You don’t need to be a book hoarder to have a set of motivational or nostalgic books worth transporting to your new home or apartment.
People make some frequent errors that can cause needless heartache while moving and unpacking, even though they are also considered the simplest things to pack. The good news is that if you know a few tricks, packing books is a breeze.
Each week, Piece of Cake transfers hundreds of boxes of books, and we’ve compiled a list of our best moving tips for your library:
1. Make your collection more effective.
You’ve heard it from us before: don’t pay to carry things you’ll discard when you arrive. Have your spring cleaning done before you pack, and you’ll be able to fly with less luggage.
To make the task of culling your stock simpler, divide your books into three piles:
Undecided must be kept and donated.
The trick to efficient packaging is to avoid agonizing over each piece, which is why there is an undecided pile. Nostalgia can be likened to a time vacuum. Place the enticing title on pile 3 and come back to it later if you’re not sure.
2. The appropriate materials
Overstuffed book boxes are infamous for being heavy. If packaged wrongly, they can also pose an injury risk to DIY movers.
Begin with high-quality materials, such as a thicker cardboard box than is typical. You can buy book boxes from movers like Piece of Cake, or check out our guide to finding free boxes on this site, which involves approaching the nearest bookstore for used mailing boxes in decent shape. When it comes to transporting books, bigger isn’t always better; the more books you have in one crate, the heavier it becomes and the more difficult it is to lift and move. You’ll also need sturdy packaging tape to keep the package safe and well secured, as well as packing paper to keep it from sliding about during shipment.
When the box is solidly built, loop tape from the base to at least halfway up the box’s sides. Then, to provide a barrier between the external moisture and the first layer of books, cover the package’s bottom with packaging paper. If you’re transporting precious books, you might want to cover the bottom of the package with waterproof bubble wrap.
3. How to pack various types of books
Class the books by scale and meaning now that you’re able to start filling shelves. The general theory is that heavy books go on the bottom.
If you’re packaging important hardcover books, seal them separately and put them inside the box upright, spines facing the box’s back. You may even put a layer of thick cardboard between each one to keep them from moving about. Instead of stacking another sheet of hardcover books on top of them, use several smaller boxes if they are wide and thick.
Laying less valuable hardcover books flat in the box’s base and piling them one on top of the other is an easy and secure way to go. Place the books with the pages facing the bottom of the box to avoid the covers collapsing and creases. Few consumers like to stack their books with the spine facing down on the bottom of the box, but this will result in harm from the layers above them if done incorrectly.
Ordinary paperbacks should be neatly lined in rows, with similar-sized books stacked together and the empty room filled with packing books for moving. You can mix and match the stacking approaches here, but stop having something on an angle or jammed in too tightly because it can warp during transport.
If there are holes between the books and the package when packaging either of these types, use scrunched up wrapping paper to create a barrier between the books and the box.
4. The last steps
Place an additional sheet of wrapping paper over the top of your books before sealing the package until it’s ready to be packed. Apply a generous amount of tape to the cover, then take out your marker and write a detailed label on the case.
If you’re putting your books in storage, the precautions we’ve listed will keep them safe for the time being. Try replacing the wrapping material with acid-free paper for long-term storage to avoid discoloration.
Unpacking books is a simple job that allows you to collapse a few empty boxes and clear some room easily, so even young family members can assist.
There’s nothing quite like putting common names on the bookshelf to make you feel at ease.