7 Book Storage Solutions For Small Spaces

Sabrina's Organizing
by Sabrina's Organizing

There is the start of another monthly series called "organizing small spaces". In this series, I will be talking about creative ways to organize a small space.

Small spaces can be subjective to each person. My goal in this series is to help my visitors be inspired and look at their home differently so they can see creative solutions to make their house a home no matter what size it is. The first one in the series is book storage solutions for small spaces. Below each solution, I have included a visual example of what I am referring to. I hope it helps.

Here are 7 book storage solutions for small spaces:

Use a bookshelf as a headboard.

There are lots of headboards that house freestanding bookshelves out there. Here is an example of one.

Photo: Transitional Bedroom by St Louis Design-Build Firms Michael Lauren Development LLC

Pro: If you like to read at night, this will store the books right where you need them. You also may be able to do away with your end table and save even more space.

Con: If you do not dust often, your books may get dusty and it may make it difficult to sleep because of the excess dust around you. If you have a large collection of books, this may be too small for you.

Use a blank wall and create your own bookcase and add a curtain to cover it when people stay over.

Just add shelves a very long curtain and a rod attached to the ceiling. By using your creativity, you can make the space useful. What wall are you not using?

Photo: Contemporary Closet by Melbourne Architects & Building Designers Architecture

Pro: Useful for clothes storage as well. You can incorporate other things besides books and clothing.

Con: You most likely will have space in the living room. Does that work for where you like to read or get dressed?

Turn an alcove into a reading nook:

Add lighting, bookcases, and seating and any space can become a reading nook.

Photo: Traditional Family Room by Pacific Palisades Interior Designers & Decorators Susan Jay Design

Pro: It's a great place to read with your young kids.

Con: It can be expensive and may not be possible if you rent an apartment.

Use under the stairs or the wall next to the stairs as a bookcase:

This is an oldie but goodie solution. I love the different use of storage solutions for stairs. There is a lot out there just Google it.

Photo: Contemporary Staircase by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators ACRE Goods + Services

Pro: It's a go-to wasted space location and can really maximize a small space.

Con: Since it is on the steps, you may not be able to store many "frequently used items in this area.

Create a library in a wider hallway:

Lining the wider hallway with bookshelves works great to maximize space. My father had one where he lived years ago and it worked great because it was his go-to spot for everything. It was the entire length of the hallway.

Photo: Beach Style Hall by Portland Architects & Building Designers Whitten Architects

Pro: You can easily access items when you need them.

Con: If you don't keep it covered with a curtain, it will get dusty and it can get messy easily.

Under the Bed Storage for Books:

You can raise your bed and add bookshelves to the bottom for easy access in a small space.

Photo: Farmhouse Bedroom by Califon Architects & Building Designers Dan Ruhland Designs LLC

Feel free to check out our DIY storage for your young adult child.

Pro: It works great for smaller bedrooms where you can't fit a nightstand.

Con: If the bed needs to be pushed up against the wall, you may only be able to use a one-bed bookshelf side.

Create unique bookshelves on the wall.

This one can be fun for kids and adults. Make up a fancy pattern on the wall to hold shelves. This one is my favorite.

Photo: Contemporary Kids by South East Interior Designers & Decorators De Hasse

Pro: It may help the kids put their books away when you make them attractive for them to see.

Con: It can be hard to clean. And, if you do too many angles, you may not be able to add too many books in one area.

And my last book storage solution: Use the space above and around the doors and windows in your home.

This one always amazes me. I love the look. It makes the door a focal point. Look for space around windows and doors that are adjacent to a wall since you may not be able to put other pieces of furniture in that area.

Photo: Eclectic Home Office by Austin Design-Build Firms Moontower Design Build

Or even the door itself. This is a great idea if you want to replace the door altogether.

Photo: Asian Home Office by San Francisco Cabinets & CabinetryInHouse Design Studio

Pro: You can maximize the space.

Con: If you change the door to a bookshelf, it may be heaving to move. It also may look a little cluttered and may be distracting to the eye.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my book storage solutions for small spaces. It was fun bringing all these images together to help you see the potential your home has.

Update 2022:

While finding places in a small home for books can be tricky, know that there are areas where books should not be kept because of the likelihood of damage to them. Below are the areas where you should NOT keep your treasured books.

Where NOT to KEEP TREASURED BOOKS in a Small Home?

Books should be kept in basements because they will probably be moisture resulting in waterlogged books.

Basement closets are sometimes dark and up against a wall which could result in a moisture issue as well.

A garage is not a good place to keep books because of the extreme change in temperature.

Books should not be stored in an outside Shed. Sheds are usually not insulated nor do they have air conditioning.

Keep books off the floor. Keeping stacks of books on the floor will create a fire hazard and can be dangerous to the elderly and small children.

Don't store books in the attics. As you shouldn't place photos in the attic because of temperature changes, books should not be left there either.

Don't keep books in cars. Some people will leave books in car trunks. The cars are not very well protected from the water. It could get wet if there is heavy rain.

Storing these items in an attic or basement needs proper care. Look into plastic bins with secure lids to protect them.

Now it is your turn? Do you have any tips for book storage solutions for small spaces? Is there one that is your favorite? Please share below. I would love to hear from you.

Visit our other organizing small spaces posts.








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 1 comment
  • Fee Miriam Rosenfeltz Fee Miriam Rosenfeltz on Nov 16, 2022

    In my previous home i had an extra wide staircase and had books stacked to one side on each of the treads....only to the width of one paperback and no higher than the next riser. It left me with plenty of room to walk and stored a surprising amount of books. However, for normal sized stairs (like my current ones) this would be a trip/fire hazard, so I'm putting up a single shelf above every door.....just one is not too visually cluttered. I try to coordinate the book jackets with the colour of the rooms where i can for a calmer look.