People can collect nearly anything, but one of the collections that takes up the most space is books. If you are a literature lover who has found their home overtaken by their book collection, this article is for you. No matter how voracious a reader you are, some books are going to gather dust on your bookshelves. We are here to help remedy that. Read on to learn the best way to clean and organize your bookshelf.

Light Cleaning

Book lovers do not need to completely deconstruct their collection every time it gets a little dusty. There are a few options when it comes to dusting a bookshelf. The ideal combination uses a combination of microfiber cloth and clean makeup brushes. The microfiber cloth is perfect for getting the dust off the bookshelves. It is gentle enough that it won’t scratch the wood, but the fibers pick up dust from every nook and cranny. For the books themselves, use a clean makeup brush. Those brushes are designed to go on human skin, so they are extremely gentle. This is perfect for getting dust off of even the most delicate of books. Makeup brushes even have specialized cleaners that keep them soft and sterile, so you can reuse them many times.

Deep Cleaning

Sometimes, a collector’s shelves need more than just a little dusting. This is where the deep clean comes in.

  1. Take All Of The Books Out

Yes, you read that right. Take all of the books off of the shelves. Lay them out on a table, on the ground, wherever you need to.

  1. Sort Through The Books

A majority of book lovers already have an organizational system in place. However, if you do not, now is the time to establish one. Go through every single one of the books and try and pick out a handful that you can get rid of. Do you really need that book on Descartes from Philosophy 101? Or would that space be better suited for something you will actually read?

  1. Clean Every Inch Of The Shelves

Now is the time to properly wipe the shelves down. Seek out cleaning solutions for antiques, even if your bookshelf is more modern. Those cleaning tricks are much gentler on surfaces than general cleaning solutions. Once the shelves are clean, wipe them down once more with a clean microfiber cloth to eliminate any lingering dampness or dust.

  1. Dust The Books

This is perhaps the most time-consuming step in the entire process. Dust every side of every book individually. Is it a pain? Absolutely. Is it necessary to preserve the books long-term? Yes. If you house an extremely large library, segment by individual bookcase, or even by shelf.

  1. Put Everything Back

Once all of the books are clean as they can be, place them back on the shelves. Remember that large and heavy books need to be laid flat on the bottom shelf to avoid warping or bending the shelves.