Like everyone else in this bookish space, I got a TBR cart in 2018! (I loved reading a few posts by Jamie, Brittany, and Cristina too!) It works really well for me because I have a tendency of tossing library books wherever and running out of shelf space. I also have a shelf for planner-related stuff, since it’s something I’ve finally gotten back into and never had space to store. My desk downstairs in the living room is kind of pointless because even if I work from home on a snow day, I’m more likely to be on the couch or bed. I don’t NEED a designated space really. I do use it sometimes, but it usually becomes an annoying spot for clutter collection (like aforementioned library books and mail). I’m tempted to move it upstairs into the Lego/storage room instead. I digress.
When I got it back in early December, I filled it with some random stuff and a very loose TBR plan. I didn’t have any library books checked out at the time but knew I’d be incorporating them sometime soon. Here’s how I set it up:
Top shelf: upcoming holiday book TBR, bin with sticky notes (later bookmarks), Kindle, iPad mini
Middle shelf: bags of pens/markers/planner supplies, cup of colored pens, unused bin, book sleeves
Bottom shelf: upcoming physical copy TBR (two ARCs and some hardcovers)
I figured that my immediate TBR and books I’m currently reading would be on the top (possibly library books), planner stuff would be in the middle bin, and other TBR books (possibly library books) would be in the bottom one. I wasn’t sure where the library ones would fit depending on the other TBRs.
Where it is and how I use it
Unlike many people, my cart is in my room next to my bed! I have a small bookshelf otherwise in the landing but my other four shelves are downstairs. As you’ll see in the picture below, there’s one major reason I decided to keep it there (and a few other reasons of course!). I like having the books next to my bed so I can grab what I need when I finish something. I also have some bookish accessories in there too, like bookmarks, pens, and sticky notes… just in case.
The main reason it’s next to my bed is because I can prop my iPad on it when I’m trying to watch shows at night before bed. I used to be so uncomfortable trying to lay down and watch things while it was on my nightstand. Now, I can pull the cart close and put the screen up on it. Sometimes I put it on the top shelf (pictured) but when I lay down, it works better on the second shelf. The other reason is because I finally have a convenient place to put everything. My Kindle and iPad are my most-used items in bed and I used to have an inconvenient place for them. Now I can put them right on the shelf and push it over to the wall before I go to sleep.
Current setup and organization
Chris bought me a topper for it for Christmas because I admired it in the store when we first bought the cart. I love the idea of having the top covered up and creating a flat surface; I can just use it much better that way! Inside the top shelf is allllll of my planner-related things. I have sticky notes and tabs, a pouch for pens and markers, weekly meal plan sheet inserts, and extra calendar pages. Because I really only use these once a month when I plan for the month ahead, it’s nice to have the top covered up. I can also prop my iPad on there when I’m watching things before bed; it’s sturdier than using the edge of the cart like I had been.
My middle shelf is the “currently reading” area. Because it’s next to my bed, I can reach over and pull out whatever I need in the evening or morning. I stack up my Kindle, current book, and iPad on this shelf for easy access. I also have my book sleeves and favorite bookmarks on this shelf too. In addition to the topper for the cart, Chris got me this sticky holster for pens to put on the side. I had them in a cup originally but it was a little precarious when moving the cart. This holster stores my colored pens easily.
The bottom shelf is where my upcoming TBR books are located, including library books, physical copies from my shelves, and ARCs. I arrange them in whatever way keeps them from falling over when I move the cart lol. I’m SO bad about reading books from my shelves so I really hope that keeping a rotating selection of books on this shelf reminds me to read all the things. I also removed one of the little bins for storage and put it on my desk downstairs.