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How to Pack Books in 8 Simple Steps

November 6, 2017

Greetings book lovers: If you are someone who loves losing yourself in the latest literary adventure, believe in the magic beyond every story, and make the most of every opportunity to read, this post is for you.

If you pack more than one book on your vacation, know your book characters better than you know yourself, and could never choose a favorite book when asked, this post is for you and your obviously massive book collection.

Packing books likely isn’t your favorite part of moving. If that’s true, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s not even surprising – packing books is tough, and it can be difficult to get it right! Luckily, learning a few tried-and-true moving tips can help you pack books a little easier. Here’s what you need to know.

Moving Your Precious Books Like the Movers Do: 8 Tips

Bibliophile on the move? These 7 tips will help you avoid a broken back or a stressful move as you’re packing your books:

1. Purge First
If you’ve been collecting books for years, consider purging your collection before you start moving. Books are some of the heaviest items in the house and getting rid of as many as possible is a great way to cut down on the difficulty of the process. In general, you’ll want to purge books that are duplicates, that you have in a digital or ebook format, or that you haven’t read in years. While getting rid of books can be an emotional experience, remember that libraries, kindles and Guttenberg files mean you can have access to those treasured texts whenever you want, even if you no longer own a physical copy.

2. Sell Books You No Longer Need
Amazon rose to prominence as an online bookseller, and it still offers a platform for people to sell their used and new books. Simply create an account, list your titles and their condition, and wait for someone to purchase them. When the book sells, all you have to do is ship it off and the money lands in your account a few days later. It’s a great way to get some extra cash before your big move.

3. Packing Books Intentionally
Before you start packing your books, prepare the box. The best way to do this is to line the bottom of the box with paper. If you’re packing very old, delicate, or irreplaceable books (Family heirlooms, for example), you may want to line the bottom with packing material or styrofoam, which will provide more protection than standard paper. Be sure not to overload the box – books are pretty durable and any additional padding will just create bulk that makes the package more difficult to move.

4. Stand Books on Edge
Don’t ever pack books flat on their covers. Not only does this take up too much space in a box, but it puts your books at risk of damage- especially torn and bent corners and covers. To make the most of your packing and ensure your books arrive in one piece, pack them on edge in a box. Start by placing the largest books on edge in the bottom of the box. Fill in all the spaces so the books don’t move during transit, and pad out any empty spaces with smaller books, also stacked on edge.

5. Keep Books and Photo Albums Separate
Keep your books and photo albums separate. Not only does this make unpacking easier, but it also helps ensure you know where to put each box once you’ve packed it. If you’ve been meaning to pack away older family photo albums, now is a great time to do it. Just pack them full of the albums you aren’t using or looking at and then pack that box away in a closet or similar space. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be left with boxes of books that can be relegated to your shelves or other spaces.

6. Label all Boxes
If you’re like most people, you have books in many places in your house. With this in mind, label each box as you pack it. Include not only some details about the contents of the box, but also a note about where it should go in your new home. For example, maybe you have some books you keep in your bedroom and some you keep in the living room. Label each box “books” (this helps movers expect the weight the box will offer) and then the room it’s supposed to go into. This keeps your move organized.

7. Keep Books on the Bottom
No matter what else you’re packing, books should almost always go on the bottom. With the exception of furniture and other very heavy items, books are some of the weightiest things in your household. Keeping them on the bottom of your moving truck helps prevent damage to other items and stabilizes your entire moving load without making packing books more difficult.

8. Separate books by genre
Since you won’t want to attempt fitting all your books into one heavy box, it makes sense to split them up. While you are at it, it’s a good idea to split them up by genre. Whether you enjoy self-help, crime dramas, cheesy romances, mysteries, cooking books, or have a comic book collection, your books will be happier with like-minded books. This will help you find your beloved books among the mountain of cardboard when you try to unpack.

Moving Your Books in Style
While packing books can be tough, these smart moving tips make it easy and accessible. If you need assistance packing your books, don’t hesitate to contact Colonial Van Lines. We offer a skilled team of moving professionals who will be here to pack your books professionally and quickly. Get a free quote now and get professional help packing books at your home.


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