10 Fresh Ways To Organize Your Child’s Bookshelf

By Stephanie Loomis Pappas of

Alphabetical order is so 2018. Update your home library with one of these suggestions from our design team:

10.) Zetabetically: Encourage your kid to think against the grain and learn the party trick of singing the alphabet backwards.

9.) Colorfully: Give your kid early practice with Pantone color-matching while making it impossible to find the book you’re looking for.

8.) Tastefully: If you have deep shelves, make a false front of beautifully-illustrated books from respected publishers. This will hide the embarrassments (school book fair purchases, books below reading level, duplicate copies of Goodnight Moon, scatalogical humor) your kid prefers reading.

7.) Moodily: Cultivate your kid’s emotional intelligence and ensure that he doesn’t read any scary, sad, or provocative titles just before bedtime.

6.) Serendipitously: Give your kid a lesson about the chaos of existence by placing all the books spine-in. To drive this message home, remove and replace at least one treasured book per week.

5.) Independently: Your kid doesn’t need you or society to tell her how to organize her reading. Wrap all the books in kraft paper and let her write her own titles.

4.) Typographically: It’s never too early to cultivate taste. Reserve the eye-level for Garamond and weed out any Comic Sans.

3.) Biographically: Your kid may be too young for the classic Cusak method of organization, but you can do it for him:

This was your dinosaur phase, this was your free-comics-at-the-library phrase, this was before you realized you’d never become a professional soccer player phase, this is your failed poet phase.

2.) Family-friendly: Honor grandma’s most recent book purchase with face-out placement. Add a few tears to the dust jacket and bend a few pages so the books looked as loved as you said they were.

1.) Timely: Organize books by estimated time-to-read to keep bedtimes consistent and avoid fights about whether or not he just did ten minutes of reading.


About the Author

Stephanie Loomis Pappas appreciates strangers who tell her to cherish this time. If you’re a stranger who would like to give her more advice, you may find her at