Packing heavy items to move can be a challenge. It would be best to keep the container at a weight you can lift without causing its integrity to break.
The packing process must also consider the condition of each book. For example, you don’t want to rip pages, bend covers, or tear the jacket.
When you know how to pack books for moving, the process gets much easier to complete.
What to Do When Packing Books
Although books can feel like friends, we also have a few stories we’ve read once and probably won’t pick up again. So why keep those titles in your collection when someone else can enjoy them?
It’s tempting to curate a great library, but moving is the time to start thinking about letting a few things go. Start early, take your time, and donate the books you’re not reading to a good cause.
Once you’ve streamlined the collection, here are the steps for successfully packing the remaining titles to arrive at your new home.
1. Start the packing process early.
It takes a while to pack books because of their size and weight. Then, you must carefully place each title into the container to ensure everything stays neat. That process takes more time than you think, especially when you have valuable ones to protect.
2. Group all the books by size.
It’s much easier to see how much room each box or container offers when your books are all sorted by size. Keep your hardcovers separate from the trade paperbacks.
The thickness of the book matters less than its dimensions.
Many graphic novels are created to be of a unique size and shape to make a distinctive addition to your library. Try to group ones close to each other in dimension for the best packing experience.
3. Get lots of high-quality boxes or containers to use.
It’s not bad when you’re carrying a handful of books around from one room to the next. Ask any kid how heavy their backpack is when it’s loaded with textbooks for the day, and then multiply that thought by ten times to see what it’s like carrying a container filled with 50+ titles.
Books are always heavy to move. However, that weight feels good at first because there’s a lot of entertainment and wisdom contained in those pages.
Once you’ve hauled two or three heavy boxes, it’s not as much fun.
If you use small boxes with corrugated cardboard for your books, try to keep the weight below 40 pounds. That will make everything safer and easier to move. It also helps to line the sides of each container with packing paper to prevent liquid or dirt from causing problems.
4. Use rolling containers to haul books.
If you have rolling luggage at home headed to the new address, you can pack some of your heavier books in those items. It’ll be much easier to move those titles because you can drag instead of the lift.
You’ll want to follow the same packing principles when using your luggage as you do with regular containers. Book corners can damage sensitive materials, so you might consider wrapping hardcover titles with packing paper to prevent problems.
5. Pack the books by weight.
Once you’ve sorted the books by shape, you’ll want to think about the weight of each title. Place the heaviest ones at the bottom of the container, followed by the middleweight options, and then the lighter ones at the top.
If you try to pack books the opposite way, the more fragile titles will get crushed.
Even a significant grouping of heavy titles can compress the pages of a book. When that happens, the paper can stick and tear when opening them after moving. You’ll want to unpack them individually, carefully flipping through the pages to help the materials breathe.
6. Maximize your space.
You have three safe ways to pack books of any size or shape. First, they can be flat on the back, which is ideal when everything is the same shape. If you stand them up like they’re stored on a shelf, try to keep the spines facing the outer wall of the container.
Once you’ve got everything secured, the weight of the box deserves at least a double layer of tape. If you have valuable titles, don’t forget to label the container for the end that needs to stay up. After you’re finished, remember to leave a book or two out for you to enjoy until your moving day arrives!