The top three problems in organizing bookcases and the solutions for these problems
So you are really struggling to organize your bookcases—what is the thorniest problem? A lot of books on organizing and storing things in your room have been published recently, but there aren’t many that cover bookcases. So I decided to list up the top three problems in organizing bookcases and the solutions for these problems, and I eagerly invite you to use them as a reference.
1．You can’t find the book that you bought
There are times when, no matter how long you search, you just can’t seem to find a book that you had previously bought. Those of you who have this problem should sort and arrange your bookcases according to a fixed set of rules.
The simplest and best among the various methods of classification is to sort your books by genre, such as novels, self-development, cooking, and the like. You could separate by publisher, author, and so on, but you would soon have too many categories—which would actually make it hard to search—so I recommend that initially you sort your books by genre.
In most cases, we won’t have dozens of categories, as our range of interests and things we want to learn is surprisingly limited. Even if you have a lot of books, they fall under your broad categories.
Further, even when you don’t necessarily put all your books in one place, it will be easier to find the book you want if you sort them by genre and place them according to categories in the several places you use, such as putting cookbooks in the living room, novels in the bedroom, and so on.
If you want to use make genre section titles, DVD cases come in handy, as you can move them according to the changing number of books in a genre.
2．You can’t seem to get rid of a book
This is the most common problem. I think it is very common to think that, although you have already read a book, you hang onto it and keep it on the shelf because you might read it again someday. Even if someone points out that, “this ‘someday’ you are thinking about will never come, so you just need to make a clean break and get rid of the book”…I think a lot of people would respond to that by saying, “if I were able to do that, I wouldn’t have the problem!”
When you just can’t seem to subjectively decide which book to get rid of, I recommend that you base your decision on objective changes in yourself. It is good time to make a decision when your living conditions change significantly, for example, such as with a transfer or career change, a marriage or birth in the family, and so on. When one stage of your life changes, the books from the previous stage have often served their purpose, so you should be able to get rid of them without fretting over it.
Likewise, it should be easy to get rid of books that have the year displayed—as in “2013 edition”—without hesitating. Certification test prep books are a good example. You should get rid of the book from last year and use the current prep book to prepare for this year’s test.
If you keep old books on the bookcase for a long time, you won’t be able to bring in books that you want to read now. Be sure to check periodically for books that have served their purpose so that you can clear them out to make way for new books.
3．There are not enough bookcases.
If you put a bit of thought into how you keep the books when there are not enough bookcases, you can come up with some solutions. If you add shelves according to the height of the books, you can increase the amount of storage space. You can also keep the books in the front and back, according to the depth of the shelves. Be careful not to pack too many books onto the shelves, however, because that wouldn't look good, and they would no longer be shelves where you could easily access your books.
Some of you also keep books as collections or keepsakes. There are limits to how many shelves and new bookcases you can add, so when you reach that limit, you might want to consider trunk room storage space. Actually, when I say trunk room, this refers to a broad range of services and facilities, including the indoor/building type, outdoor/container type, with or without onsite management, and differences in hours of operation and air conditioning. Find the trunk room storage space that suits the characteristics of the things that you want to store. I think that among your trunk room storage space options, Quraz is the appropriate place to store your precious books. They offer storage space located inside the building with climate control including temperature and humidity—the ideal environment for books, as humidity is anathema to them. Books are also surprisingly susceptible to mold, and it is difficult to get rid of the moldy smell once it sets in, so it is best to take aggressive preventive measures.
What did you think? Generally, the types of things that you keep in bookcases are limited, so it is easier to organize and store things there than a place to store various types of things. When you organize your books, you not only get your room shipshape but also get your heart and mind sorted out.
In keeping with the coming season, get your bookcase ready for new books to arrive.
Text: Shipshape Bookcase Institute (Hondana Sukkiri Kenkyujo), Hiroyuki Shimada
[Profile Hiroyuki Shimada]
Launched an online used bookstore after working for Yahoo! and Amazon Japan. Currently launching the Shipshape Bookcase Institute (Hondana Sukkiri Kenkyujo) together with his wife to offer a bookcase organizing and book disposal onsite service. They provide advice on bookcase organizing and storage from the perspectives of both men and women. They have earned favorable reviews from customers, who note that, “Once I got my bookcase organized, I felt organized as well.” They aim to create a living bookcase that can be used every day.