Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Up in the school room, teddy is relaxing.

You've experienced this.  It's St. Patrick's Day, but you can't find the St. Patrick book you know you own on any of your bookshelves.  But good news- you just found the Easter book you couldn't find at Easter... Familiar? 

Nothing makes me more crazy.

So when I decided to organize the books upstairs, I did a quick search for inexpensive book storage hoping to be inspired.  And I was.  I fell in love with this idea of sorting books by category in organized bins. 

Using IKEA magazine files-- at just $1.49 for a 5 pack,  I didn't need to reform my book hoarding ways, I could just sort my stash for $20!  So that's what I did.

They are now all sorted.  I have categories:

  • By topic (Apologetics, Art, Atlas, Biographies, Birds, Butterflies, Coloring, Christian Character, Dinosaurs...)
  • By reader age (Young Readers 5-7; Young Readers 8-12...)
  • The four history periods we cover (History- Creation to Greeks, History- Rome to Reformation, History- Exploration to 1950 and History- 1850 to Modern)
  • Holidays and Seasonal
  • Puritans
  • US Presidents

And so on.  Then, all of the categories are alphabetized so that I can actually find that St. Patrick book when I want it- there it is, right there in Holidays and Seasonal.  Tada! 

And more than that, when a reader needs a book I can guide them to all the choices that are appropriate for their age as well as make sure they don't miss out on any of the fun books along the way. 

Books by category.
I turned the magazine racks so that books are easy to grab and used simple 4x6 cards cut in half for labeling the boxes.  I didn't even use a printer to make it fancy. 
So for a $20. investment and very little time, we got completely organized.  Of course, then I went to our local Homeschool conference and bought more books... 
My husband should really be presented with an award for patience.  :)
Enjoy all your before school organizing! 
Blessings friends,


  1. Oh, this is LOVELY!!! I am a book "collector" (ahem), as well. I'm sure I make one mortgage payment a year to various book retailers. We do *love* to read!

    May I ask? The little shelf-y thing at the right? With the hanging bins? Oh mercy, I like that very much. And the typewriter!!!!! Quit it with the cute turquoise typewriter. My children have an electric adding machine (with tape...lots of tape) that Grandma gifted them. We can make the tape whiz out of that machine so fast...careers in banking, I'm certain...

    Be blessed. Your school room is beautiful.

  2. Loved your sweet comment. Thank you! :)

    The shelf-y thing is from IKEA and sorts all the girls Legos by color.

    This is the one we picked:


    We loved the idea of sorting Legos for our builders. This is what it would look like if we labeled the drawers. Super cute:


    Blessings to you!

  3. Oh yes! The big book sort is planned to start here soon too. I am embarrassed to say that at least a quarter of our library of books is currently in 'piles' on the floor. This is not quite due to lack of shelving (although we are pushing the limits there too!), but lack of Mama training and consistency. :-/ I have plans on how to improve this and by the beginning of next year I hope to have everything sorted and the training right back on track! I think this method of sorting might just become part of those plans! Thanks. :)

  4. I just love your blog and continually reference it for encouragement, ideas, and guidance! You have NO idea how your sweet family has impacted my own. I get so excited whenever there is a new post! So...as a homeschooling mama with three under 6, what I'd reeeeally like to know is what all you've got in those cute little magazine racks! I would just love to take a peek at that precious library! Love all of your book recommendations... ::wink wink::

  5. Great to hear from you, Amanda! It seems to be a continual effort, doesn't it?

    Thanks, Amy! You are such a blessing! That means a lot to me. A book post? Sounds good. :)