How To Pack Books For The Move

November 6, 2017 / Posted in How-to
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Are you absolutely in love with your unique collections of stories? For all book nerds, preparing their lovelies for cross-country moving can be pretty stressful. To help you ease at least this part of the relocation, here is the definitive guide on how to pack books for moving and continue to enjoy all the stories in your new home.

a couple is packing books for long-distance moving
We bet keeping your collection safe during the relocation process is of the utmost importance to you. Here is how to do it

Unfortunately, there is no magic spell to help you speed up the packing process of your valuable bookish collection. On the other hand, leaving your valuable collection behind is simply unacceptable. As Cicero, the famous Roman philosopher has noticed 21 centuries ago, a room without books is like a body without a soul. And that’s exactly why relocation to a new home can’t go without packing books for moving. If you want to make a real home out of the place you’re relocating to, then envisioning all the bookshelves and finding the perfect spot for them, or even a small library corner is a must-do.


Tip #1: Go Through Your Collection, and Categorize the Collection By Genre

According to the latest research, the average American reads twelve books per year. And for 37% of passionate readers, printed editions are still the most preferable book format. And if you’re one of those avid or voracious readers, all this means the number of pieces in your in-home library can be considerably higher than the average.

Getting ready for long-distance moving will definitely face you with all those stories you were collecting and reading in previous years. And when relocating to a new state, going through the whole collection and deciding if there is any book you could give away and exclude from the packing list is unavoidable. Moreover, this is a perfect opportunity to divide your collection by genres, box them up, and arrange them in the next home accordingly:

  • Poetry,
  • Fiction,
  • Imagination,
  • Fantasy,
  • Science Fiction,
  • Mystery,
  • Biography,
  • Drama,
  • Nonfiction.

Not All Books Are Must-Haves – Here Is an Effective Solution for Bibliotaphs

If you’re a book hoarder, who is getting organized to move, taking all the editions with you is simply impossible. Since many of them can be classified as “done-with-that,” this is a certain sign you should do something about it. And there are a few possible solutions – donating, selling them, or organizing an online exchange – which can be a perfect way to make friends in a new city you are relocating to.

If you decide to donate some of the editions you possess, then explore which local charities, churches, public libraries, NGOs, or even hospitals collect and accept this kind of donation.

When it comes to a sale, if you organize a garage sale, you can simply offer them there. You can also try with the Facebook market, using some of the booklover’s groups, and find another owner for them.

books ready for long-distance moving
Categorize the collection by genres, and take your favorite ones with you

Tip #2: Learn the Best Way to Pack Books for Moving, and How to Protect Your Collection for Different Storage Conditions

Why is relocating so stressful for bibliophiles? Every time a bibliophile thinks of its valuable collection outside the safe house conditions (namely perfectly dry and dust-free shelves), it presents them with a real panic attack. All they see once the packaging of their collection comes is ripped pages, bent spines, dog-eared corners, potential water damages, or leather bindings dehydration. For that reason, knowing the best way to pack books when relocating, and protecting those paper valuables, is of the utmost importance to them. Here are the ultimate tips for all bookworms, which will help them to protect their wordy treasure properly.

How Do You Pack a Softcover Book for Moving? How to Protect Paperback Books?

So, once you prepare all the essential cardboard and materials, the next step is to explore how to package each type of book depending on their covers!

When it comes to the packaging of softcovers, the best technique is to box them up in flat stacks – avoiding any odd angles – everything needs to be in line.

Should Books Be Packed Spine Up or Down?

Don’t you ever, never box up pieces spine up, no matter if they are hardcover or softcover. If you package them oppositely, with the paper edges facing down, the bent and damaged pages are something to expect. When placing the pieces in cardboard or suitcases, the only thing you want is to be faced flat, while building them in columns.

Always put the bigger pieces first – like encyclopedias, and build your book tower with smaller pieces. Another important detail is to put all the pieces binding together, so the spines support each other. However, when building your book tower, make sure you choose pieces of similar size because if you put smaller editions with the bigger ones, they can ruin them.

a girl is preparng to pack books for a long-distance moving
Boxing up of hardcover and softcover volumes is not the same, so ensure to learn how to do it properly

What Is the Best Way to Pack Books for Moving? Choose the Best-Sized Boxes and Acquire All Necessary Packing Materials

One of the necessary things to include in your relocating to-do list is acquiring all necessary packing materials and choosing the best-sized boxes. When speaking of packaging materials, you’ll need a lot of tapes, some packing paper, bubble wrap, and a lot of cardboard! The trick with cardboard boxes is – avoid using already recycled ones that can be easily damaged. Although free packaging materials can affect your budget positively, still, be aware those can be easier wrapped.

What Size Box Should I Pack Books In?

Another useful tip is – don’t choose too big cardboard and overfill them, since all the pieces are pretty heavy, and your movers will have to carry them. Small or medium-sized cardboard will be just a great choice for this kind of package. Also, ensure to have at least 30 boxes to box up the whole collection.

Secure the Bottom of the Boxes for Books

Before you start filling up the box’s content, ensure to encase the bottom with a layer of crumpled paper, cushion it, and prevent any potential damages to the covers. Another useful tip on how to pack books in boxes is to strengthen the bottom using tape, just in case, no matter if the cardboard is new.

Fill Empty Spaces to Prevent Any Contact Between the Pieces

The golden rule for packaging any belongings that every relocation and auto transport company would advise is – don’t leave empty space in the box and make sure to fill all the gaps with papers or bubble wrap. No matter if you’re trying to package paperbacks or hardcovers, ensure to prevent them from moving during transportation.

Label All the Boxes Properly to Know What Pieces of Collection Are Stored Inside

One of the most effective ways to unpack all your cardboards is to know what exactly is stored in each of them. This way, not only can you prioritize your unboxing process, but you will easily arrange all the belongings into the household. So, to move efficiently and quickly, don’t forget to label your cardboard, including those filled with stories editions.

packed box for long-distance moving
Knowing the right ways to box up your collection, and avoid to use free materials is the most effective way to protect it from any possible damage

Tip #3: How to Pack Books for Moving and Storage Facility? Learn All Special Packing Techniques

One of the greatest fears of all bookworms is how their precious collection will survive the storage conditions, in case they have to be stored there for a while. The detail that especially worries all bibliophiles is mold. So, when preparing your collection for the move, explore some useful tips on how to protect items in storage units in general and specifically for pieces of your stories collection. Don’t forget that a professional long-distance moving company will provide you with a storage place intended only for its users, which is under 24/7 video surveillance, and is also equipped with temperature control so you can be sure that all the belongings are safe and will be delivered to your next home address undamaged.

And if you need a couple of more useful relocating hacks on how to treat your valuable collection, take a look at the video below and find out how a real bookworm deals with the packaging collection of 700 pieces!

Tip #4: Don’t Leave the Packaging of the Collection for the Last Minute

Although you might procrastinate on boxing up your collection since they are too precious to you, the greatest mistake you can make is to leave them last for packaging. Last-minute relocation usually means a lot of rush and nervousness, and this is the best scenario to get some of your belongings damaged. To avoid it, initiate the packaging process way in advance, and get all your novels, encyclopedias, and other pieces ready to move. When doing it in time, you’ll be absolutely motivated to do it properly, which is essential to get your packages delivered undamaged.

a couple is boxing up books for long-distance moving
Ensure to take care of your collection in time, and don't leave it for last minute

Tip #5: Ensure to Unpack Your Collection As Soon As Possible to Avoid Any Possible Damages

One of the first things to do after relocating is to take care of your book collection and quickly unpack it. Although not a top priority, it is entirely understandable if you feel impatient to see how your collection will match the new living space. Also, this will be one of the ways to feel like you’re already at home since only stories collections can make this cozy atmosphere.

Moreover, there is another benefit of unpacking stories collection first – you’ll get rid of numerous cardboard arranged all-around your house and get your place into order faster. Meaning, this is quite a practical unboxing hack!

unpacked books after long-distance moving
Arranging your collection will help you get rid of the bunch of cardboard and mess

Tip #6: Ask Professional Cross-Country Movers to Help You Out With Boxing Up Your Collection

No matter what your reasons to move are, among the things you definitely don’t want to leave about are your rich collection. So, when planning a move, remember to explore the cheapest way to move your dear paper friends, and include it in the cost of interstate moving. This will be especially important if you’re relocating in with your significant other and you agreed to share the costs.

Still, if you’re in a huge rush, and there is no time left to plan moving out of state on a budget, then picking the right long-distance movers to help you out is the best solution. Find a company that offers all long-distance moving services, and operate as a car shipping company as well, so, no matter if you want to move a piano, or need some special packing services, you can book everything in one place.

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