The Smart Way to Store Kids’ Floppy Paperback Books

published Aug 11, 2022
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Credit: Katie Currid

When it comes to decluttering as a parent, managing my kids’ books is one of my biggest challenges. On one hand, it’s so hard for me to get rid of any, so our collection grows and grows, and on the other, I know that even with books, having too many for kids can feel overwhelming, causing them to shy away from choosing them.

I like to keep as many books out as possible, and while I love the idea of books as part of a room’s decor, it’s easy for bookshelves (especially those full of kids’ books!) to look disheveled. I remedy this issue by organizing them in a way that many people find controversial: I sort them by color. This helps my kids find the book they’re looking for, even before they can read, and — super important for maintaining order — know exactly where to put them back.

Rainbow order is easy when it comes to board books, hardcover picture books, and chapter books. But there’s another kind of book that’s resistant to the method: floppy paperback books. You know the ones. They’re often in picture book size and they get lost when they’re squished between hardcovers, regardless of how you organize them.

My solution to this book storage problem is to group these kinds of books and stash them in ice cube bins. Yes, you read that right. I think I got this idea when browsing Pinterest for teachers’ organizing solutions, but I’ve been doing it for so long I’m not completely sure. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

These $4 bins are the perfect size and shape for holding the floppy books and then putting them on the bookshelf next to your other books. When it’s time to get out those paperback copies of “The Snowy Day” or “Blueberries for Sal,” you or your child can pull out the bin and grab the book you need without digging through a bunch of books that might hide them. Another thing I love about this solution is that the book-filled ice cube bins double as bookends. 

These bins can be repurposed for storing magazines, office supplies, or freezer goods (including ice, haha!) later on. I love labeling them unobtrusively with a white Sharpie, which can be removed with a Magic Eraser if necessary. There’s nothing not to love about this unexpected book storage problem-solver. 

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: Easily Store Your Kids’ Floppy Paperback Books with This Very Unexpected Storage Item