10/24/2011 08:50 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

7 Tips For A Visually Organized Bookshelf

Front Page Photo: Flickr, jdeeringdavis

1. Invest in quality bookshelves, especially if current ones are sagging.

2. Pull spines forward to the same line (a few centimeters away from the front edge of the shelf).

3. Avoid "decorating" the bookshelves with lots of little knickknacks. They will look cluttered.

4. Keep the heaviest books on the bottom shelf and other heavy ones on nonadjustable shelves. Heavy books are safer close to the ground, and having them there creates a more balanced look.

5. Adjust shelves to accomodate the height of the books. Bookshelves look better without too much "headroom" above books. Conversely, don't stack books (or anything else) on top of a row of books, as this makes the bookshelf look cluttered.

6. Leave a little free space on each shelf so that books aren't packed too tightly, but not so much that they lean.

7. As an economical alternative to built-ins, line a wall with several identical bookshelves painted to match the walls.

Quick Tip: Reach for the heights - Lining a wall with shelves subtracts as little as fifteen inches from a room yet creates yards of storage for books and other possessions.

Find more cleaning and organizing tips in What's A Disorganized Person To Do?