May 21, 2020

How to Pack Books for Moving – Dos, Don’ts and Best Tips

Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you surely can judge a person by their library. No one can remain indifferent in front of well-stocked shelves. But every now and then comes the time for relocation and the question of how to pack books for moving becomes a focal point. Luckily, we have the answers you need.

Relocating to a new home isn't complete without books - here's how to pack them

We Know It’s Hard, But Make a Selection Based on Categories

In every process of changing homes, one of the first items on the moving to-do list is decluttering. Not an easy task overall, and it only gets more difficult when it comes to books. Most home libraries were created over a long time and with love. But books are heavy. And since most movers charge their services by weight, carrying all of them definitely isn’t the cheapest way to move out of state. Unless, of course, you’re conducting DIY local moving.

So go through your collection, and choose what’ll go with you and what won’t. In the latter category should be pieces that you don’t plan to read again (or ever; it is well documented that collecting and reading are entirely separated hobbies) and those you don’t want anymore. Then there are those that you bought just because you thought that the cover would look great on a shelf.

Find a Loving Home for Every Book You Won’t Be Packing

However, leaving behind doesn’t mean throwing away. Tomes that won’t be traveling with you can still be useful. You can either sell them, and so improve your relocation budget, gift them to friends or family, or donate them, and make someone else very happy.

Decluttering is among the best tips for relocating, and the book you don't need can brighten someone's day

Get Boxes and Other Packing Materials

Unless you hire professionals to do the packing for you, getting packing materials will undoubtedly occupy a high place on your moving expenses checklist. You’ll need to use boxes, but also tapes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and other friends of DIY movers.


Tips on Where to Find Suitable Boxes

But where to find those materials, and at what cost? The good news is that you can get them for free. Check out local stores and warehouses. They’ll undoubtedly have plenty of them on their way to the recycling or trash bin. You’ll do them a favor by taking them off their hands. Boxes for liquor are especially qualified for the job.

Then there are box types. What is the best size box for moving books? Here, the size doesn’t matter. What matters is that the box is sturdy and that you can be sure it’ll hold together under heavy weight. However, the smaller the container, the bigger the chance it will last.

Before packing, make sure to have enough boxes, paper, and other packing materials.

So, How to Pack Books for Moving?

When it comes to tips on how to fill readied and reinforced cartons, there are a couple. Always try to stack pieces of the same size on top of each other. If there’s any space left in the box, fill it with clothes or some other cushioning that’ll prevent tomes from motion and protect them from damage.

One of the professional moving tips – keep in mind that even paperbacks are heavy, and don’t overfill the boxes. It’s better to have more smaller cartons than fewer large ones that you can’t lift and carry. Besides a box or ten, a suitcase with wheels will become your best friend in the process.

Paperbacks Are Easy to Deal With

Paperbacks can be packed in several ways. The most common way is stacking book-on-book. Next, you can put them upright, as they stand on a shelf. A third way is to line them up with spines down so that pages can’t be damaged during their trip to the new shelves.

How to Pack Books for Moving If They’re Hardbacks or Luxury Editions

Unlike paperbacks, hardbacks and more valuable editions require a more subtle approach. So, how do you pack a hardcover book? Either by stacking them or lining them in the upright position. However, in order not to damage the covers, put paper sheets between each of them. If the editions are luxurious or rare, use cardboard instead of paper. And to make sure that all your bases are covered, paying for moving insurance for the most expensive tomes might be the right way to go.

Label Everything Before Removals

It is conventional wisdom to start packing early in the process. Take your time to pack efficiently and systematically, grouping similar editions. And also label the crates. Write down what’s in each box. That way, there’ll be a lot less confusion when you get to the new home and begin unpacking.

You'll need tips for packing books, for they are heavy and not every box is up for the job.

Always Put Them at the Bottom of the Truck

Once the packing is done, what’s left is to get the crates inside the moving truck. But how do you transport books without damaging them? It is quite simple; put the crates carrying them on the bottom of the truck. That way, there’s no risk of them falling over or simply crushing whatever’s underneath them.

Books are heavy, so use pro tips to make sure that every box and book arrive to the new home safely

Storage Conditions

If your collection is extensive, you might need storage services, especially in the case of long-distance moving. Make sure that the facility you use is dry, clean, and air-conditioned. For more valuable editions, it is recommended to wrap them in acid-free paper instead of ordinary packing one. It can remain in its original state much longer and thus better protect your book(s). If everything is packed correctly, your collection can stay in storage for quite some time.

A storage unit needs to be dry in order not to cause damage.

Leave One or Two for the Road

Finally, one of the best moving hacks in the business: keep a book or two with you for the trip to the new home. It’ll greatly help in reducing moving stress and make the time on the road more fun, especially if you decide not to use auto shipping and have to spend a night or two in a motel. And once you reach the destination, making friends in a new city will be much more comfortable with the many topics literature has to offer.

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