Minimalism and Your Money

The intersection of a minimalist lifestyle & personal finance

Affordable Organization Tip #2 – Book Storage

The Affordable Organization series is dedicated to providing reasonable, real-life tips to help you become more organized. In contrast to the normal blog postings each week, these posts will include lots of pictures to supplement the writing. And if you’re tired of hearing from me, you’re in luck. Ashley will be the chief author of these posts!

Tip #2 – Book Storage

If you look closely, you will see double-stacked books

In the days before we both came across minimalism, we had a ton of books. Most of them were Dave’s. History books. Lots, and lots, and lots of (dare I say….boring) history books. Over time, and as we began to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, many of those books have either made their way to his classroom or have been donated. What’s left are his absolute favorites. I never had nearly as many books, but I also purged a decent amount. There were books about social work from graduate school and other older novels I knew I would never read again.

Like any organization project, the first and most important step is to get rid of the excess. No matter how great your organization skills, a space will never look great if it is filled with too much stuff. So, step one was complete. We got rid of all of the books that we knew we would never read again. Marie Kondo would be proud!

We solved our entryway problem by building custom storage lockers and benches (you can read about how we did it here), but that created a new problem. The spare bedroom was also our office area and the place where all of our books were stored. Hmmm, what do we do now?

Luckily, we already had this storage unit in our main family room. Originally, it was used for toys in the bottom baskets and puzzles in the top cubbies. We were able to donate and hand down some of the toys and puzzles to fit everything into the lower baskets. That opened up the four top cubicles for book storage. Also, this particular storage unit can also stand upright, but it fits our space much better as a shorter, wider piece.

Double Rows of Book Storage

We began stacking the books up in the cubicles, but we had an organization secret. The piece of furniture is pretty deep, much deeper than a typical bookshelf. So, we were able to fit two rows of books within each cubby. If you look closely at the image, you can see the second row of books just barely showing behind the first. It works out perfectly because now we have all of our books in one place and we can easily fit them with room to spare in the back row.

Affordable Organization – Price

  • 8 Cube Storage Unit – $99 (Currently $120) – (Better Homes and Gardens – Amazon)
  • Baskets – $12.99 each x 4 = $51.96 (IKEA – Kvarnvik)

Total Price – $150.96

Conclusion

It was great to downsize the number of books we had. Originally, we had 3 full tall bookshelves. I don’t think we ever would have even opened most of those books again, nevermind reading them entirely. Now, seeing only the books we both really enjoy or can see ourselves reading again is a wonderful thing. On top of that, everything fits in those four cubicles and looks nice and orderly. The fact that the baskets below are hiding a bunch of small toys is just an added bonus. In terms of price, we already owned the storage unit and baskets, so we didn’t pay anything extra for our new bookshelf!

How about you? What creative ideas have you come up with for book storage? What Affordable Organization tips do you have to share?

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2 Comments

  1. Vincent W. Caristo

    You should have mentioned using E-Books. Many can be had for free from various sites such the Gutenberg Press, Nook Books on Barnes and Noble, Many Books etc. Once you download the book it is yours to read and reread or just use as a reference. Takes up no space and you spend very little.

    • minimalismandmoney

      That’s a great idea! They are free or at least cheaper and they take up no space. A win-win!!

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