You'll Want to Instagram Your Bookshelf After Following These Organizing Tips

New Jersey-based professional organizer Christina Giaquinto has seen it all. For years, she's organized clients' homes and, in doing so, helped bring order and happiness to their lives. In our new series "Take It From a Professional," Christina brings us inside the world of expert organizers. Today, she's sharing seven master tips for getting perfectly organized bookshelves.

  1. Take Everything Off the Shelves: Every good organization project begins with removing everything from the shelves. That way, it's possible to totally take in the space and imagine what you can create.
  2. Divide Belongings — and Divide Again: After taking everything down, divide books and belongings into genres, like nonfiction, travel, reference, etc. Then Christina says to subcategorize. Further sort those genres by age group and/or topic.
  3. Take Emotion Out of the Process: Christina often runs into clients who want to hold on to belongings for sentimental reasons. Try to think as pragmatically as possible.
  4. Arrange by Category: Put things back on the shelves by category. Like goes with like. Resist the urge to arrange by color: it looks pretty, but can be confusing.
  5. Label: Once you have everything sorted by category, mark your shelves with discreet little labels. That will help you resist the urge to put things back where they don't belong.
  6. Shop Your House: Bring in special objects to break up your arrangements of books. Again, like goes with like. Put a pretty globe from your study on the shelves next to travel books and atlases. If you don't have objects you adore, hit up HomeGoods.
  7. Donate: Whatever doesn't make the cut, give away. Let someone else benefit from your downsizing.