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Five Bookshelf Upgrades That Cost Less Than $25

Illustration for article titled Five Bookshelf Upgrades That Cost Less Than $25
Photo: Vladimir Mokry (Unsplash)
5 Neat Things5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “Ask a Clean Person.” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.

Bookshelves do way more than just house books — they’re also a focal point, from a design perspective — in many of the rooms in our home, they also serve as design focal points, and as a way through which we express our tastes, our style, our values. If your bookshelves could use a little freshening up, here are five inexpensive products that will give them a whole new look.

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Polished Dyed Blue Bookends, $25
Polished Dyed Blue Bookends, $25
Photo: Amazon

Bookshelves aren’t just storage, they’re also a design element in our homes. So it’s perfectly reasonable to treat yourself — and your bookshelves — to a set of bookends that are both practical and decorative! These agate bookends come in six colors, black, blue, green, gold, pink and purple, and are available in four different weights that can accommodate small paperbacks all the way up to big heavy coffee table books.

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Acrylic Bookends, $15
Acrylic Bookends, $15
Photo: Amazon

Of course, bookends are a functional item and there is a case to be made to simply let them do their jobs, and nothing else. Clear lucite bookends do exactly that: They allow books, especially ones that require an extra bit of propping up, to be displayed without creating any other visual effects.

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Silver Metal Dish, $16
Silver Metal Dish, $16
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

There are all sorts of small odds and ends that wind up stored on a bookshelf. The problem is that those small items — like chargers, binder clips, pens, whatever — can easily get lost, knocked on the floor, or just create the appearance of a cluttered, disorganized shelf. One way to contain small items while still keeping them handy is to stash them in a decorative bowl.

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AmazonBasics Organizer, $6
AmazonBasics Organizer, $6
Photo: Amazon

Bookmarks are hanging on, even in our increasingly digital world. For many people, bookmarks are more keepsake than functional — some bookmarks are giveaways from a friend’s book launch event, others may be souvenirs of a favorite author, and the most special ones might be homemade for you by a beloved niece or nephew. Whatever reason you might have for holding onto a collection of bookmarks, a tall, straight-sided pen holder is the perfect place to store them.

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Feather Duster, $10
Feather Duster, $10
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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Cleaning bookshelves is a pain — all that stuff that to move! — but they do need to be cleaned. They get very, very dusty! While a deep clean from time to time is sort of inevitable, a good way to keep shelves free of dust, hair and other airborne pollutants is to use a feather duster to quickly swat away buildup. Work from the top down and don’t forget to run the vacuum or sweep afterward, since all that dust will travel downwards to the floor.


Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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