How to Pack Books for Moving

8 years ago in Packing Tips
Jeremy Baker
Moving Specialist

Many people think that packing up a bookshelf will be the easiest endeavour in their moving process. Sadly, it is those people who go to line their new book shelves only to find boxes of books that have been damaged in transit. Your book collection is not as rugged as you would like to think, and needs some special love when you are packing it up.

Organizing Your Books For Packing

Books should be separated into four separate categories. First divided by hardcover and soft covers, and then separated by height. If you have oversized books in your collection put those to the side to be packed in a larger box.

The Right Boxes for Moving Books

The boxes you need for moving books should be very strong cardboard. You should also reinforce them with extra tape. Small boxes are best for hardcover books, especially those that are almost as tall as they are long.

Packing Hardcover Books

To protect the spine and cover, it is recommended that you stand hardcover books inside the box the same as you would on a bookshelf. The only difference being to alternate which side the spine is on to maximize space and minimize any damage to the books. Since all books are not going to be uniform in size, pack the box tightly and use a packing material to fill in any gaps in the center and on top of the books. Do not pack other items on top of the books or you risk ruining not only the spine but the pages.

Packing Soft Cover Books

If you want to preserve the integrity of your paperback books during a move you are going to need to take just as much care when packing them. Lighter, you can use a slightly larger box, but keep in mind that the box is going to gain weight quickly with books. Paperbacks can be laid flat, again alternating the direction that the spine faces. Push them tight against one wall of the box and fill any space on the opposite wall with packing paper. This prevents shifting during moving which could tear off covers.

Sealing Your Boxes of Books Before Moving

Once you are confident that both your hard and soft cover books are packed tightly with enough material to keep movement to a minimum you can fold the top flaps over and seal the boxes with heavy duty shipping tape. Label this with a this side up sticker or write that clearly on the top along with what the box contains and which room it will be going to in your new home.

So long as you took proper care to pack your boxes of books tightly, there should be no reason to worry about stacking them for the move. Packed this way, when you do get to your new home and begin to fill up your bookshelf again, you are going to find that your collection looks just as good here as it did in its old home.


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