How To Feng Shui Your Bookcase

As a classic addition to any room, books have limitless design potential. From adding a level of sophistication to your space to grounding the decor on your coffee table or even showcasing your love of cooking, books are unrivaled when it comes to design. However, with using books in design comes the responsibility of organizing and arranging them, which can be a bit cumbersome. And even if your book collection is filled with gifted, to-be-read, or sentimental books, utilizing organizational practices can help your space feel more peaceful. 

One great way to organize your books is the Chinese practice of feng shui. According to The Spruce, feng shui involves arranging the furniture and decor in your home to harness energy and establish harmony between yourself and the natural world. The practice relies on a number of principles along with working to balance the elements of wood, water, fire, earth, and metal in your home. The first principle, known as the commanding position, says that the furthest point from the door in your space is where you should spend the majority of your time. The second principle, known as bagua, describes an energy map of your home comprised of eight areas that represent different aspects of life. These areas have their own shapes, colors, seasons, numbers, and earthly elements and meet in a central area that represents you, per The Spruce.

Removing clutter and relocating

While applying feng shui to your home may not seem like that much of a challenge at first, when it comes to applying the practice to your bookshelves, it can be a bit trickier. A good place to start is to declutter. Although clutter wasn't a big concern when feng shui was initially created, cluttered shelves are known to increase stress. Clutter also represents many things, including a block in certain areas of your life or a reluctance to adapt to change and new opportunities, per The Spruce, so decluttering is a necessary first step. 

Start by removing all of the books from your bookcase, cleaning the shelves, and assessing what books you own. While you don't necessarily have to use a method like Marie Kondo's, where you get rid of things if they don't bring you joy, figure out which books you want to keep and which books you can part with. Even clearing just a little bit of space can make a big difference. 

From there, Mind Body Green recommends considering the location of your bookcase. Potentially the biggest component to establishing feng shui with your books, the room where you showcase your collection is important as each room has its own meaning. Books represent knowledge and information, so the ideal place for them would be in your home's wisdom area. However, if you feel that the area isn't a suitable space for your books, move them to a place where you think they'll shine.

Reshelving and reorganizing

Once you've sorted through your books and found an ideal location, you can go about reshelving. Although there isn't a recommended way to reshelve books according to feng shui, you can still utilize the energy that your books give off and find a balance that works for you. Keep in mind that you likely won't find a method that works for you right away, so don't be afraid to try new things and get creative. One way to organize your books that has a lot of interpretations is to sort them in alphabetical order. Recommended for larger collections by Oprah Daily, this system makes it easier to find what you're looking for and can be sorted by the first letter of the book's title, the first letter of the author's first name, or by the first letter of the author's last name.

Another way to organize your books is by color. An important factor to consider when it comes to feng shui is that color correlates with the different elements and has many meanings, per Mind Body Green. Organizing by color can be done in blocks or in a rainbow-like pattern that may bring you some inspiration. If organizing alphabetically or by color doesn't work for you, try organizing your books by genre or height. Whatever method you choose, just make sure that the system suits your needs, as the primary goal of feng shui is reconnecting yourself to the natural world.