10 Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Childrens Books

Organizing and cleaning a child’s room is never easy, but organizing and cleaning their books can be even harder. If you are looking for ways to get your child’s books tidy and clean, check out these tips for cleaning and organizing childrens Books to make it easy for you and your child.

10 Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Childrens Books

Make them easy to access

Before deciding on how you’ll organize the books, select where they will go. Do you want them in a central location, in each child’s room, in a playroom, or in another part of the home? No matter where you decide to place the books, make sure the bookcase or shelf you use is accessible. The easier it is to reach, the more likely your children will clean up the books. For smaller children, place a step stool near the books so they can reach shelves that are higher.

Select a method

What would be the best method for you to organize the books? You can choose to arrange them by size, by texture of the cover, alphabetical order by title or author’s name, or any other method that works for you. You cannot organize the books until you know the best way to organize for yourself. Not sure what to choose? Check out the next three tips.

Organize according to size

If you have younger kids, organize the books according to book size. This will make clean-up time a breeze because kids can easily determine which books are of the same size to be grouped together.

Organize by category or alphabet

For older kids, try organizing by category for them to easily find a book later. For example, books about princesses go on one shelf, and books about dinosaurs go on another. Continue this for all subjects. If your child can understand the alphabetical method, have them arrange the books by author’s last name to keep in consistent with a library system.

Organize with stickers

Assign a sticker color for each shelf and place the sticker on the shelf. Then, place the sticker on the book spine to show kids what book goes on what shelf. This is a method that’s fast for any age group, including adults!

Organize with dividers

You can use dividers on shelves if you don’t have a ton of books to organize. For instance, if you want ten books on the left, you place dividers in a certain color on the shelf. Then, place a sticker in that color on the spine of the books you want in that section. It’s similar to the sticker method but it ensures the books stay in a certain range.

Get the right organizers

Are you using bookcases, or shelves? Do you have dividers, labels, and other things you’d like to use? Find the right organizers to fit your space and your needs before you start placing the books in your preferred method.

Purge the books

This does not mean you have to get rid of the books. You could remove seasonal books and store them, like you do with clothing. You can also place books that are not age appropriate in storage bins for when the child is older. Give each child a small selection of books appropriate for their age and interests, and then keep the bulk of the books in a central location. Whatever you decide, limit the number of books on one shelf so that they look neat and tidy.

Clean the books

Take all books off the shelf and stack them in a corner. Get your organizers and furniture in place, and then clean them. Afterward, use an all-purpose cleaner and lightly spray it on a rag. Make sure the rag is slightly damp, not wet. Wipe down each and every book with this, re-spraying the rag as needed. Get the front, back, top, bottom, and spine of the books.

Set a schedule

Have a schedule of days when books need to be re-cleaned and re-organized. It will be hard to keep them nice and neat every day, so choose one day a month to re-clean and re-shelve all the books properly.

Good luck organizing, and be sure to donate those books that you no longer want to a local library or school.

About Catherine

Catherine is a self-proclaimed "organization junkie" living in Los Angeles. She blogs about family, entertainment, food and anything else that pops into her mind.


  1. I need to re-organize my daughters books..they are a MESS!

  2. I spent like two hours organizing my kids books only for them to let out the book ends and then well..it was a disaster!

  3. Great ideas! I just went through some of my old books at my Grandma’s house. I am so lucky she’s keeping them for me!!

  4. We have so many kids books that we are working on organizing right now. These are great tips.

  5. Please! I need help with my kids books! They so quickly become an overwhelming mess. The little one likes to dump the whole shelf! Crazy children. Hopefully, they will learn to slow down and put one back when they get a new one.

  6. Great idea to clean the books! After numerous times of reading, they tend to get scuffed and dirty, and who knows what is on them!

  7. I always organized by size! My daughter had so many books it seemed like the easiest way.

  8. love Dr. Seuss books we have both of these!

  9. My daughter has SO many books, and she’s only 11 months old! I definitely need to organize them all better. Thanks for the great tips!

  10. What a great list. We normally go by size since we have a broad range of books from toddler hard cover books to reading books.

  11. I love your tips! I agree that a lot of the mess happens when there are too many books at once and the kids get bored with them. I like to swap them like you suggested seasonally and such.

  12. Junalin @ Doula Training says

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Truly looking forward to find out more. Much obliged.

  13. Great tips. How do these books multiply so quickly, anyway?

  14. Purging really helps with organization. My kids have so many books!

  15. We organized with color coded stickers and it helps with clean up too!

  16. I have more books than bookshelves, so I try to rotate the books for my preschool son’s shelves. It’s that time again.

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