As an avid reader, your books are like old friends; you want to ensure they arrive at your new place without damage. But how do you pack hundreds of books efficiently with limited space in the truck or boxes?
Strap in as we take a wild ride into storage hacks for packing your book collection for a move. Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. Sort Out Your Book Collection
Go through each book and decide whether to keep, donate, or throw it out—group books by category – fiction, non-fiction, reference, etc.
Pack books you’re keeping in small boxes; label each box with a category and room they’ll go in your place.
Keep heavy reference or coffee table books in their box. These big books can damage other books when packed together.
2. Label Your Boxes
As you pack each box, clearly mark on at least two adjacent sides with the following:
• The books’ contents (e.g., Fiction A-D)
• Which room the books came from – e.g., Living room bookshelf
This simple step will save you hours of searching through a sea of unmarked boxes to find what you need after the move. You’ll also avoid the frustration of grabbing a promising box in the moving truck only to find it’s filled with something else.
3. Don’t Pack Books in Damaged Boxes
The stress of moving can cause weak spots or tear in the cardboard, spilling your books everywhere. Instead, invest in sturdy book boxes specifically designed for moving books. Book boxes have handles for easy carrying and interlocking tops that keep contents secure.
4. Use Acid-Free Paper for Storage
The acid-free paper is pH neutral, meaning it won’t turn yellow or brittle over time. Look for acid-free tissue papers, unbuffered archival paper, and archival cardboard storage boxes—place sheets of acid-free tissue between books to prevent rubbing and scratches.
5. Stand Hardcover Books Upright
Stand hardcover books upright instead of stacking them. This allows you to pack more books in each box and prevents the spines from getting damaged. Carefully slide books into the box with the spine facing inwards.
6. Inspect Your Books Before Placing Them into Storage
Review each book page to check for damage or any signs of pests. Look for torn or folded pages, water damage, or small insects like booklice or their eggs. Repair or discard damaged books to avoid infecting other books in storage.
Check that the binding is securely attached to the spine for hardcover books. Loose bindings can lead to pages falling out.
7. Choose a Cool, Dry Place for Storing Your Books
Books can easily suffer damage from extreme heat, cold, light exposure, or moisture. Look for a place that is dark or dimly lit. Bright light, especially direct sunlight, can cause fading, discoloration, and spine damage over time.
8. Don’t Stack
Keep boxes of books on the floor of the moving truck rather than stacking them. This helps prevent tipping over in transit and causing damage to the items around them. Unstacking also offers protection when unloading the truck.
There you have it – eight storage hacks for packing your book collection for a move. With these simple tips, be sure that your books will arrive safely.