Aka, How to store your books and props so they’re easily accessible !
Good Morning sweeties, it’s so good to see you again, come in, come in.
I am a born collector. I have to say that in a positive tone of voice otherwise you may think my home is like something out of an episode of the ‘Hoarders’ show. It isn’t, I assure you, though I guess if I didn’t have such regular purges, it could be.
Right now, I should have written and published at least another two blog posts since my last one, but the truth is I’ve been busy deep cleaning. It wasn’t meant to be a deep clean week. I decided my rainbow book shelves were looking a little cluttered, and figured that it wouldn’t take too long to fix them. Which it didn’t, but then the rest of my book shelves began to look tired too. So my ‘quick tidy’ of the shelves turned into a deep clean of my bedroom. Yikes!
But I’m also pleased that I’m doing it. My room is looking fresher, brighter and almost zings with the color. I just wish it was this time next week and it was done.
Anyhow…This post is not about my cleaning abilities of lack thereof. It is about being a bookstagrammer and collector and not letting it get out of control. So I’m sharing with you some of my secrets. These secrets mean I can have my cake and eat it, and so can you. Lets get into it.
Firstly, I accept that my bedroom is a good size. We bought this place as a fixer-upper two years ago. It’s an average sized house in an average sub-division. that’s my room on the top left, with the round window too!
We filled the home with love and light( and hard work, creating storage) and that was fine, because I love to see transformations. I won’t go into house stuff at any greater length, but it allowed me to figure out my priorities, ie: where to store my beloved books.
I came up with the idea of having a built-in that was at least three book lengths deep. Surely that would be enough space to unpack my collection? I designed it so I could have a faux fireplace there too, to break up the line of vision. I’m also a British gal living in Florida. I miss fireplaces. They make a house into a home. My flickering flames are so obviously faux, but they’re pretty!
This built-in has really helped me with storage, without a doubt. But somehow I still managed to outgrow it, despite regular purges. Many of the books on here are non-fiction. I have biographies, home interior design books, self-help, how-to, and tons of diverse subjects, most dominant on here are the true crime genre. My fiction has slipped onto the front row too, because lets face it, the cover designs are so much prettier.
Every six weeks or so, I arrange a pick-up from the Vietnam Veterans. I donate to them because the money goes directly to the cause and is not diluted between paying managers high wages like Oxfam does (did you know that? A friend told me she earned over 30K in pounds as a manager at Oxfam and that was before I moved here seven years ago) Shocking right? So I donate to where the people get the money, not managers. I keep a medium-sized box in a corner of my dining room and I add things each week until it is full and then I call for a pick-up. Usually I have three boxes to collect when I call. I buy the boxes new because they’re only $1.50 each from Home Depot or Lowes and they wont fall apart when they’re lifted. It’s a small price to pay as far as I’m concerned.
I also regularly donate books to my local library. I treat my books with respect and devotion, so when I donate a book, it looks and feels brand new. No cracked spines, bent over pages or dog-eared covers. My local library staff get excited when I deliver.
So regular purges keep my home from being featured in a Hoarders episode. What else? pretty storage boxes, that’s what. Here’s where it gets interesting.
I buy mine from Home Goods or Michael’s. Both stock some really cute ones. Here you can see I have three different styles to show you. They fit nicely under my bed, and if you have a divan, and can’t store them there, they look so pretty on your windowsill or the top of your bookshelf. These cost only $5.99 each. And if you buy from Michaels and take in one of their weekly coupons, you can get up to fifty percent off. Result!!!
Now what does a bookstagrammer store inside these boxes? Are you dying to take a peek? This is where the magic happens….
Well, firstly you could use your boxes as a prop themselves, like this:
So you get the picture.
Or you can be really savvy and organized and store all your book photo props inside them like this…
Now we’re talking…
I have , bookmarks, butterflies, cards, feathers, flowers stars, steam punk props, basically you name it.
Now at first I would keep the props in their original packaging, but as time passed and I added more props, this became increasingly difficult. Eventually after chasing feathers everywhere, I decided on the ziplock bag approach. #cuesingingangels It has been a life saver! Now I can see at a glance, what I need, where it belongs, and grab it fast. Of course I’m still finding new prop ideas all the time, but now I have the best filing system ever for them. Need more room? buy another box and start again.
Everything is under the same roofs to speak. It makes life so much easier, and I’m more inclined to put my props away immediately now that there have a home.
So thats the small storage solutions taken care of. What about the big ones. Flowers! I don’t know about you but I used flowers as a major part of my Bookstagramming. I am not a crafty person, but I can throw a few flowers across some books and it can look pretty good, but it’s where to put them afterwards. Now for me, the answer was staring me in the face and had been for a long time. My mannequin. I had bought it a few years ago from Next UK and loved it. Now Next Direct are here in the States- Yippee! I had dressed it with fairy lights and dragged it downstairs each Christmas, but it was left to its own devices for the rest of the year. Then I had the idea of storing my flowers on it.
It started like this, but now it is more like a shrub with overflowing flowers everywhere. I’ll be ‘pruning’ this tonight.I’ll update a picture on my Instagram later today.
Another cute idea that I thought of was to drape them over my headboard or climbing up my bed posts. Or you could lay them artistically across the tops of your bookshelves. It just takes some time to sit down and plan what effect you would like. I have found a lot of inspiration on pinterest lately. This link takes you to my boards so you can see where my ideas come from (except the flower manaquin – I discovered that before I discovered pinterest, but I’ve found some cool ideas to decorate it up for Christmas!)
I have tons more that I could say on this subject, but I see this is becoming a long post. I guess I get excited about books so much. Anyway, I hope you like this post. I have lots more bookish posts lined up, so kindly keep checking back or better still, add yourself to my mailing list.
As for me, I’m now trying to get my organization head on for packing for my Disney cruise. I’m so excited! I’m soooo hoping my hubby gets me another Disney picture for this birthday. I’ve kept a space on the right of my TV just in case….
Have a lovely day, curl up in your book nook , light a candle and drift to other worlds.
Lots of love