How to pack books for moving

Keeping your book collection safe when relocating

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Packing books for moving seems simple, but it can be tricky if you have an expansive book collection. All those ripped pages, bent covers, and damaged book jackets are sadly a typical scenario when you have to transport hundreds of books in a moving van. 

However, it shouldn’t have to be this way. By following some practical tips, you can keep your books looking fresh during the move. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pack books for moving.

How to transport books without damaging them

a man packing books

1. Organize your books

This part is tedious and messy, but organizing your books by category can make the process easier. Try to arrange them by genre or alphabetical order. You can also separate hardcovers from paperbacks. Whichever works for you, organizing your collection before packing will save you so much time in the long run. 

2. Trim down your collection

It might be a nightmare for book lovers, but getting rid of books you don’t need can help simplify the move. Chances are, you have at least some books that you’ll no longer need. So it’s wise to donate or sell them to earn some money. List all the books to keep when moving to simplify the decluttering process. 

Streamlining your collection can also help you save if you hired a professional mover. Since you’ll be charged by weight, you can save a few dollars by having lighter boxes.

3. Prepare the right boxes

Selecting the right boxes for moving books is a crucial step you don’t want to miss. Your boxes should be made of thick cardboard to support your books. While some love to reuse old boxes, you should use new ones strong enough to keep your books in place. 

One of the best ways to pack books in boxes when moving is to keep the weight below 40 lbs. Instead of putting all your books in one large box, use multiple boxes to prevent them from breaking. 

You can use your rolling suitcases when moving books if you don’t have enough boxes. Packing books in a suitcase is much easier, as suitcases are sturdier and more spacious. They also come with wheels, so it’s easier to transport them to and from the moving van. 

4. Load your boxes with books

When packing your books, always place the heaviest ones at the bottom of each box. This will ensure your paperback books are not smushed or damaged during transport. You can also cover your coffee table books and other hardcover books with newspaper or packing paper to maintain their pristine condition. 

Another pro tip you can follow is to lay your hardcover books flat. This is to prevent them from shifting around while being moved. It’s recommended to have paperback books laid sideways with their spines down to keep their pages unbent. 

Books made of delicate paper, such as magazines and comic books, must be covered with newspaper or packing paper to prevent damage. You can place them in a separate box and hand carry them instead of transporting them in a moving van. 

a woman packing books

5. Seal your boxes

To keep your books in place, add a layer of wrapping paper on top of them before sealing your box with tape. You can also put socks or dish towels between your books. The goal is to fill the remaining spaces that can cause your books to move around. Once you’ve filled up your boxes, use a liberal amount of heavy-duty tape to seal them. 

6. Label your boxes

Once you’re done packing your boxes, it’s time to label them based on their category. While labeling seems time-consuming, it can actually help you locate your books once you’re ready to organize them. Labelling also gives your movers a heads-up about the weight and fragility of the books inside your boxes.

Should you hire a professional book packer?

Overall, while most people can pack their books when moving, not everyone can do it well. This is why some hire a professional packer to protect their book collection. Doing so is also a smart move when you have other things to take care of; it takes away the stress of packing and transporting all your books from one place to another. 

Save yourself some time and avoid the hassle of packing all your books by hiring a Tasker today! They can keep your book collection safe, giving you peace of mind on your moving day. 

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FAQs about packing books for moving

If you have a large collection of books, the best way to move it to a new location is to have it packed in small yet durable boxes. You can also categorize your books alphabetically or by genre, whichever works for you. It’s best to keep your large hardcover books at the bottom while placing your smaller, more delicate books at the top of the box. Don’t forget to seal them with quality tape and label them for easier relocation.

As stated earlier, it’s best to use multiple small boxes instead of putting all your books in one large container. On average, your box should measure around 16” x 12” x 12”. This is to ensure that your box doesn’t have a lot of unfilled spaces that can cause your books to move around.

As a rule of thumb, larger books must be laid flat at the bottom of the box. This is to prevent them from damaging smaller paperback books. They must be separated from each other to keep your box light and uncongested. You can use newspaper or packing paper to prevent your books from getting bent marks and scratches.

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