First of all, you need bookshelves. Any kind will do, just be sure to measure your space before buying or making them. You might have to be creative to find room for bookshelves—perhaps that unused formal dining room has space for a few bookshelves along the walls. Measure to see if each child’s room has space for even a small bookshelf.
After you have the bookshelves assembled and positioned or attached to
the walls, it’s time to fill them. Sort out the books first. Designate a shelf (or more) for each category, including unused curricula and curricula you are currently using. For instance, I have separate shelves for unused curricula (the stuff we’re currently using is on the shelves above my desk), art and music, science, ancient history, medieval history, modern history, language arts, history reference, other reference books, theology and doctrine, Christian living, Bibles, and juvenile fiction.
Make your labels fit the type of books you have. Blank address labels will work just fine, or even a piece of masking tape, if you do not have access to a labeler. Then, shelve each book in the proper section. Within each subject, you can alphabetize by author or title, or shelve by book size, but save that project for a later time. The main idea is to get every book you own onto a shelf with other books of the same subject. It might help to make the labels temporary until you have all of the books situated the way you want them. In addition, make sure that you have general resources readily available where they can be accessed during school: a dictionary, a thesaurus, science and history encyclopedias, CD or traditional-book general encyclopedias, Bible reference books, and so on.