How to Organize an Office Bookcase

How to get your office bookcases organized  for a beautifully organized space!

In this episode of Ask the Organizer Anything, Jeanne Petrus-Rivera of Red Lotus Foods, had a burning question for me: How to organize her cluttered bookcase in her home office.  This space frustrated her because it was a giant mix of a whole lotta stuff and not much fun to look at.

She’s been using it as a general catch all space, adding things to the shelves when she doesn’t know what to do with something.  That’s a pretty common problem.  Bookcases can be difficult spaces to keep organized because the space is often used for a few different purposes.

To organize this bookcase, it’s best to establish different zones.  And establishing these different zones is pretty easy when the natural divisions made by the shelves are taken into account.

Jeanne’s bookcase has 4 shelves, which allows for a minimum of 4 zones.  When figuring out the zones, put like with like or similar with similar – office supplies, financial, etc.

Jeanne and I got off onto another topic before I could get into what zones I would suggest for her bookcase.  The zones I would recommend are business files, office supplies, reference, and personal.

To get the bookcase organized, Jeanne first has to get rid of anything she doesn’t need or want.  This stuff is just taking up space that she needs for things that she actually needs.  Next, she should take a look at the items that remain and see what is similar.  Then she should group those similar things together and put them into the appropriate zone.

To unify the space and keep it from looking too cluttered, I suggested adding coordinating baskets to at least 3 shelves.  Smaller items like boxes of checks and office supplies can be tucked inside the baskets, and more of the vertical space between the shelves can be used if a tall basket is used.

Other recommended zones for an office bookcase: Supplies, Reference, Active files, Action files.  For more about these two file types, check out my soon to be released course on eliminating your Paper Clutter.  Sign up for my newsletter here and get notified as soon as it is available!

{Note: I had a little trouble getting the Google Hangout to work for me, so I opted to use a program on my Mac, but I wasn’t sure it was working, so what you see in the video is a more casual interaction between Jeanne and I – and it’s probably more fun to watch, too!  So excuse the informality!  And if you want to know what my mess is that I referred to, I don’t have a picture, but I had 7 bins of clothes in my craft room that I’m selling for a client.}

Watch our very real, very impromptu organizing session here:

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