Monica Geller would approve of Courteney Cox's bookshelf organization method – but what do professionals think?

The Friends actor has shared how she organizes her favorite reads – and we feel inspired to take a leaf out of her style book

Courteney Cox
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Friends actress Courteney Cox is well known for portraying Monica Geller – a self-proclaimed cleaning lover – who is famed for keeping her Manhattan flat meticulously organized. But how does the actress compare to her fictional counterpart in reality? A recent glimpse inside her home suggests the two are certainly not dissimilar. 

'I have a lot of books. This causes me so much anxiety,' Courteney shared in a video (below). The actress, who was sorting out her books alongside her friend, recommends organizing a bookshelf by size by size and color – '[Starting] with the big ones and color co-ordinating them.' 

'What was supposed to be an hour has been the whole day. We didn't put it in order of subjects; we did it in order of size and color,' Courteney adds before showcasing the fruits of her work. 

The question of whether you should coordinate colors and sizes is entirely personal – and it's still possible to restore order to your bookshelf if you opt to store them in terms of their category (or you simply arrange them to prioritize your favorites). However, Interiors Therapy expert Suzanne Roynon says that we can all learn a lot from Courteney Cox's book storage ideas

'Books are created to be read – and to do that – it's important to be able to see them and access them easily,' Suzanne says. 'Drowning a precious tome in stacks of books you'll never read or have lost interest in means you're unlikely to be able to find it or enjoy the pleasure of reading the words an author or photographer put heart and soul into creating.' 

Here, the expert shares her top book decluttering tips inspired by the star.

Suzanne Roynon
Suzanne Roynon

Suzanne is a specialist Interiors Therapy Expert and author of Welcome Home, How Stuff Makes or Breaks your Relationshipavailable on Amazon. She has spent more than 25 years in corporate and charity roles, using her ability as a therapist and public speaker to help people understand their relationship with their homes and possessions.

1. Organize with a friend

Whether you're organizing your home – whether it be a bookshelf or any other space  – Suzanne recommends following the actress's lead and inviting a friend to simplify the process (and help it feel enjoyable).  

'It's so much easier to get organized and sort your life out if you have help from someone who has no emotional attachment to your stuff,' Suzanne explains. 'They can get on with the practicalities and keep you on track, which avoids sinking into overwhelm.' 

2. Review each item individually

'By reviewing her books one by one, Courteney quickly made decisions on those she wanted to keep and which could be passed on for others to enjoy,' Suzanne says. She urges against keeping any book you have no intention of reading again unless there is a genuine, justifiable reason for doing so – or you are happy to see it on your shelf. 

Bookshelf ideas for living room with green painted shelves and armchairs

(Image credit: Future / Mel Yates)

3. Think about the visual appeal

'Using the cleared bookshelves Courteney already had available in the room, the books were arranged in color and size order, so they are both accessible for her to read and beautiful to look at,' Suzanne says. 'The actress chose to color coordinate, while others might decide to display books by size or genre. Whichever method you prefer, make it visually rewarding.'  

As the expert suggests, decorating with books – in a way that is both attractive and enticing – is more likely to draw an individual to revisit an old favorite, or even pick up something new. We've got a lot to thank Monica, or rather, Courteney for. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.