is reading what book. With the Home Library app, you can loan books out to people and easily keep track of exactly where your books are!

Organizing your books will likely take a few days (or weeks), so take your time and do it right. Once it’s done, you will stand back and marvel at the beauty that is on your bookshelves. No…seriously…you will.

Then all that’s left is to keep track of all those wonderful, amazing, neatly organized books your children will read! Head over to my blog to grab some {free} reading logs for your kiddos.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ah I only wish I could have a house full of bookshelves and lined with books! I married a book hater…after 20 years I still don’t understand why but my husband very much dislikes the look of bookshelves. I have taken my book collecting to a digital level. Now he has NO idea how many books we own because they are stored on my laptop and in our Kindle account. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 🙂 I organize the PDFs in folders by subject if school related or by author if not. Too bad we can’t do the same for Kindle.

    1. I’m sorry your husband doesn’t like the look of bookshelves. 🙁 But, it seems that you have found a wonderful solution to satisfy your inner reading bug! I have countless books on my Kindle account as well. I didn’t even go into that! LOL And yes…it would so nice to have a better way to organize them! Thanks for stopping by!
      Blessings ~ Annette

  2. Thank you for the advice! I have downloaded an app and will be putting it to good use in my future homeschool library!

    1. You are so welcome!! I hope you enjoy the app. We love it!
      Blessings ~ Annette

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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