Moving With Books: Tips For Packing Your Books

Unless you have a home library with all your family books in one location, you probably don’t realize how many books are in your home. You may have cookbooks in the kitchen, children’s books in your child’s room and technology books near your computer, along with paperbacks and hardcovers for reading. You may be surprised to discover just how many books your really have when it comes time to move to a new location. Knowing how to sort and pack your books for the movers is important. Follow these tips for packing and moving your family’s books.

Preparing for Moving

  • Reduce the Number of Books: It may be tempting to pack every book in the house and take them with you, but it may not be the best move. Movers charge according to the weight of your belongings and books are heavy. That means adding boxes of books to the load may cost more than you are willing to spend. Take the time to go through your existing book collection and get rid of those you no longer want or need. Donate them to a thrift shop, or give them away to friends to cut down on the number of books you need to move.
  • Sort the Books: Sorting your books according to use, type of even according to the owner of the book makes sense. This allows you to pack like books together and makes them easier to find when you get to your new location. Use a system that makes sense to you and your family. Unless you have a home library and intend to shelve your books alphabetically by author at your new home, books can be grouped according to theme, size, or any other attribute you choose.
  • Use Sturdy Boxes: New boxes are best for packing books, but if you must reuse old boxes, make sure they are clean and sturdy. Check the seams and double tape the bottom with packing tape. Check that it is secure and that it will stand up to the weight of your books.
  • Limit Box Size: Boxes of books are heavy and can be difficult to move. Strive for several small boxes instead of one large one. As a rule, you should limit the weight each box to 25 to 30 pounds. This translates to approximately 20 to 30 paperbacks or 15 to 20 hardcovers. The weight of both paperbacks and hardcovers vary depending on the dimensions of the book and the number of pages. Paperbacks typically range in weight from 9 ounces to over a pound, while hardcovers range from 1 to 2 pounds.

Packing Your Books

Knowing how to pack your books properly saves space, but it also protects your books from damage. There are several techniques for packing books.

  • Standing on End
  1. Choose a box slightly taller than the height of your books.
  2. Place the books into the box so the spine of the book rests against the side of the box like you are placing it on a bookshelf.
  3. Pack the books so they fit snugly, but do not force them. Packing them too tightly may damage the book or break the spine.
  4. Add padding around the books to fill in any open areas. You can use packing bubbles, newspaper or other packing material to stabilize the books.
  5. Seal the box closed with packing tape.
  • Laying Down
  1. Lay the largest books down in the bottom of the box.
  2. Stack the books working from the largest to the smallest book.
  3. Fill the box to within an inch or two of the top and fill around the books with packing material
  4. Seal the box with packing tape.
  • Spine Down
  1. Place your books in the bottom of the box with the spine down and the open ends facing upward. This prevents the weight of the book from warping the cover or damaging the spine.
  2. Pack the books snugly so that the pages do not open.
  3. Add padding around the books to keep them secure.
  4. Cover the books with crumpled newspaper or packing material and tape the box shut.

Valuable books, such as first editions and family albums, can be wrapped in white paper before packing them in the box. Another alternative for protecting valuable books is to place cardboard between each book. Regardless of the method you use, always add a protective layer of packing material between the top of the books and the box cover. This prevents shifting and possible damage during moving. For tips and moving helps, click here for more info