Best Ways to Pack Books for Moving

Nov 21, 2023 | Moving

Moving with Books: A Guide to Packing Your Library with Care

When it’s time to move, your library deserves special attention. Books, with their varying sizes, weights, and sentimental values, present unique challenges during relocation. Improperly packed books can suffer damage, from bent pages to broken spines, turning a treasure trove into a box of regrets. This guide aims to navigate you through the process of packing your books efficiently and securely. Whether you have a modest collection or a sprawling home library, these tips ensure that your books reach their new home just as they left the old one – intact, organized, and ready for their new shelves.


Sort and Minimize Your Collection

Assess Your Library

Before you wrap a single book, it’s crucial to sift through your collection. Decluttering is more than just a space-saving measure; it’s about making thoughtful decisions on which books truly merit a spot in your new space. Start by segregating books into ‘keep’, ‘donate’, ‘sell’, or ‘recycle’ piles. Reflect on each book’s importance – be it for re-reading, sentimental value, or future use. Remember, every book you choose to leave behind is a step towards a lighter, more manageable move. This initial assessment is not just about minimizing volume but also about cherishing what matters most in your literary collection.


Assemble Your Packing Supplies

Materials Needed

The right packing supplies are the backbone of safely moving your books. You will need small to medium-sized sturdy boxes – a nod to the inherent weight of books. For extra protection, especially for valuable or antique editions, have packing paper or bubble wrap at hand. Reinforce your packing with quality packing tape and use markers for clear labeling. Choosing durable and appropriately sized materials is essential.


The Packing Process

Start Early

Beginning the book-packing process well ahead of your moving date is crucial. Books, often underestimated, can consume more time than anticipated due to their quantity and the care they require. An early start affords you the luxury of packing at a relaxed pace, reducing the stress and rush that often accompany last-minute efforts. It also allows for more thoughtful packing, ensuring that each book is placed correctly for the safest journey.


Correct Positioning of Books

Packing books correctly is an art that balances protection with space efficiency. There are three main ways to pack books: upright, flat, or spine down.

  1. Upright: Ideal for medium to small-sized books, similar to how they stand on a shelf. Ensure the spines face the box’s wall and the open part faces inwards to prevent pages from fanning out.
  2. Flat: Best for larger, heavier books like hardcovers and textbooks. Stack them with the largest at the bottom to avoid warping or damaging smaller ones on top.
  3. Spine Down: Good for mixed sizes, ensuring that the binding isn’t strained.

Remember, the key is to avoid packing books too tightly to prevent damage, yet snug enough to prevent excessive movement during transport.


Labeling and Moving the Boxes

Labeling Techniques

Proper labeling is vital for easy identification and handling during the moving process. Each box should be clearly marked with its contents. Include details like “Fiction Hardcover” or “Children’s Books” and mention if the contents are fragile. Indicate the box’s intended room in your new home for efficient unloading. If some books are more urgently needed, label these boxes as “Open First” to ease the settling-in process. Remember, the clarity and precision of your labels can significantly streamline the unpacking process.


Storage and Unpacking

Safe Storage Tips

If your books need to be stored before they find their place in your new home, following proper storage guidelines is essential. Ensure that your storage space is dry, clean, and preferably climate-controlled to protect your books from moisture and temperature fluctuations. If using portable storage units, such as those offered by BoiseBox, consider placing books in durable, boxes and avoid stacking heavy boxes on top of the ones containing books. Once in your new space, prioritize unpacking your books to prevent prolonged storage, which can lead to issues like page yellowing.


Additional Tips and Best Practices

Alternate Packing Methods

While standard boxes are the go-to for book packing, alternative methods can also be effective, especially when dealing with budget or space constraints. Consider using suitcases, particularly rolling ones, for transporting heavy or valuable books. Not only do they provide sturdy protection, but their wheels also make moving easier. Another option is to utilize bankers’ boxes, which are affordable, conveniently sized, and easy to assemble. These alternatives can be particularly handy for last-minute packing or when you need to transport books separately from other items.

General Packing Tips

A successful book move is all about the details:

  • Do use small or medium-sized boxes to ensure easy handling.
  • Do pack heavier books at the bottom and lighter ones on top to maintain balance.
  • Do wrap valuable or delicate books individually.
  • Don’t overpack boxes; keep them manageable in weight.
  • Don’t pack books with spines facing up or down to avoid damage.
  • Don’t neglect to fill gaps in boxes to prevent shifting and potential damage.

Remember, the care you put into packing will reflect in the condition of your books upon arrival.

In wrapping up, this guide underscores the importance of meticulous planning and execution in packing books for a move. From decluttering your collection to choosing the right packing materials, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and integrity of your treasured books. Remember to start early, pack smartly, label correctly, and consider alternative packing methods when necessary. Whether it’s a short move across town or a long haul to a new city, the effort you put into packing your books properly will ensure that they continue to be a source of joy and knowledge in your new home. Let this guide be your companion in turning the page to your next adventure, with your beloved books arriving safe and sound.

Planning a move and need a secure place to store your books and belongings? Look no further than BoiseBox! Our convenient, portable storage solutions provide the perfect temporary home for your treasured book collection and other items during your transition. Whether you’re decluttering, staging your home for sale, or simply need extra space while moving, BoiseBox offers flexible, reliable storage options right at your doorstep. Visit to learn more and take the first step towards a stress-free move with BoiseBox!