Nursery update: Part 1 – book storage (I know you are so surprised that would be a problem area for us…)

Last week my parents stuck around after Easter for a few days to help me with my multitude of projects. One area that has been needing attention for some time is Charlotte’s nursery. Thinking back to the week just before she was born, I remember the nursery being so beautifully organized, with a place for everything and everything in its place. Then baby arrived, and that went out the window. For the past ten months my organizational strategy for baby clothes and supplies has been to stuff it into the nursery closet. That approach only works for so long before you run out of room. A few weeks ago my wonderful hubby and I attacked the nursery closet. We pulled everything out, sorted through it all, and reorganized it so that everything now has a logical home. Such a great feeling. In the process we realized we had to address Little Britches’ library. Charlotte has a good many quite a few a ridiculous amount of books. Between my school library, my last Scholastic order (I had over 2,000 points to spend…naturally I bought books for Baby Girl), and both grandmas the mountain of books belonging to Sweetums just seems to keep growing. Fortunately she loves books (poor thing really has no choice) so I decided it was time to pull the stash out of the closet and display them. We ended up using two different shelf options.

First we moved the cubby shelf into her closet. It had worked ok for storing books, but it just wasn’t quite big enough. We replaced it with a three shelf bookcase that we bought at (where else) Target. It’s the perfect height…it’s not so tall that it dominates the space, but is tall enough that she can’t reach the top two shelves, so I can use it to display keepsakes and books that she shouldn’t touch yet (one of Baby Girl’s favorite occupations is ripping any paper she can get her hands on…obviously we’re sticking to board books unless she has constant supervision).

Charlotte decided to model for me, and demonstrate how easy it is now for her to access her books (dump them on the floor)

I decided to jazz up the dark bookcase by sticking some patterned wrapping paper on the back. It was so easy it really doesn’t deserve it’s own tutorial…basically all you need is a roll of wrapping paper, some double stick tape, a ruler and some scissors. I attached the paper to the back before Chris nailed it to the bookshelf, which took all of ten minutes.

I like the bookcase and the baskets for storing books (a trick I learned while teaching…it allows you to flip easily through the books instead of having to pull them off the shelves to find the one you want. Of course Charlotte finds it immensely entertaining to pull them all out of the baskets too.) But  I wanted a way to display her (my) favorite books more easily, and to rotate them out so we (hopefully) won’t be reading the same handful of books every day. Again borrowing from my classroom experience, I decided on gutter shelving. If you’re a teacher I’m sure you’ve seen this before, and probably have it in your classroom. You basically take a vinyl gutter, cut it to size, glue some end caps on, and attach it to the wall using brackets. We got three shelves out of one piece of guttering. My Dad did this project for me in a couple hours (it would have been less, but we ended up making three trips to the hardware store because we forgot something or they didn’t have what we needed…that’s how it goes with hardware store projects :)).

As you can see, Charlotte now has easy access to the books on the bottom shelves, and I have a place to display the special and more easily damaged books on the upper shelves. I put the little rocking chair that has been passed down through my family (from my grandpa to my mom, to me and my brother, and now to Charlotte) in the “reading corner,” and am already envisioning hours of reading time in that spot.

Baby Girl is quite enamored with her new “book nook,” pointing at it every time we go in her room and eagerly exploring the books that are now within her reach. She loves the rocker too, but prefers to rock back and forth as hard as she can before she slides off to sitting and reading in it (that picture is obviously staged). Oh well, baby steps. 🙂

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