How to Efficiently Pack Books for Moving

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The Ultimate Moving Experience in 2023

Moving to a new home can be an overwhelming experience, and one of the most challenging things to pack is books. Aside from being heavy, they are also delicate and prone to damage during transport.  However, with proper planning and packing techniques, you can be sure your book collection arrives in perfect condition. Here are some tips on how to pack books for moving

Audit Your Books

Before you start packing, it is essential to go through your books and decide which ones you want to keep, donate, or discard. As much as you want to keep your collection, thinning the pile will make it easier to pack and organize your books. Also, more books mean heavier boxes. 

Going through your books will take time, so it is best to start early. Starting early also allows you to review your choices. 

Consider discarding books you no longer need or old, worn-out books. You can share the knowledge you’ve gained from your books by donating them, selling them online, or in a garage sale. The proceeds can help you in your new home. 

Group Your Books

Organize your books to make them easier to pack and unpack. 

You can choose to group your books according to their genre or by author, saving you time sorting through them when unpacking. However, for your packing convenience, you can organize them by size and cover, whether hardcover or paperback.

Grab Your Packing Supplies

To make sure your books are correctly packed and transported, you will want to use the following packing materials:

  • Carton boxes
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Permanent marker

Choose the Right Box

Although using a large box to fit more books may be tempting, using a smaller box will be more efficient. Remember, books are heavy, a smaller box is easier to carry, and the weight will not compress your books in the middle and bottom of the box. A box of roughly 1.5 to 2 cubic will suffice. It will weigh around fifty pounds and be able to hold approximately twenty books. If you decide to use a medium to large-sized box, only fill 60 to 75% of the box with books to lighten the load, and surround the books with a blanket to make the box sturdy.

It is ideal to use a new cardboard box. If you use a used box, be sure to check for any dampness and tears to check they are sturdy enough to support the weight of your books. 

You can choose to use pieces of luggage, milk crates, or sturdy tote bags as an alternative to boxes. Although, cardboard boxes are ideal for stacking and storage and are the best way to pack books for moving

Prepare Your Box

Before packing books for moving, put at least two layers of packing tape at the bottom of the box. Cover all the seams to support the weight of your books. Also, place a layer of crumpled packing paper inside to prevent dust and to serve as a cushion when transporting your books. 

Hardcover, Paperbacks, and Valuable Books

The best way to pack books for a move is to sort them by size and separate the hardcover books from paperbacks. For valuable books or books with sentimental value, take your time to wrap them individually with packing paper or bubble wrap.

How to Safely Pack Your Books

When packing books for a move, you can arrange them in several ways. Here are your options on how to pack books for moving:

The most common way to pack books is standing up, similar to how you would place them on a shelf with the pages facing the walls of the box. This is ideal for hardcover books. When packing another row of books inside the box, pack them spine to spine with the first row. Remember that pages should not be touching pages. If you still have space for a third row, use packing paper in between rows. 

Another way of packing books for a move is flat and stacked. This is ideal for paperback books like magazines, photo albums, and comic books. Organize the books by size, with the larger ones at the bottom of the pile and their pages facing the box’s walls. Remember not to have pages facing pages and use packing paper to separate each stack. 

Lastly, you can pack your books vertically with the spine facing down and the pages upwards. However, you may not be able to pack as many books this way. Never pack your books with their spine facing upwards. This may cause the glue to break away from binding, causing your books to warp. 

To maximize space, you can fill your boxes using different methods. You can pack your hardcover books standing up. After filling the two or three rows of books, put a layer of packing paper and place a stack of paperback books on top. Do not pack your books at odd angles to avoid damaging them. 

Snug but Not Too Tight

One of the reasons to learn the proper way how to pack books for moving is to protect your books. Do not put your books in too tightly as they may be damaged when removing them from the box. Instead, use packing paper to fill the gaps for a snug fit. This will provide protection and prevent shifting when transporting books.

Seal Your Box

Before closing the box, place a sheet of packing paper to protect your books from dust. Use packing tape to secure the box, and remember to label each box. 

Make It Easier

Packing and moving books takes its toll on your back. Consider the following to avoid back strain. When packing books for a move, start with the books on the bottom shelf and work up. After filling one box, place the new box on top of the other and use a dolly when loading your boxes on your vehicle or truck.

Loading Your Boxes

Use a dolly to move your boxes. When placing your boxes of books in a truck, set them on the floor to prevent them from falling during stops and turns. 

Use Plastic and Bubble Wrap

You can use plastic and Bubble Wrap to protect your books better. Bubble Wrap can occupy more space, but it will cushion your valuable books when moving. 

Packing Your Books for Storage

If you plan to store your books, use a heavy-duty cardboard box that can withstand stacking. You can also use acid-free paper to wrap your books to protect them from humidity and moisture. Lastly, store them in a cool, dry place to avoid damage.

Unpack Early

When you arrive at your new home, consider unpacking your books immediately. Keeping them inside the box for a prolonged period can cause them to warp due to their weight. 

Pack Your Books With Professional Movers

Moving can be a daunting task. However, with the tips on how to pack books for moving — and help from the professional movers at White Glove Moving  — you can easily move your beloved books to your new home. Proper planning and techniques are all it needs to make your moving ordeal easier. Whether you’re moving to the next neighborhood, across town, or across the country, we’re here to make moving easier for you. Contact our team today to get a quote for your next move.