Best Way to Move Books

Moving to a new home can be particularly challenging for book enthusiasts, as books are one of the heaviest household items. True book aficionados may have hundreds to thousands of titles to move. And anyone who has ever owned a book understands the frustration of finding their book with a bent cover, a smushed book jacket, or a ripped page.

You’ve probably experienced the agony of attempting to avoid all of that damage while moving your books from one home to another.

How Can I Move My Books Safely?

The best approach is to properly pack your books, following tried-and-true procedures perfected by book enthusiasts before you. It is essential to consider the Best Time of the Year to Move, while planning how to move your books. Here’s everything you need to learn about moving books, including our best bit of advice for transporting your whole library from one location to another.

1. Purge Your Shelve

book shelve

If you’re relocating long distances with professional movers and you’re being charged per weight, go through your books carefully and choose titles you want to keep.

Hardcovers are bulky, and even paperback books can add to the cost of moving your items.  Separating the “must-haves” from the “no-longer-needed” titles is a smart idea at this point. Determine which books may never be read again, and then find a suitable home for them. 

What Should You Do With the Books You’re Not Taking?

There are many ways you can transfer your books to new homes.

  • A yard sale is a common way of getting rid of items you no longer need. It is also a wonderful opportunity to make some extra money before moving .
  • Invite your pals over for a book celebration. Allow them to look over the books you’re not taking and decide which ones they want for their own libraries. The best part is that the books are still “in the family,” and your friends will presumably be gracious enough to allow you to borrow a book now and then.
  • Donate your books to charity. This is a great way to help others and find new homes for your books at the same time. You can find Salvation Army near you to pick up the Books.

2. Select the Appropriate Boxes

Buy or scrounge some strong, medium-sized cardboard boxes once you’ve carefully selected a number of books to move. Check to see whether they can handle the weight (new boxes are preferable) and if they are damp-free, which is especially important with used boxes. 

Buy strong packing tape for the bottom and top of the box and a marker or stickers to label what’s inside.

Where Can I Find Medium-Size Boxes?

There are a few options for getting the boxes you require.

  • Inquire at your neighborhood retailers. Any store that has items shipped to them will have boxes for at least a few days after their package arrives. Who knows, your neighborhood bookshop might offer just what you’re looking for.
  • Check with your office. It’s possible that your supervisor or coworkers have received deliveries, and the boxes are gathering dust in a closet.
  • Use social media to reach out to people in your community. There are a lot of local Facebook groups where you may inquire about finding delicately used moving materials. It’s likely that someone has recently moved and still has a stack of boxes.
  • You can as well purchase 8-pack medium boxes from Bankers’ Box Store on Amazon.

3. Get the Moving Boxes Ready

If you purchase new moving boxes, you must first assemble them. Make sure the bottom is well sealed with a second layer of tape covering all seams. Also, ensure the tape extends at least halfway up the edges of the box when sealing the middle flap. If you’re reusing an old one, tape the bottom three times to ensure that it doesn;t fall apart.

4. Start Packing Early

Organize Your Books. Packing Early Books takes a long time, owing to the use of many boxes, meticulous arrangement, and the occasional reading break. This isn’t something you can put off until the last minute.

Making books a top priority is vital when moving. You’ll have to pack with a pile of boxes for a while, but they’ll be gone eventually.

5. Sort Your Books into Groups Based on Their Size

sorting books for moving

The next step is to pick which books will move with you to your new residence.

The larger your collection, the more your book sizes vary. It gives some visual appeal to your bookshelf, but it gets in the way while you’re packing Tetris.

As a result, we recommend sorting your books by size first. You’ll have a much better idea of how everything will fit if you group them all together before you pack up.

6. Arrange Your Books According to Their Weight

Some books have a greater weight than others. It is important to utilize this knowledge when packing your books.

Heavy books should be placed on the bottom, intermediate books in the center, and lighter books on the top. This will keep your more fragile books safe from being crushed.

7. Pack Hardcover Books

Hardcover books should be packed by standing them upright in a box with the spine against the box’s side, precisely how they would be on a shelf. The books should be neatly packed but not so tightly that they are damaged when removed from the box.

If desired, wrap valuable books in packaging paper before putting them in the box to protect them. On the other hand, less valuable hardcovers can be transported flat and piled.

8. Paperbacks in a Box

Ordinary paperback books can be stacked flat or placed spine-first with the paper edges facing up. The pages bend when they’re packed with the paper sides facing down. You can also package books using different techniques in one box. Just make sure they’re not stacked at an awkward angle.

9. Use Packing Materials To Fill Any Gaps.

Even if books are neatly rectangular, there is frequently extra room in the box. When this happens, you should use packing materials to fill any gaps.

You could even fill in the gaps with your own clothes—this is a good method to prevent waste while also packing a few additional items. Furthermore, garment fabrics are soft, flexible, and durable, making them ideal for work.

You can check our guide on How To Pack A Box For Moving to learn other ways you can maximize space when packing books and other items.

10. Use Two Layers Of Tape To Secure The Boxes

You should use extra layers of tape to bind the top of your box, just like you did with the bottom. The ideal way to package books for moving is in a properly sealed box.

Only two pieces are required for the top of the box. To keep the central seam firm, one should seal it and the other can cross it.

11. Label the Boxes Properly

So far, you’ve taken excellent care of your books during this process. However, there is one extra thing you must do: add labels.

Not only should you name what’s inside the box, but also which end is up and how fragile the contents are. You can write “Books” and “This Ends Up.” You may add the word “fragile” if the books are particularly ancient or precious.

Consider putting arrows and weight cautions on the box’s sides. These labels will let anyone who handles the boxes know what they are, and they will be taken care of properly.

12. Keep Your Emergency Reading Materials On Hand.

Don’t seal all of your books in the box! It is a smart idea to make sure you leave a few books to read before and after your relocation, especially if you won’t have access to your entire library for an extended period of time.

Place these books in the same box as your other “emergency” items, such as contact information, medications, and cell phone chargers. It would be terrible for a book lover to be without a decent book for a long time.

13. Load the Boxes into the Truck

Load the base of your moving van or other vehicles with boxes of books and other large items. If you can’t adequately secure the boxes so they don’t shift or tip over, don’t stack them. Because books are heavy, if the boxes fall over, they can cause significant damage to delicate items.

14. Start Unpacking the Books Right Away Upon Arrival

One of the very first things you’ll want to do after arriving at your new home is put up the shelves and unload all those books.

Your books may not be more or less important than other items, but unpacking them will free up a lot of space for other things.

Optional: Pack Your Books in Rolling Suitcases

Pack Your Books in Rolling Suitcases

Our rolling suitcases are frequently thought of as clothes-holders with antiquated airport tags, but did you know that they may also be used to move books?

They’re sturdy, have a lot of space, and have wheels to make getting to and from the moving vehicle easy.

When using a suitcase, you can use the same guidelines you used for packing books inside boxes. However, here are some specific ideas on how to pack books in a suitcase:

  • When flying, keep your carry-on suitcase as light as possible. You don’t want to be lugging around a large bag, especially if it isn’t on wheels.
  • Sharp objects should not be placed inside the case. They could ruin the condition of your treasured books by damaging the covers.
  • Placing your books inside a plastic bag will give them additional protection. If they come in contact with food, drinks, or toiletries, it will be safe.

If you are moving your books with just a few items, you might want to see How To Ship Boxes.

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