Creative and Fun Ways to Organize Bookshelves for Kids

Creative ways to organize Billy bookshelves in children's spaces. The Creativity Exchange
Creative ways to use organize shelving in kid spaces. The Creativity Exchange


Creative ways to organizing kid spaces with Billy bookshelves. The Creativity Exchange


I spent the weekend getting my girl and her room organized for another school year.  I bet many of you were doing the same thing and gearing up for school to start back up as well.  Bittersweet, right?! It’s challenging to organize kids and all of their little stuff!




Bella starts the 5th grade today (hold me now).  I always try and stay one step ahead when it comes to keeping her and her room organized because no matter how much I try to do ahead of time, things will eventually get out of control. I guess my goal is to try and anticipate as much as I can.  I only have one child and think about how insane it must get with you guys that have more than one!

As I was working in Bella’s room over the last few days, I realized that I never shared a post with you guys on the Ikea Billy bookshelves that we put in her room revamp back in April and what we did with them/why we choose them.  They have really made a huge impact on keeping my girl and her room organized and I wanted to be sure and tell you guys more about what we did just in case you’re looking for some ideas.

Creative ways to organize Billy bookshelves in children's spaces. The Creativity Exchange


I choose the Ikea Billy shelves after weeks of research because they are only 11 inches in depth! Bella does not have much room between her bed and the wall, so every inch of walking space counted.  I couldn’t find anything else out there that narrow and that looked as good as the Billy.  It’s also dirt cheap and I think after everything together (the added on doors and extra shelves) was under $300.00.

You can buy the Billy bookshelves in different components based on what you want (doors, glass, extra shelves, top extenders, lights, etc..) there are also multiple color choices available:


Ikea Billy bookshelves are only 11 inches in depth so they are the perfect size for narrow spaces. The Creativity Exchange

Source: Ikea


I went to the Houston Ikea to pick up all of two separate Billy components that we wanted and it took us very little time to assemble:




Creative ways to organize the Ikea Billy bookshelves in kid spaces. The Creativity Exchange
Because the Billy is so narrow, we toggle bolted it to the wall just to be safe and we attached the two units together right under the hidden base of the closed shelves below. It is a very sturdy piece for that depth but I still get nervous.

We painted the back inside of the shelves with Velvet Finishes paint, which the finish turned out so pretty! I mixed 75% Boheme with 25% Enchanting to get a rich gorgeous sea foam color.   It only took two coats without a primer (I did use the Ready product for prep):


Velvet Finishes Paint. The Creativity Exchange

source: Velvet Finishes Paint



Velvet Finishes paint. No priming needed and gorgeous matte finish. The Creativity Exchange


We wanted to tie in the sea foam green color we used throughout Bella’s room so all that hot pink and gold would pop:

Creative ways to organize the Ikea Billy bookshelves in children's spaces. The Creativity Exchange


The adjustable shelves are really important in kid spaces because their needs and stuff continue to change as they grow.  You can really maximize space and that is precisely what we needed.  We also drilled a hole right below the lamp down to bottom hidden shelves and cut a hole to the outlet behind the piece so we could have a small lamp:


Creative ways to organize Billy bookshelves in children's spaces. The Creativity Exchange


I used small candy jars from Target that I spray painted the lids with Rustoleum Gold to help Bella keep her little stuff like jewelry, nail polish, lotions and other stuff organized:

Use candy jars to organize the little stuff in kid spaces. The Creativity Exchange
Creative ways to use organize shelving in kid spaces. The Creativity Exchange


We choose to add the door components to the Billy so we could close in a portion of the shelving to hid the clutter.  I also loved the glass door option too and may use the Billy shelving with glass doors in another area of the house down the line.

This weekend, I reorganized the bottom part to create an enclosed “hidden” work station for all of Bella’s school supplies, files and stuff that did not all fit on her desk.  Kirkland’s is having a 40-50% off sale right now on storage pieces and I was so excited to pick up all these fun Pink Ikat Storage pieces next to nothing:


Creative organizing ideas for kids spaces. The Creativity Exchange


The bottom shelves adjust as well for maximizing the space, which allows for more stuff (vicious cycle):

Creative ways to organize kid's bookshelves. The Creativity Exchange


I cannot tell you how much this Billy has really helped us and there are so many creative ways to organize the piece to suit each child’s needs/hobbies, etc.. If you are looking for a solution for a narrow space, this is a great piece for the price to consider.

If you happened to miss all of the fun DIY projects that we did back in April in my girl’s room, you can find that post here. It’s probably my favorite project to date!

Bright and bold girl's bedroom. A lot of fun DIY projects. The Creativity Exchange

Thanks so much for stopping by!



This entry was posted in Children's Decor, Organizational Ideas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Creative and Fun Ways to Organize Bookshelves for Kids

  1. This entire room is gorgeous! I love all the great organizational aspects of the shelving unit. The bins in the cabinets are so pretty and work great. I also adore that you painted the back of the units. It really makes it look like you bought it at a higher end store.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks so much Megan!! Yes, we were so excited to see that Velvet Finishes paint really made this piece just pop! Billy has been a life saver for us! Thanks so much girl!

  2. Cyndy! I love this! Her room looks adorable, and the candy jar storage idea is absolutely brilliant! I don’t think I realized the Billy bookshelves were so narrow – they might be the answer to my storage problem in my daughter’s room. Space is at a premium, and these really pack a great bang for your buck! First day of school here today too – I think I’m more nervous about it than the kids are!

    • Cyndy says:

      Awe thanks Jenny! Yes, the Billy is the perfect option and they have a new system this year that is more trimmed out and is 14 inches in depth as well. I think the bIlly is the best option for the money for sure! Thanks girl and hope your peanuts have a great first day! xoxo

  3. Jan says:

    I found your blog a few months when researching design ideas for the pottery barn teen pool color. My daughter’s teen room looks very different but we also used the VF paint in white for the bed and gray for some RAST hacks. I looove all your ideas. I do have to say. The pool color in my daughter’s room looks far more aqua than the turquoise in your room.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Jan! Actually, the bedding is the pool color but I think it must be the lighting in the room and how it translates in my images. It really is a very rich sea foam/aqua color but I too was thinking that it was photographing turquoise. So thrilled that you tried Velvet Finishes! We love it too! Thanks so much for stopping by and your note Jan!!

  4. debbie says:

    That worked perfectly and looks amazing with the pretty paint color. Did the hardware come with the billy or did you purchase that separately, please? Your daughter’s room is my very favorite I have seen in blogland by far.

    • Cyndy says:

      Aw, thank you so much Debbie! I spray painted the white door hardware with Rustoleum metallic gold just to spice up the boring hardware that came with it a little more.

      Thanks so much Debbie!!

  5. Melanie says:

    Love your ideas!! Have used your website as an inspiration for organizing my household. I love the solutions from Target too and I have used it throughtout my closet space. It just looks better now!

  6. Chelc says:

    I LOVE the idea of the candy jars to store various knick knacks! I may need to steal that idea. 🙂

  7. Rachel says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! Can I ask where the bedspread came from??

  8. I am so in love with this room every time you post about it. I’m 26 and I would love for this to be my room…don’t think it would fly with the hubster, though! 🙂

  9. Janette Tait says:

    Oh my goodness, you are a organising legend, I can identify with you so much as i have only been blessed with one very beautiful little girl who is now ten lol. They should tell us little girls are magpies and semi hoarders if we allow them to be.Now I have stumbled upon your fab site, it is going to be my go to. Many thanks. Janette.

  10. Bonnie Maddux says:

    i love this room! Where in the world did you find that light fixture? The colors are just beautiful, but not too girly!

  11. SM says:

    Love the room! How did you get your heart so perfect on the canvas above her bed?

  12. Jannell says:

    I love this design. What did you use for the gold dots on the wall and how did you paint the heart so perfectly. My daughter is obsessed with hearts and would be a great project for her and i to make together.

  13. Stacey says:

    Where is this wallpaper from please?!

  14. Christy says:

    Hi there! Beautiful job mom! Where is the heart wall art from?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *