5.21.2011

Extreme Home Makeover: Library Edition

I've known for quite some time that I needed to re-organize the girls' home library. The shelves were overstuffed, making it very difficult for any of us to see what was available. And many titles - while wonderful - were the very simple picture books we've enjoyed since the girls were preschoolers, leaving no room to add more age-appropriate volumes.

Earlier this week, I added "re-do home library" to my summer jobs list and estimated how much it would cost to purchase the couple of new shelves I knew I'd need to make the changes I'd envisioned. But then, yesterday morning, a local friend mentioned on Facebook that she was looking to get rid of two large bookshelves...and was asking just $5.00 for each!

One thing led to another and, just like that, she and her daughter delivered the shelves yesterday afternoon. Then, since the girls had a break from their regular academics in honor of Rachel's birthday and were enjoying a beautiful day outside with the little boy I babysit, I decided to dive into the re-organization task right then and there.

I forgot to take a "before" picture so you'll have to trust me on how vast an improvement this is. The tall shelves are the new ones and replaced two shelves that were the same height as the shorter ones in these pictures.

Using colored sticky dots, I'd actually organized the books by category long ago, so that's not new. But - if you can believe it - I removed roughly 400 picture books! Thus, the books that remain are much more spread out than they used to be - so the girls can finally, actually browse the titles.

What I took off were all the "easy" picture books, leaving our many age-appropriate, informational picture books and our expanding collection of kids' chapter books. In fact, the re-organization allowed me to add chapter books I'd been stock-piling in my office (a move that motivated me to start re-organizing that room, too!). I'm also thrilled that I was able to move the girls' scrapbooks from my office to these shelves - so now we'll all be more apt to look through those as well.

Most of the picture books I removed are high-quality classics, titles I really don't want to get rid of (just yet - or, in some cases, ever). Luckily, though, I didn't have to consider that, since my babysitting endeavors mean I'll likely have preschoolers around for at least the next five years. Thus, my original plan entailed adding a couple of shelves to our "daycare playroom" (I simply ended up moving the short ones that had been in the living room) to accommodate those books.

I did do some purging, deciding that these books - probably around 100 titles - aren't really worth holding onto anymore.

Then I added red dots to those I kept - signifying that they now belong on the "preschool shelves" - and used the opportunity to re-organize the whole playroom.


My husband calls me "All or Nothing Tina" with good reason. So, as I mentioned, this project motivated me to start re-vamping my little office, and it's already much improved. I'm on a mission to replace my behemoth of a desk with something more suited to the size of the room, though, so I'll wait to share those pictures until after I've accomplished that task.

I'm also going to de-clutter and re-arrange elsewhere as needed - I tackled the closet where I've stored daycare supplies today and added other areas to my list. I love clean and organized spaces so I can't wait to call the thrift shop to come pick up all that I can donate once I'm done. And it'll take all my willpower to avoid waving gleefully at the garbage men when they come to remove all the junk I'll get to throw away!

3 comments:

Kimberly said...

I love it! We've had to add shelves through out the years to the point where I have no more room for shelves. Last summer I did go through our books and got rid of a lot that we got free from the library that we never really used. It is still pretty organized but I hope to get to it again this summer to see if I can weed out anything. While on vacation I again picked up several books for the children! Since we were visiting the dessert I got several non-fiction and fiction on that subject and am glad that I did. It was a perfect learing opportunity. I can't wait to see pictures of your office.

Stacie said...

Oh books and shelves! Congrats on getting re-orgainzed. It always feels so good to re-organize things. We haven't started homeschooling yet and we already have this problem. . .what to do with all those books? You've given me some good ideas here.

Take care!

Amy said...

WOW! Your library looks great! Mine always seems to stay neat for about one minute or two. :)

Blessings
Amy @ Missional Mama

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