I have a book obsession that I have passed down to my daughter, who also has some hoarding tendencies, which means we have some massive storage problems. We don’t live in an enormous house where I can have a giant library of books, although I have machinations of turning our never used dining room into one. Therefore, we require some savvy solutions.
Hoarding 101 (A Possible Prerequisite for Having Book Storage Problems)
How to be a hoarder (if my daughter is any indication):
- Keep everything and throw nothing away, even the broken Elvis sunglasses you got in 2nd grade
- Stuff things in random places and forget about them
- Keep stuffing until things no longer fit and then just leave things on the floor
- When your mother tries to throw out a tiny toy animal you got when you were five, hug it tight, even though you haven’t seen it in 6 years, and claim you can’t live without it
- Keep every book you’ve ever purchased, never give them away (even the ones you only kind of liked)
While it’s sweet how sentimental my daughter is and how much she loves everything, it can become a bit of a storage/clutter issue. She even keeps all the place mats from the sushi restaurant we go to just because she sketched an animal or drawing on it with those little yellow pencils while waiting for our food to arrive.
Here are some recent doodles she made of my husband during a “doodle battle” in which they kept adding odd characteristics to doodles of each other. Thus why one of picture looks like unrecognizable Smurf + cat combination (no my husband doesn’t look like a Smurf. It was a strange game.) Great activity at the time. But, worthy of taking home and keeping forever?
Cute? Sure. But we have 30+ of them dating back several years all tucked and shoved and crumpled into random places.
Hoarder + Love of Books = A Book-covered Room
Thanks to her hoarding tendencies and inheriting my love of books, particularly actual books with covers, books are piled up against my daughter’s desk and walls.
It may sound like I don’t understand. But I do. I was once messy also. Then I lived with a compulsive OCD roommate for 3 years and learned a new way – cleanliness and organization! I’ve never looked back. If something sits on our counter for more than 2 days unused, I throw it in the trash. I can’t stand piling or clutter. (If you saw my room as a kid you might find this shocking. I guess OCD is contagious.)
So you can see why when I walk into my daughter’s room and it looks like this….
I start to have a small panic attack.
Finding New Places to Store Books
My daughter doesn’t have a lot of storage options and I didn’t want to buy her some giant bookcase. Therefore, we needed a different, more unusual, solution. We came up with this…
That’s right. We put her books in a shoe bin and slid them under her bed. Shoe bins apparently have more than one use.
We’re no strangers to creative book storage. I try to survive on only 3 bookshelves in our house, so it’s not uncommon to see books tucked in usual places in my house such as like these couch-side tables.
Super Creative Book Storage Ideas
This whole experience made me wonder what other creative ideas people may have for storing books. Here are 6 of my favorites, many of which I love for their simplicity in that it’s something anyone could do!
Divide and conquer
Open book shelving or double sided book shelving can easily create an entryway or divide a room to add visual interest while also solving book storage problems.
Stack it up
This creative book storage idea also includes creative uses of footstools painted in a modern color combination.
Books for your feet, literally
This is such a clever, easy way to create a footrest and who doesn’t need more places to rest their feet while sitting back and reading a good book?
Double duty furniture
Find a way to incorporate books into your furniture. There are simple and complex options.
Book up your hearth
Don’t use your fireplace ever? Does it not even have a chimney? (That’s a thing). Why not fill it with books then? Other people fill their non-working fireplaces with candles. I think this is a much more interesting storage solution.
Spice up the stairs
This might be my favorite solution. There are plenty of clever ways to use your stairs or even under your stairs to store books.
Anyone have any other interesting book storage ideas? I’d love to hear them!