This genius trick for organizing books is going viral - and it uses something you'll just throw in the trash otherwise

It’s taken off on TikTok and loads of us are obsessed with this simple idea of organizing our deep shelves using an item we usually just throw away

home library with blue walls and bookcases, leather chairs
(Image credit: Dopuglas Friedman. Design: Martyn Lawrence Bullard)

The latest in TikTok decor trends is what I thought to be a genuinely ingenious hack. Like all good ideas, it solves an issue. And like all ingenious ideas, it solves an issue we didn’t even really know we had until the solution was offered to us. And although I pride myself in not giving in to all the trends that pop up left right and center on social media, I actually tried this at home and loved it. 

The basic problem this hack’s solving is not being able to see books in the back row of your deep shelves. On a deep shelf, you’ll stack a row in the back, one at the front, but this little trick offers a very simple solution to see all your books, by using an item you’re most certainly throwing away. 

I thought it was a great idea for how to organize a living room, but as excited as I (and the whole of TikTok) got about it, an expert organizer says it’s a bit clumsy. I’ll let you decide. 

A clever hack for displaying books on deep shelves

It’s so simple you won’t believe you haven’t thought of it before. When it comes to how to style deep shelves with books, you’ll inevitably have two rows, with the one at the back being basically completely out of sight, and hard to reach. However, what this trick suggests is to use egg cartons (you read that right!) as a base to put the books on top of, and raise their height to a perfect level, so you can see the spine, and also have them looking all neat and organized. 


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Now, I thought this was actually amazing, and I asked professional organizer Melissa Gugni, to tell me her thoughts about this. I’ll be honest, she made me reconsider the whole thing, for good reason. 

‘My first thought is that I'm not sure that the egg carton would be able to sustain the weight of the books over time. I suppose being able to see two levels of books is a good idea, but honestly, it seems a little messy and cluttered. I would recommend finding an additional place to store books or better yet, do some book culling,’ she explains, and she has a good point. 

In time, the carton would lose its shape, and if we have so many books we need to resort to make-shift hacks from the food pantry to get them organized, we probably do need to do a bit of decluttering… or buy another bookcase.  

Another alternative would be to store away the books you've already read and might not be 'display material' and keep a selection of beautiful, curated books on your shelves, like interior designer Dabito's new book on creating a soulful home, or Shea McGee's book on the art of curating a beautiful interior. Add these jewel-like bookends from Net-a-Porter as a final touch. 

Create a beautiful bookshelf display with these buys 

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.