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Posted in How-to, Moving Preparation on March 28, 2022
Edgar Morrison

Born and raised in Baltimore, Edgar has always loved writing, and he takes great pleasure in helping others by creating content that is both informative and engaging.

How to Pack Books for Moving – An Ultimate Guide

Are you an aficionado of literature that has decided to relocate to a new home? This can be a tricky situation. You certainly will not want to move without your collection, but transportation can be highly detrimental to it. Therefore, knowing how to pack books for moving is a must when changing your address.

If You Want to Preserve Your Collection During Transportation, You Have to Know How to Pack Books for Moving

Anyone who has a well-stocked library at his home will certainly have their literary works at the top of the relocating to another state checklist. However, they can be quite susceptible to damage if not packed properly. They need to be moved safely, and you will have the opportunity to learn the best way to pack books for moving from this ultimate relocating guide. We will discuss the following points:

  • How to downsize for a move,
  • What protective materials are needed for transportation,
  • How to pack a book properly,
  • Tips on what not to do when packing.

For us bookworms, our library will naturally be an important part of our relocating essentials. Nevertheless, you will want to move efficiently and protect your belongings during transportation. So, consider these packing tips seriously. But also have in mind that you can always opt for professional help and hire a reliable long-distance moving company.

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For Safe Book Transportation, You Will Have to Use Boxes and Packing Materials

The most important thing for transportation is high-quality cardboard boxes for books. Also, it is highly recommended that they should be medium-sized. Plastic tape is another important element. If you are unsure whether the boxes can withstand the weight, always reinforce the bottom with a few layers of tape. And, of course, you will have to seal the boxes firmly as well.

Protective paper is not mandatory, but you can use it to fill up any space in the box. Furthermore, if you need to transport a vintage book, it is always good to cover such prized possessions in protective paper. Nevertheless, if it suits your relocating budget, always consider getting packing services from a professional cross-country moving company.

A person preparing notebooks for transportation
Protective material is crucial for safe transportation

What Is the Best Way to Pack Books for Moving? It Is Rather Simple, but You Should Be Aware of Some Things

Should books be packed spine up or down? Questions like this are quite frequent when relocating out for the first time for a good reason. Knowing how to pack books in boxes is crucial. You will surely not want to see your beautiful covers crinkled and their edges crumpled. Therefore, take into consideration these relocating tips. By applying them, you will ensure safe transportation for your literary collection.

Before the Actual Packing, It Is Best to Downsize Your Collection

Probably the hardest thing to do, but the most sensible at the same time is to decide what to keep when relocating. Let us be realistic. Not all volumes have the same value. There is no reason to carry such redundant objects with you. Moreover, they have the potential to slow down the entire packing and unpacking process, so it is best to get rid of them. Decluttering can save you a lot on relocation costs.

Of course, the question follows: What can I do with them? Well, there are a few things that can be done. You can organize a garage sale. Money is always needed, especially when relocating. But also, consider giving a book that you really do not need anymore to one of your friends. Finally, it is always possible to donate them to your local schools or libraries.

In This Situation, Always Use Brand New Containers

Reusing a box is never a sensible choice when packing books for moving. You want strong cardboard containers that can endure the journey when packed in a relocating truck. And as mentioned above, it is best to cover the bottom with plastic tape, but not just because of the weight. Plastic tape can also prevent any liquid from permeating the container.

A man applying tape to a cardboard container
For maximum security, always get new containers

You Will Have to Pack Hardcover and Paperback Books in a Different Way for Moving

Paperback and hardcovers cannot be treated the same when you are organizing your move.

When it comes to hardcover editions, they have to be placed in an upright position, as if you were placing them on a bookshelf. Of course, an additional security measure is to cover them with a protective layer. A scratch on a beautiful hardback cover can be a painful sight.

On the other hand, it is best to place paperback covers in a horizontal position. You can also put them in a position where their spine is facing the bottom of the box. But under no circumstances should you place them in a position where the paper side is facing down unless you want completely crumpled leaves. Hence, it is important to know how to protect paperback books.

Providing Extra Cushioning Is a Smart Thing to Do

Although this step is not obligatory, if you have the time and the means, why not provide extra protection? Most people like to place paper, bubble wrap, or any sort of cloth at the bottom of the container. This will prevent the volumes from jumping around if any sudden movements occur. Of course, once you have packed everything, any free space can be filled with protection material as well.

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When Placing Into Boxes, Always Organize by Weight

When packing volumes for relocating, it is important to pack them according to their weight. The biggest always goes at the bottom of the container, while the smallest should always be at the top. Medium-sized are, of course, in the row in between. This is important to remember because smaller editions can easily get crushed under the weight of bigger ones.

Unused Suitcases Can Be Excellent Containers

If you have any unused suitcases when relocating to a new home, make sure to use them as containers. Moreover, they are probably the most reliable vessels available as they have soft cushions inside and hard external frames. Nothing can be better than that for this situation. Thus, if you have some valuable tomes and a free suitcase, now you know what to do.

Always Place the Crates at the Bottom of the Trailer

All experienced cross-country movers will tell you that crates filled with your volumes must be placed at the bottom of the trailer. The reason is simple. As we all know, a single tome can be quite weighty, and when several of them are packed together, it is not easy to lift that container. Now imagine what would happen if such a box were to fall from a certain height on a piece of furniture, for example.

If You Need, Label Them for Smoother Unpacking

A lot of people tend to forget this when relocating. It can certainly create a lot of confusion and waste a lot of precious time during unpacking. First of all, label the containers, but more importantly, if you have any special arrangements on your bookshelves, you should place such volumes together and mark them. This will make unpacking much easier.

You Will Most Likely Have to Store Your Possessions in a Unit When Relocating

One of the most important things to consider when relocating to a new state is adequate storage service. If you have to place your precious volumes in a storage unit, which is often the case when one is relocating, you have to be absolutely sure that the unit meets all the professional standards. You want your possessions to be protected in storage facilities.

Adequate Storage Conditions Are Extremely Important

Reliable long-distance moving services constantly monitor the conditions in their storage units. The most important things are adequate temperature, humidity, and cleanliness. All three are equally important. You will certainly not want to unpack and see that your volumes are damp and gnawed by insects and rodents.

Photo of a warehouse
You have to be certain that a unit has adequate conditions

Hiring Professionals Is Always a Good Choice to Make

Relocating to another state alone is never an easy process. You will certainly have to worry about a lot of things. In many cases, it is not possible to relocate on your own nor with the help of friends. So, if you are wondering are there any good long-distance movers near me, the good news is that there are. Such professional services can really make your life much easier. Here is a useful video on how to find a good relocating crew.

There Are Things That You Absolutely Need to Avoid When Transporting Your Literary Collection

We have gone through all the things that have to be done, but we also must point out the things that you have to avoid at all costs. Relocating mistakes often happen, and when they do, the damage is usually irreparable. So, consider carefully the following:

  • People often think that they can save money by getting used containers, but this is never a good choice. Often they can collapse because of the weight. But, more importantly, used containers can sometimes contain tiny insects that can completely destroy your volumes. So get new ones, unless you want your leaves looking like Swiss cheese.
  • If you are thinking about using large containers, well, you should not. As we have mentioned, once your library is packed, these crates become insanely heavy. There is no reason to place yourself in a situation where you have to haul heavy crates, thus risking severe injuries to your back.
  • Always put your volumes in an organized manner. This means that you have to follow the pattern. If stacking upright, then continue like that. This applies to horizontal stacking as well. If you place your written possessions in a disorganized manner, the chances that they will get damaged are high.
  • Do not try to fit a book forcefully in a box if the space is too tight. That space should be either left free or filled with protective material. If the volumes are too tightly packed, their covers can easily get damaged when you start unpacking, regardless of whether it is a hardback or a paperback cover.
  • Do not save on the protective materials if you are relocating valuable tomes. There is no point in being frugal here. Therefore, take your valuables and cover them with as much protective material as needed. Moreover, you should designate a special container for such items. Material value can be covered, but there is no insurance that can cover the sentimental.
  • Containers should never be placed in damp and dirty areas. If you see a unit that has poor conditions, do not place your home library there. Such facilities can be teeming with insects and rodents that cannot wait to gnaw on paper. Above all, dampness is enough to start looking for another place.

Do Not Forget to Take a Book or Two With You When Relocating

Finally, we will give you one final piece of advice. Relocating can be quite a stressful process, and you will have to invest a lot of mental and physical energy. However, for the admirers of literature, there is no better way to alleviate stress than to take a literary piece that has been on the reading list for some time.

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