December 1, 2017 Posted in How-to
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

How to Pack Books When Moving

Are you planning a relocation to a new home soon, but have no idea what to do with your sizeable home library? Then you should probably take the time to learn some tips on how to pack books for moving or storage. Doing so improperly could easily result in your beloved belongings getting damaged. But there’s no need to worry! To help you avoid that, we’ve put together this handy guide with tips for handling print publications for a relocation. Simply follow these steps and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

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There are more than a few ways to protect books for relocation

Before Deciding How to Pack Books in Boxes, Pick out Those You Won’t Be Packing

You decided where to move, you know what are your reasons to move, and now is the best time of the year to move, however, before you start putting every single book into moving boxes, look at your inventory list (or a photo inventory) and take some time to pick out the titles you won’t be taking with you. Perhaps you have several copies of the same book? Or maybe you have a book or two you simply know you’ll never read again. Whatever the case is, put those in a separate pile for unwanted items to donate and consider selling them or donating them to charity. There’s no need to carry them all, especially if you’re planning your moving budget to reduce the costs of moving or moving into a smaller home.

The Best Way to Pack Books for Moving Is To Divide Books into Categories

Now that you’re left with a pile of items that have definitely made it to the relocating to another state checklist and that you’re taking to your new home or to the storage, it’s time to get them organized. Divide them into meaningful categories to make packing easier. Here are a few tips you could use:

  • Sort by cover type. Dividing all your book collections into hardcover and paperback is a great first step to organizing them for packing.
  • Sort by size. Additionally, you may want to sort them by their dimensions, as this will make it easier to fit them into appropriate size boxes.
  • Sort by shelf. While this method might not be that handy for packing, it will certainly make unpacking easier. Simply group together those titles that you keep on the same shelf and pack them as such. If you didn’t manage to find a job before moving to another state, or you’re still on a house-hunting mission, avoiding relocation depression will be much easier when you can easily find your favorite author and relax while reading.
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Use Smaller Boxes for Books

Always use the smallest boxes possible to pack your titles. These will be more likely to sustain the weight they carry, as larger boxes could give in at the bottom. Alternatively, you might want to use a suitcase for heavier and larger volumes, as they will almost certainly carry the weight of their contents easily.

How to Protect Paperback Books? Use a Lot of Protective Materials

Before you start filling the box, cover its bottom and all its sides with at least two layers of protective paper. If you’re packing more expensive or rare volumes, you might even consider using bubble wrap or cardboard. Additionally, add protective layers between every two items for extra padding, especially if they are going to storage first.

When Packing Books for Moving Cross-Country, Alternate Between Bound Edges

Need some more long-distance relocation tips for taking care of your novel collection? When stacking your book collection, either vertically or horizontally, don’t forget to alternate between bound edges. This will help protect the contents from moving around or stacking unevenly. However, when it comes to paperback issues, you should avoid stacking them bound edge up, as their covers aren’t sturdy enough to keep them in that position for too long, especially when they’re on the moving truck.

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Carefully stack each volume

Tips on How to Pack Books for Moving – And How Not To

Now that you know what the most important things you should do when packing publications are, it is time to move onto things you should absolutely avoid doing. Without further ado, here are the most common moving mistakes people make when packing books for a relocation to a new home. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your belongings stay intact.

Not Preparing Books for Storage During Relocation

If you’re planning on storing your belongings in a storage unit for some time while you’re moving, there are certain things you should do to ensure your print survives this. Namely, you should use acid-free materials and waterproof protection. Of course, always make sure that the storage unit you’re renting is dry and cool, and don’t hesitate to ask movers for additional packing tips and tricks.

Packing Every Single Book for Cross-Country Moving

Are there any titles you might need during the moving period? For example, you could need some textbooks for school or you might simply want to have a book or two to read as you unpack. Perhaps your favorite one could help you cope with stress when moving? Whatever the case is, don’t box those issues that you’ll most likely need.

Being too Quick to Pack

Even if you’re working on a short deadline to move into your new home, you should take the time to carefully pack your belongings from your moving-out list. Rushing through this task could easily result in unfixable damage to your items. So one of the most important moving day tips we have is to get organized early on and take your time to carefully handle your belongings.

Using Improper Supplies

Not using the right materials and supplies is a recipe for disaster when it comes to handling your book collection. For example, if you use large boxes, you run the risk of the box breaking and all of its contents falling out. If you use newspapers instead of clear paper for protection, the ink from the print might end up rubbing off on your items. So don’t hesitate to invest a little more in proper supplies and get some bubble wrap and packing paper.

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Don’t use newspapers for protection

Leaving Empty Space in a Box

One of the most important things you should do before sealing the package is to fill the empty space. You can use packing paper, foam peanuts, or even pieces of cloth to do this. The important thing is to make sure the contents of the box don’t fly around and get damaged, in order to move them safely to the new place.

Being Lazy with Labeling

We all know how important it is to label your boxes. Writing down the contents of each box will help you unpack in a much more organized manner later on. However, it probably won’t be enough to simply write “books” on a box. You should at least at the category as well, such as “textbooks”, “dictionaries”, or “living room shelf”. And if you really have some time on your hands, you might even write down every single title.

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When You Learn the Best Way to Pack Books When Moving, Proceed with Your Preparations

Now that you know how to tackle this task, and how to lower moving expenses, it’s time to check the safety of your future neighborhood and decide will you move during the holidays or maybe in the summer. If you’re moving alone to another state, to avoid relocation anxiety make sure you find a cross-country moving company that has good reviews, is highly recommended, and offers a wide array of other services you might need, such as auto transport or packing services.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, consider factors such as the weather and seasonal conditions when choosing your moving date. Moving during the holidays or in the summer may offer certain advantages, such as better weather or more flexible schedules. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make a well-informed decision that suits your preferences and circumstances.

Feel free to ask more about what is the process of their services, how they pack clothes and box up bulky furniture, they will also explain to you how car shipping works in case you’re planning to transport your vehicle across the country. If you like the answer, you can ask for a free estimate and book your relocation date.


What Is the Best Way to Pack Books for a Move?

The best way to pack books is to use sturdy, small to medium-sized boxes and line them with packing paper or bubble wrap to create a cushioned base. Start by packing larger, heavier books at the bottom of the box, and then fill the box with smaller, lighter books on top. Make sure to pack books of similar size together to avoid damage, and avoid overpacking the boxes to prevent them from becoming too heavy. You can also use packing tape to reinforce the bottom of the box and prevent it from breaking or spilling during transport. Lastly, label the box with the word “books” and the room they belong in.

Should I Pack Books in Boxes or Other Containers?

If you don’t have access to relocation boxes and don’t want to get help from a long-distance moving company that can provide you with them, you can use other containers such as plastic bins or suitcases, as long as they are strong enough to hold the weight of the books and have secure closures.

How Many Books Can I Pack In One Box?

The number of books that can be packed in one box depends on several factors, such as the size of the books and the size of the box. Generally, a standard box measuring around 16 x 12 x 12 inches can hold around 25 to 30 books of average size. However, if the books are larger or smaller in size, the number of books that can fit in the box may vary.

What Materials Do I Need to Pack My Books?

Firstly, you will need sturdy boxes that are of an appropriate size for your books.  You will also need packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, or foam peanuts to cushion your books and prevent them from shifting during transport. It is also important to have strong packing tape to seal the boxes securely, and a marker to label the boxes with the contents.

Can I Pack Books With Other Items or Should I Keep Them Separate?

It is generally not recommended to pack books with other items, as they may get damaged during transit. Books are heavy and may crush or damage other items in the same box, especially if the other items are fragile or delicate.

How Do I Prevent My Books From Getting Damaged During the Move?

To prevent books from getting damaged during a move, the best option you have is to get long-distance moving services from cross-country movers. However, if you wish to pack on your own, use sturdy boxes and line the bottom of the box to cushion the books. Place the books in the box spine down and fill any gaps with more packing materials. It is important to not overpack the box, as this can cause it to become too heavy and increase the risk of damage during transport. Seal the box securely with strong tape and label it with the contents and any handling instructions.

Should I Pack Books Vertically or Horizontally in the Box?

Packing books vertically may help to maximize space in the box and prevent them from shifting around during transport. It can also make it easier to see the titles of the books and access them. However, packing books horizontally can distribute their weight more evenly and prevent damage to the spines. . Ultimately, the best method will depend on the type of books, the size and shape of the box, and personal preference.

Should I Use Bubble Wrap or Other Materials to Wrap My Books?

Bubble wrap is a popular choice because it provides cushioning and shock absorption, which can help to prevent the books from being bumped or jostled. Other materials such as packing paper, foam sheets, or even old clothes or towels can also be used to wrap books.

What’s the Best Way to Label My Book Boxes?

The best way to label your book boxes is to be clear and specific. Start by marking the box as “books” and include the room where the box should be placed at the destination. You may also want to number the boxes and keep a corresponding list of the contents of each box.

Should I Hire a Professional Moving Company to Pack My Books for Me?

Hiring a cross-country moving company to pack your books for you can be a good idea if you have a large collection or you are short on time or physical ability. Professional long-distance movers are experienced in handling fragile and valuable items like books, and they have the right tools and materials to protect your books during transport. Getting cross-country moving services can also save you time and effort, freeing you up to take care of other important relocation tasks. If you decide to go this route, be sure to research different cross-country moving companies and read reviews to ensure that you choose reputable and reliable movers.


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