03 January 2011

Wall-mounted plastic file holders create toddler-friendly book storage

Amazon: Wall-mounted file holder (clear)Bookshelves seem like a given in a kid's room, but really, does that make sense? Keeping books spine-out, sorting them by size, keeping them from falling over...it's not as easy, especially for little kids.

Here's Dana's smart, simple solution:

My son always pulled out every book on his bookshelf every time he wanted to pick out a book to read.  I tried to show him how to look through them without every book ending up on the floor but he said he couldn't see them well enough to choose. 

I thought one of the school-type bookshelves would be perfect (you know, the kind where all the books face the front) but geez, they're expensive and don't seem to hold that many books.  So, I bought four clear wall file folder organizers to hang on his wall and they work great!  He can see the books so they don't end up on the floor and as a bonus, it saves precious floor space!

My daughter is seven and she STILL has a hard time manhandling her bookshelf. What a fantastic idea!

More: Organizing board books: talk amongst yourselves

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Another option is rain gutter bookshelves. They're super easy to install, very inexpensive, and effectively display kids books face-forward similar to this hack.

http://www.2dolphins.com/2010/09/liams-new-rain-gutter-bookshelves/

In my classroom (fourth then fifth and now first grades) I use baskets and tubs to hold the books. That way they can be facing forward but are also easily contained. When I had my own daughters we decided to do the same thing in their bedroom. They have an insane number of books and they are stored in dishwashing tubs. They're perfect.

I ended up using magazine files to hold books vertically on the bookshelf. My kids find it easier to keep the books standing when they're in a little box, but they can still see what books are in there. I recently discovered that I could re-use cereal boxes instead, cutting them to the same shape/size as the magazine files. A good, cheap recycling project!

WOW! Now that's a Parent Hacks extraordinaire! I'm going to promote this to the front page for all to see. What a fantastic idea. "Get your mind in the gutter." Heh heh!

This is probably the best retrofit if you want to hang onto your bookshelves. You can pick up small washtubs at the dollar store.

Another fantastic idea! If you've got pictures I will post...

I've been wanting to make this book sling which is a similar solution and so cute.

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/book-sling-919473/

Aren't the edges sharp? I don't know much about gutters but I know the end that's on the ground can be a little sharp. If they're not, I'm going to put these up this weekend. What a cool idea!

Sorry, I meant aren't the edge of the gutter shelves sharp? I love this idea for above the bed. We often read in bed but don't really have a nice place to put them when we're done reading them.

I think the plan is to use vinyl gutter material.

No, the ends are capped and the edges are slightly rolled, so the vinyl gutters aren't sharp at all.

You can easily cut them with a hacksaw or jigsaw so they can be made to custom fit any area. And they're very easy to install, even if you're extra finicky (like me) about getting them perfectly level.

And maybe best of all, they're very inexpensive!

Me too! But we have lots of short books that will get lost in the sling. So I put the idea on hold.

Lovely ideas! Keep 'em coming!

The one on the picture looks small if you will be putting a lot of books. You may need to install a longer one to accommodate most of the books. But this will be excellent to keep them off the floor.

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