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Our Top 11 Tips for Organising Your Bookshelf

Bookshelf organisation tips

A well-organised bookcase saves you much time finding your next read. It also helps create ample space to fit other items like decorations and picture frames more appealingly on the shelf.  

But since bookshelves come in many different sizes and designs, there’s no one-size-fits-it-all approach to keeping your shelving neat. Here are our top tips for organising your bookshelf and turning your space into a beautiful and functional space.

Empty the Bookcase

Start by emptying and cleaning the shelves. Once you are done cleaning, only put back the books you love and will read through again, plus your favourite décor pieces.

A shelf with little to no items will give you ideas and new possibilities on what you can add to make it more appealing. Remember, decorating your bookshelf may not be a one-time event, so take your time if you still need more items. 

Group Alphabetically or by Genre

Grouping your book collection alphabetically by author or genre is a more practical approach for a large book collection referenced often. It is easier to find what you’re looking for quickly. 

Alternatively, keep things simple and organise your books into fiction and non-fiction. Consider breaking down the categories further into action, romance, fantasy, mystery, and more.  

Create a Bold Backdrop

The ultimate goal of excellent bookcase organisation is to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible while giving you quick access to your books without making a mess. 

Instead of playing with the items you place on the bookshelf alone, pay a little attention to how the shelf would look without anything. 

Use amazing wallpapers or unique paint colours to create the backdrop. Consider bold art that complements the rest of the room. Add just a few items on the shelves to keep your artwork visible. 

Leave Empty Spaces

Do not stuff each space on the shelf with books simply because there’s enough room. Instead, embrace a minimalist approach with a more breathable feel. Place just a handful of books on each shelf or enclosed space. 

The minimalist approach to organising your bookshelf can help you scan through many books, depending on your priority, without feeling overwhelmed. Leave some spaces entirely for your art pieces.

Add Other Items Apart from Books

If you have enough space, do not limit your shelving to books and pictures alone. Plenty of other items within your home will make you fall in love with the bookshelf arrangement when placed right. 

You don’t even have to look far. Check around your house and use simple pieces, favourite travel souvenirs, or a giant silver punch bowl on top of the shelf you want to show off to visitors. 

Add Some Greenery

Bookcases are no longer mere storage for a collection of your readership titles. Plant lovers can extend their passion for nature to their bookshelves through well-thought-out greenery collections. 

Place some tiny plants – artificial or live – in small ceramic pots at the top of the bookshelf and on the middle shelves. Play around with various pots to see what appeals to you more. 

Create a Rainbow Effect

Grouping books by colour creates a sense of order. Rainbow is the most aesthetically pleasing format for many people in the book world. 

Don’t stress if you lack all the rainbow colours for your arrangement. Your goal should be coordinating colours to complement the room’s colour palette. 

If you have children, the rainbow effect can be a good bookshelf organisation idea. Children are good with colours and will quickly pull out their favourite book and put it back without messing with the entire arrangement.  

Place Your Favourite Reads Front and Centre

Organise your bookcase to convey a message to the onlooker. Reserve a prime space within the shelf for your favourite books. Arrange them at the front and centre in a way that tells a short story about you. 

For instance, a visitor should quickly tell your hobbies, places you’ve been, or things you want to explore in the near future by simply looking at the book display on your shelf. 

Match Books With the Inner Decor

Colour-coordinate your books with the interior decor if you’re a visual person. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but a few similar shades on every item within the room can keep your preferred colour scheme cohesive and tailored. You can focus on the carpet, pillows, and furniture near the bookshelf. 

Build Book Stacks

Many people, especially those with a vast book collection but a small shelf space, prefer arranging books vertically to accommodate as many as possible. While that arrangement can be a good idea for arranging some books, it can overpower your bookshelf if you have a lot of hardbacks or oversized books. 

Why not stack your books horizontally, starting with the biggest at the bottom and gradually ascending with the smallest at the top? Stacking also works well if you want to differentiate books by category. You can also use this format for books with few pages.  

Organise Books By Height

Place books of the same height on one closet or shelf to create a sense of organisation. You can play with the arrangement pattern on each shelf to make it more appealing. 

For instance, you can arrange the tallest books far left on the top shelf, then the low books on the right. Do the opposite on the shelf beneath. This arrangement creates a wave pattern resembling an imperfect letter “Z,” perfect for guiding your eye when scanning through the shelf.  


Just like the built-in wardrobes of today, modern bookshelves offer many possibilities away from the initially intended purpose. They are designed to accommodate many items, including art pieces that make your space aesthetically appealing. 

How you organise it now depends on your style and what message you want to convey to visitors or onlookers. At Betta Wardrobes, we custom-make bookshelves according to our client’s space and unique style. Contact us today for a free quote.

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