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Quick and Easy Children’s Book Storage

December 30, 2010

Call me crazy, but I kind of felt like posting about something that has nothing to do with Christmas or holidays or presents or cooking or resolutions or looking back on the year. I’m still stuck firmly in the in-between week of feeling like we’re in a bit of a fog. Next week it’s back to work for John and pre-school and our “normal” (whatever that may be) again, so I think I might be ready to look back and evaluate at that point. Until then, I’ll be honest and say that I still haven’t even managed to look through all of the pictures from the holidays. Those that I have seen are mostly frantic shots I tried to get of random moments that end abruptly because I decided to put the darn camera down and just enjoy the time with my kids and family.

So, instead, I decided to post a quick and easy project for book storage for kids. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I can’t. I wish I could at least give credit for the idea, but I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it – though probably somewhere among all of the posts I searched full of ideas for gutters as storage for books. {If you know where I found it, please share – I’d love to add a link!} What I do know is that we have a lot of  children’s books floating around our house and we can always use extra storage space for them. Some live downstairs on the bottom shelves of the grown up bookshelves. Some live in the corner of their room and wind up always being stacked on top during cleanup. Some lived on a second bookshelf that lived in the closet, but that got re-purposed just before Christmas to be ready for post-Christmas toy organization. So we decided to put up a few bookshelves on their wall:

They’re Ikea spice racks, $3.99 each. Not huge in size, but just the right size to keep a few in reach and easy to put away. Not that we have any issue with pulling out a book around here, but I’ve read a lot about how much more likely children are to reach for books when they can see a full cover and I’ve been amazed by how much more interactive they really are with these shelves. I’m not sure if it’s really the novelty of the new shelves or the state of their older book shelf on the other side of their room, but they definitely go for books on these a million times more.

The old shelf(that still looks like this daily):

And, for posterity, the chaos that ensues around and behind me when I try to spend 10 seconds just taking pictures of some bookshelves:

Yes, they’re wearing a Halloween costume and his bathing suit/shirt(on her). Jumping off of beds. Reading books. Vacuuming. Probably ripping books when I wasn’t looking and saying 1500 times, “Be gentle…Be gentle…be gentle with the books…”

I should probably post soon with an update on how much their room doesn’t look like this anymore. But I can’t make any promises – rumor has it around here that I’m seriously considering switching out bedrooms because theirs is smaller and it feels like I have toys coming out of my ears and moving them into our bigger bedroom would give us space in their room for more of a play area. But, we’ll see. John’s working on finally finishing the kitchen, so he may not be a huge fan of flipping bedrooms any time soon. But that means that hopefully – hopefully – I’ll have a budget kitchen remodel (2-years in the making) to share very very soon.

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160 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 10:41 am

    Loving them! Would be ideal in our nursery school, the shelving we have at the minute always get so messy…

  2. Andrea Matthews permalink
    January 29, 2012 6:22 am

    This is going to sound absolutely crazy, but here goes! After seeing this on Pinterest I LOVED this idea so I immediately got on Ikeas website…they don’t sell these online!!!! In stores only:( and the closest store to me is about 5 hours away! Luckily for me I have friends there right?! Nope! They didn’t have them in that store either:( I can’t believe I’m asking this of a complete stranger but here goes! Would you mind emailing me so we could possibly discuss your assistance in purchasing a few if these? If you have a PayPal account I could send you $ that way? Please let me know, I am totally serious about this! Lol Thanks for your time! Oh and by the way I have been eyeing the ones a PBK for years but really? $3.99 who can beat that?!?

    • Lillian permalink*
      January 30, 2012 10:28 pm

      Sent you an email!

      • shelly permalink
        February 15, 2012 4:26 pm

        Crazy, I was actually about to send you the same e-mail as the lady who posted above. Not one IKEA store in my state carries this shelf right now 😦 Do you have any suggestions or can you offer any ideas? Thanks!!

      • Lillian permalink*
        February 20, 2012 3:07 pm

        If you’re handy at all, you could try to build something similar!

  3. February 21, 2012 12:26 pm

    I love your idea! My son loves books. He doesn’t want to give them away because he plans on giving his books to his baby brother/sister once he has one.

  4. Katerina permalink
    February 29, 2012 3:47 am

    Hey! Very clever idea, which I’d love to use it in my kids’ room, only not for books, but for boxes of table games. Can you please tell me what is the actual depth of this rack? Can it hold a 2 inch deep box?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Lillian permalink*
      February 29, 2012 6:15 am

      They are 3 7/8″ deep, so they’d definitely fit a 2″ game. Fun idea!

  5. Mari permalink
    March 27, 2012 8:11 am

    BRILLIANT IDEA!!! I can’t believe I just spent $60 on a bookshelf that takes up so much floor space too. I think I’ll venture to my Ikea and see if I can find these shelves. THanks so much for sharing – the pic is great cuz I can totally visualize where I’d put it up in my kids’ room now.

    • Lillian permalink*
      March 27, 2012 9:17 am

      Glad they helped! Have fun:)

  6. Jennifer permalink
    July 2, 2012 9:46 am

    Would you know the lovely color on these wall. It is beautiful! thanks!

    • Lillian permalink*
      July 2, 2012 10:07 am

      Hi Jennifer, It’s a True Value color called Surfboard – can’t remember the number. I still love it 3 years later!

  7. December 5, 2012 3:10 pm

    I know I’m way late to the party, but I LOVE these shelves!
    http://geniusobviously.blogspot.com/2012/12/spice-shelves-part-2.html

  8. January 14, 2013 1:30 am

    Such a great idea – thank you for sharing! I pinned it. 🙂

  9. April 5, 2013 5:20 am

    A google plus 1 for you! Well done. I also saved
    it for later on. My friend owns a web site similar to yours and I think
    this is going to interest him. I will send him the url,
    maybe you fellas might even do a link exchange or something.

  10. morgan permalink
    June 4, 2013 4:28 pm

    What did you use to hang the spice racks onto the wall?

  11. June 17, 2013 11:27 pm

    This stellar knife block idea will save you lots of time.
    If your going to be storing food in canisters, whether on the counter or in a cabinet, a requirement is that the food stays fresh.

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  13. Catherine Wood permalink
    July 1, 2013 11:56 am

    How did you hang the racks? Are there slots on the back of the rack to hang them, or do you have to find a way to hang the racks?

    • Lillian permalink*
      July 4, 2013 11:01 pm

      Hi Catherine, To be completely honest I can’t even remember! I may have given more details earlier in the comments. There are slots on the back to hang them, so that helps, but I think they may have been a funny size, so that’s worth investigating! They’re managed to hold up to my now 4 year old (the little guy in the pics) climbing them on way too many occasions, so they seem to do ok:)

  14. July 10, 2013 4:52 pm

    Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this article. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

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