How to Pack Books for Moving – Best Tips, Dos and Don’ts

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Every bookworm’s worst nightmare is to have to find a way to safely transport its entire home library. They carefully curate those shelves for years, sort titles by categories, colors, authors, and now they have to figure out how to pack books for moving. Even when relocating locally, this can quickly turn into a short horror story, so better prepare yourself for this challenge adequately.

There is not a home without at least one shelf packed with various publications, whether those are some classics you got as a birthday gift and never actually read, cookbooks, dictionaries, or some old college stuff. Since throwing them out is some sort of sin for many, people usually tend to pile them for years and keep them as they are some sort of decor in their living room. But when the time comes to move to one of many Philadelphia neighborhoods, the question of packing books for moving becomes a burning one.

Inspect Your Book Collection and Sort It Into Different Categories Before Packing

If you have an extensive collection, you probably don’t even know what you have precisely, so before you go shopping boxes for books, take some time to go through your entire collection, clean the dust and sort it. Luckily, these don’t fall under items movers won’t move, but if you want to move efficiently, you should organize your collection, and that should be the first thing on your to-do list.

Although these usually are not on the list of most commonly forgotten things to pack, it could happen that you overlook a book if it’s left in a drawer you rarely open or it has been collecting dust under your bed for months. This is a perfect opportunity not only to organize but to create a detailed list of all the titles you have and then sort them. You can sort by size, genre, author, or whatever method you prefer. Just make sure your furry friend is not around if you’re relocating with pets. If you borrowed a book or two from a friend, now is the perfect opportunity to give them back.

Decide Which Books You Won’t Be Moving to a New Home

You don’t have to give up on your favorite authors, but if you have a copy or two or some novels you know you won’t be reading again, now is the right time to get rid of them. Decluttering your collection can help you cut some costs from your relocation expenses checklist and reduce the number of heavy boxes you’ll need to lift. If you plan to throw a going-away party, that might be the perfect opportunity to give away some to your friends as a gift. Besides that, you can always donate them to a local library or try selling them online.

Clean Your Collection

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when you see stained, yellowish edges, it is hard not to judge. However, this is something known as foxing, an almost inevitable process of deterioration that leads to these brownish stains. If you buy a lot of used novels or you have some old ones, you’ve probably seen how it looks already. However, it is not all lost. If during this process of sorting and reorganizing, you discovered that some of the edges started staining, there’s a quick solution for this problem that will help them be snowy white again. Take a look at this video to discover this amazing hack.

Let Us Show You What Is the Best Way to Pack Books for Moving

It is hard to say that there is only one right way to do this task, but if you want to do it properly and protect your precious belongings, you should follow some rules and tips. This is not the same as throwing one book into your vacay suitcase, and you’re ready to go. Following these steps will save you from unnecessary relocation stress and help you transport your entire home library safely.

Speaking of stress, if reading relaxes you, don’t forget to pick one or two titles that will be in your essentials bag. Once you move in, you’ll have so many things to unpack before organizing your new reading corner comes on the schedule, so make sure you have something to read so you don’t have to go through everything in search of that one particular novel.

Find Suitable Boxes and Other Packing Supplies

Wonder what is the best size box for moving books? Well, there is not one universal size that works the best for everyone. It all depends on how large your collection is. However, it is not recommended to place too many of them into one big box because it will be too heavy for lifting and carrying. It is better to get several smaller or medium-sized boxes instead of one larger. Besides, here are some other supplies you’ll need:

  • Sturdy cardboard box,
  • Packing paper,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Tape,
  • Markers.

Before you begin filing up the box, you should reinforce it by taping all corners and seams with duct tape, just to be sure that the cardboard doesn’t fall apart under pressure.

How to Pack Books in Boxes? Paperback Vs. Hardcover Book

Are you wondering how do you pack paperback books for moving? That’s totally understandable since these are not so sturdy and can get damaged easily, so if you want to know how to protect paperback books, you should place them in flat stacks. On the other hand, hardcover ones should be standing upright, with the spine against the cardboard. Always insert a sheet of packing paper to separate the first and second rows.

Tips for Protecting Rare and Delicate Pieces

If you own some rare, old, or damaged pieces, collectibles, and expensive novels, those require special attention and extra care. You shouldn’t just stack them in the box with others. First, use acid-free paper to wrap them and put them on top of others. Take a look at this video for more tips on protecting rare editions and those who are of great sentimental value.

Filling up the Gaps

Organizing your novels, dictionaries, classics, comics, and other titles into a box can sometimes seem like a Jigsaw puzzle since you probably have them in all sizes, shapes, and volumes. You should stack them in a way that there are not any blank spots, especially when it comes to paperback ones, which can easily bend and destroy. However, they shouldn’t be squeezed in too tightly either, so try to find the balance and optimize the space you have.

Pay Special Attention to These Things If You’ll Be Using Storage

If you plan on leaving your entire collection or even just a part of it in a storage unit for a while, you should be extra careful because humidity and pests can lead to some serious damage. It is important to avoid placing cardboard boxes on concrete floors because they will absorb any moisture, also, avoid those with handle holes because rodents can easily go through them.

Don’t Forget to Label

We all know how crucial labeling is when it comes to fragile items, but it is equally important in this situation too. Depending on how you decide to sort them, you can also write down in which room they should go, which genre they belong to, and so on. It will help you stay organized and ease the process of unpacking. Feel free to write more detailed content lists if you plan on leaving some of them in storage for a while.

Books by the window
Organize your reading corner on time so you can transport it easily

How Do You Pack Books Without Boxes?

If you want to avoid spending money on numerous cardboard containers, you can rely on one of the best-known moving hacks and use suitcases instead. Suitcases are a great solution because they have wheels, so no matter how many heavy items you place inside of them, it will be much easier to drag a suitcase than to lift a heavily loaded box. Your clothes can be transported even in garbage bags since they are not so heavy.

Other Alternatives You Can Rely On

Maybe your collection is not big enough to fill in an entire suitcase, and that is totally fine. In that case, you transport them inside backpacks, briefcases, tote bags, but we don’t recommend garbage bags. These can tear up quickly and create a mess, so even if you’re relocating nearby around west Philadelphia neighborhoods, we do not advise you to use garbage bags.

Open novels
Suitcase can be a great alternative and help you move your collection easily

Attention Bookworms Here’s What You Shouldn’t Do

Ok, we showed you how best to pack books for moving, now here are some common mistakes and things you shouldn’t do if you don’t want to risk losing or damaging something from your home library. So, pay attention and try to avoid these things:

  • Using flimsy cardboard – this really is not something you should try to cut costs, so if you’re on a budget, it is better to use a suitcase than to reuse some cardboard containers from your local store.
  • Spines facing upward – whether it is a paperback or hardcover, the spine should never be facing upwards because it will most likely leave some unwanted consequences.
  • No more than 20 pounds – it is easy to get carried away when you have so many great titles to bring, but don’t exaggerate, set a limit of 20 pounds per container so you know you can carry it without hurting your back.
  • Don’t arrange them too tightly – you need to find the balance, and don’t try to squeeze in too many paperbacks too tightly because you might damage some of them while trying to squeeze them in or pull them out.
Don’t sort them with spines facing upward

Now When You Know, How to Pack Books for Moving, Call Your Philly Movers and Schedule a Date

You’ve packed your dishes and other fragile items, but now you know how to handle the most precious part of your household, your home library. If you don’t want to leave this task to experienced packers and movers in Philadelphia and rely on their packing assistance, we totally understand since these are not just any items. But if you need help to move a piano or need assistance with any other aspect of your residential relocation, know you can rely on professional Philadelphia Movers, one of the finest moving companies in Philadelphia. Contact us today to discuss all the details of your relocation, we’ll be more than happy to help you move.

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