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If you’re a book lover, gearing up for a big move can have you feeling overwhelmed anytime you gaze at your collection. Where do you begin? How do you fit everything? While some people carry their library on a tablet, you don’t — and you want to know your books will make it safely. 

We’re here to help with some useful tips for packing your books and ensuring the move is as easy as possible.  

Pre-Packing Ideas

Use moving as an opportunity to revisit your collection and see if it’s time to get rid of  any books which are no longer serving you. Keep in mind that there are various places you can donate your books — not just your local clothing donation drop off! 

Some ideas include:

  • Non-profit organizations (like Kids Need to Read
  • Churches 
  • Retirement Homes
  • Books for Soldiers
  • Prison Book Programs
  • Freecycle (a free, local, online bulletin board designed to reuse goods)
  • Friends and Family 

If you’re looking to perhaps get something in return for your used books, you can also try to sell them using online platforms or local marketplaces. Additionally, you can check out Bookmooch, an online community that allows you to get books you want in return for the books you are donating. 

Packing Time

Now that you have gone through your library and decided what you want to keep, it’s time to get the books in a box! Here are the steps we recommend:

Gather Your Materials

  • Small or medium-sized cardboard boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Packing paper
  • Large marker

Make Your Boxes

As mentioned above, we would discourage you from using larger boxes. If that is all you have, just don’t overfill the box as it will become too heavy. Assemble your boxes by using your packing tape on all bottom seams to reinforce the box. We recommend you double tape, too! If you have used boxes, ensure there is no dampness in the box. Place crumpled packing paper at the bottom of each box. Another great option is roller suitcases! 

Organize Your Books 

Sorting your books can be a helpful packing technique. Separate your hardcover, paperbacks, and special books/albums. Once these are in order, you may want to sort by size to visually help you when loading a box. 

Packing Styles

If you have decided to separate your books by style, you can follow these rules for the best possible protection of each: 

  • Hardcover: spine to spine, upright; snug, but not too tight that they will be damaged.
  • Paperbacks: stacked vertically; you can use various methods for these, just ensure nothing is angled awkwardly as this will cause difficulty when closing your box. You can also use paperbacks to fill empty spaces.
  • Special books: wrap in paper before packing. You may consider using additional pieces of cardboard between each to protect first editions or sentimental albums. 

If you have chosen to not separate your books by style, but perhaps choose to organize by genre or some other category, keep in mind these methods: 

  • Standing: place the books like you would on a shelf. One row do pages out spines inward, next row reverse (spines touching to support each other). 
  • Stacking: place pages toward the wall of the box with spines facing inwards; fill in gaps.
  • Spine down: create rows facing downward, but you may not be able to fill in as many with this method. 

Regardless of the method used, once your box is filled, use crumpled packing paper to ensure there is no room for things to move around. 

Final Thoughts

  • Always remember to label! Be sure to mark which end is up and down. Use arrows and weight warnings. 
  • Check the weight of the box periodically as you pack. 
  • When it’s time to load the books, these boxes should always be on the bottom since they are of considerable weight.
  • Don’t forget to keep a few books out for the journey! 
  • Unpack books sooner than later.
  • Money-saving hack: instead of packing paper, you can also use soft things you already need to pack away such as throw blankets, sheets, t-shirts, etc. 

If you’re unable to unpack immediately, you may need storage services, and Elite Moving Service Co. has got you covered with that, too. You will want to have your books stored in a dry and cool environment. High-value books should be wrapped in acid-free paper instead of traditional packing paper, and always make sure your books are clean before packing them away.

We offer moving solutions in Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas, and St. Louis. We’re committed to making your moving experience easy and seamless. Happy packing!