How to Pack Books When Moving? A Step-By-Step Guide
Are you an avid reader planning to move but own several books that you simply cannot leave behind? We understand how you feel about it because discarding or donating your best friend is never easy. So, the only option left is to take them with you. However, how do you pack books when moving?
That is what this article is about, and in it, you will find a step-by-step guide to packing your books which you can follow without any hassle. Therefore, let’s start packing your books in order to stack them up in your new library at your new place.
Things to Consider When Packing Books
If you’re hiring a professional removalist to do your packing, well and good. But here is a list of things all you should consider when it’s your turn to pack books. Check it out to get a sense of what you should and shouldn’t do.
1. Find a Suitable Book-Packing Container
Books do not just fit in anywhere; they need proper care in a safe storage place. Therefore, if you genuinely value your books, purchase the storage containers that will keep your books in excellent condition. To fill up all the box’s seams, place your books in a way that will do it. The books will stay firm and in place without moving when they’re packed like this, with no space left in between.
Plastic containers are best to place your books in when moving. Several storage bins are made explicitly for books but when moving them is of no help. The reason is that these boxes are not suitable for travelling and are not easy to carry. Therefore, choose a good quality woven case that guarantees safety. We recommend using a suitcase roller since it is the best option for heavyweight books.
2. Use Balled-Up Packing Paper
Books, especially those with a hardcover, need extra protection and care while you use them. However, packing them requires a particular acid-free paper, so it does not damage the cover of the books. Simply use brown packing tape to do this as it does not wear off the surface it sticks to like other packing tapes often do.
3. Pack Heavy Books First
When packing books for moving, always fill the heavyweight books first. If you put the delicate ones at the bottom, you will end up piling weight on top of them, which can cause damage. Therefore, put the heavy items beneath and put the more fragile books at the top to fill up the space.
However, do not divide the packages based on the weight of the books; that is the mistake that most people make and then regret later on. It would be best if you separated the masses so that none of the boxes has too many books. Instead, it should be well-balanced and light enough.
4. Cover the Boxes for Protection
Cover the packed books boxes with an old newspaper to prevent them from personal injury. Another advantage of doing this is that you can keep them as it is for long-term storage and not worry about unpacking them immediately.
5. Use Wise Labels for the Boxes
Moreover, while packing your valuable books, please do not put any of your favourite or emergency readings that you may need in one giant box with the rest of them. Keep those in a separate box if you do not want to carry anything in your hands or suitcases to prevent damaging them. Also, remember to mark or label this container to make things easy for you.
6. Use Different Packing Positions
Did you know the packing position has a significant impact on your books? So, whatever position you choose, ensure it is the most effective choice. One way is to stack them on top of each other, while another is to keep them standing upright.
However, if you’re packing the novels and other storybooks, try to go with something other than the latter position. Apart from causing damage, upright-standing books may leave you with a lot of extra space due to their varying sizes and positions.
And then, when you finish with the box, you will have to look for little things to fill those spaces. Therefore, always pack them flat on their backs, but if there happens to be a corner space where you can fit one in, use it up.
7. Do Not Choose a Random Practice
If you are a hardcore book lover, you might have a lot of books to pack, and you may need help deciding what to start with. Although we advised you to begin by filing hardcover books flat first, you can’t just randomly do that. You don’t want to go through each and every of those boxes later on just to find one of those books.
As such, keep track of the labels or names of the books you put into a specific box or pack genre-wise. Choose whatever is easiest for you to go with, as it will save time and effort when it’s time to unpack.
8. Secure Your Book Boxes
Books can add up to a heavyweight when packed in a single container. Don’t forget to seal your box securely, no matter what material your box is made of. You can use duct tape or rigifoam stuffing to do this.
Moreover, all the weight lies towards the bottom, so use extra layers of tape to hold the box lids in place. Another bonus tip is to label the box sides as ‘Top’ or ‘Bottom’ so you do not mix them up. If you have readily available cardboard pieces, cover the top and bottom with them and seal them with tape.
In addition to this, keep your boxes safe from rats by using material resistant to rats’ teeth. Using a spray to prevent animals from scratching and biting on the corners or using padding would be best. Also, avoid using containers that have any handle holes on them.
9. Do Not Leave Empty Spaces in the Box
When you start packing books or taking them out, you will realise that books come in various shapes and sizes. Although their shape might be a rectangle, due to different hardcover styles, there is a slight difference.
Despite stacking them flatly, you must first consider the box size. If you are filing a large book, there might be room for another smaller one to lie beside it. However, when packing boxes, utilise all spaces carefully.
Leaving space between books will cause them to move back and forth. Moreover, the box may have to be moved from place to place, which will cause the books inside to move as well.
But if those seams are carefully filled, this will not happen. The real trick is how you fill an empty space and what you use to fill it with. One way to do this is to use clothes or tissue paper. Moreover, you can also make small balls out of old newspapers or just use bubble wrap to fill them up.
10. Thin Your Book Collection
The best part about moving is you get to go through all your stuff individually and contemplate if you actually need some of it or not. Therefore, take advantage of this opportunity and cull your shelf as much as possible. Moreover, you can maybe give some of your books to a nearby school or even donate them to a library. If you have any friend bookworms, you can pack a few and give it to them.
You do not want to be carrying around the weight of those titles you don’t really need. So, take some time, reflect on the books and their content, and give yourself some time to think and make thoughtful decisions about whether you need certain books or not.
Although we have mentioned the steps in detail above, a few questions might still be in your mind. So clear them up right here, right now.
1. What is the best wrapping paper for books?
One question people aren’t sure about is the type of packing paper to use for their books. Using bubble wrap is a good idea since it protects the books from damage. Brown paper wrappings or old books, or newspaper pages also work best when wrapping books.
The reason is that they contain the same material as the book’s pages. Moreover, there is no trouble even if you leave the boxes packed for long periods. These papers are made from wood and do not react or wear down like other papers.
2. What is the maximum weight a box of books should weigh?
Surprisingly, books are very heavy when piled on top of each other. You will realise this when you pack a box full of books and try to lift it. However, make sure that one package must not weigh more than 30-40 pounds.
Always put in the hardcover books first, as they have more weight than paperbacks. The best thing to do is pack hardcover books in one box and then fill it up with paperback books. However, when doing so, pack no more than five hardcover books in each container.
Medium-sized boxes work best for moving books, and you can also use a rolling suitcase as it helps keep your books flat. Small boxes are also an excellent way to go, but a book box should not be too heavy as it can cause trouble for you later when handling luggage.
3. Do you pack books with their spine up or down?
People often get confused about positioning their books when packing. Of course, it is a bit different to stacking them on a shelf. Whether dealing with hardcover or paperback books, always remember to lay them flat, preventing their corners and sides from getting scrapped or damaged.
Although you might feel like packing books spine up as it may save you space for packing more, this is not the case. Books always go in spine-up when on display, like shelves and cupboards but never when packed. Therefore, go with the stacking-down option for books on the move.
Wrapping It Up
Do you have an extensive book collection you just have to take with you to your new house? Moving is daunting, but it becomes a tiny bit more complicated when you have books to take too. However, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered.
This article is specifically dedicated to book lovers who are planning to shift to a new place. Moreover, you will find a detailed step-to-step guide on packing books and the frequently asked questions about it. So, get your packing items together and let’s begin this task already. Happy moving!