9 Tips on How to Pack Books for Moving

Moving is, without a doubt, a tumultuous, stressful time in anyone’s life. There’s so much to do and so many tasks to accomplish. One of the biggest tasks is packing, which can take excessive time and energy if you do it yourself. Packing things like fine chine can be trickier than packing stuff like clothing, linens, toys, and books, among other things. Speaking of books, though they might be easier to pack, there are a few essential rules you should know. Lucky for you, we have 9 top tips on how to pack books for moving below. 

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If you’re moving soon and have a lot of books to pack, the tips we’ve assembled will be invaluable. Read on to discover helpful information, and ensure your books arrive perfectly in your new home.

9 Tips on How to Pack Books for Moving

Tip 1: Get Rid of the Books You Don’t Want

If you’re a collector of books, this tip might not be the most helpful. (You won’t want to get rid of any of them!) However, it’s worth considering getting rid of any books you don’t want, need, or read. The reason why is simple; books are extremely heavy. Why is this unsurprising fact important? Because, when moving, you pay for the amount of weight you move. If you have many books you don’t want, why pay big bucks to ship them to your new home? Better to sell them or donate them to your local library, shelter, or Goodwill.

9 Tips on How to Pack Books for Moving

Tip 2: Start Packing Early if you have a Large Book Collection

Packing books might be easier than packing crystal stemware, it’s true. However, if you have a massive collection, it will still take a substantial amount of time. If you have an extensive book collection, it’s best to start packing a few weeks in advance. That way, you won’t find yourself running around like mad at the last minute to get them all packed. 

Tip 3: Pack your Books in Book Cartons

This tip might seem like a “duh” type of tip, but trust us, it’s not. The truth is that many people get boxes from various sources and in many shapes and sizes. That might be slightly cheaper than purchasing moving boxes made for books. On the other hand, boxes explicitly made for books have certain specifications. First off, the typical book box is 1.5 cubic feet. That means, when full, it weighs about 60 to 70 pounds. If you’re doing the heavy lifting, 60 to 70 pounds is as heavy as you should go. Heavier than that can cause problems for your back, knees, and hips. Also, you’ll need to stack book boxes on your moving truck. If all your books are in differently-sized cartons, that will be difficult. The good news is that boxes made for books are pretty cheap. (For your convenience, we sell book boxes at Moove-In.) 

How to Pack Books for Moving

Tip 4: Don’t Pack Books in Large Boxes or Furniture

One huge mistake many folks make when deciding on how to pack books for moving is packing books in large boxes or furniture like dressers and hope chests. The problem, as you might have guessed, is the weight. A dresser is already a heavy piece of furniture, even a small one. Fill it with books, and even the strongest movers won’t be able to budge it. (And the weight could destroy the dresser during the move!) Small boxes are always the best choice for books. Moving experts recommend no more than a box that’s 1.5 cubic feet in size.

Tip 5: Tape Your Book Boxes Very Well

As we already know, boxes filled with books will be heavy. Therefore, it’s best to use extra tape to ensure they don’t burst open when moving. That could cause damage to your books and any unfortunate feet under the box when it bursts! We recommend using two strips of heavy-duty moving tape on the top and bottom. Also, place tape in the shape of an “x” over the top and bottom for extra strength.

Tip 6: Use a Desiccant in Every Book Box

Books aren’t exactly fragile, but they can incur damage from moisture. Placing a desiccant pack in each book box is a good idea. A desiccant pack will absorb any excess moisture and keep your books pristine, especially if you store your books long-term. You can purchase desiccant packs in bulk online, and they’re quite cheap.

Tip 7: Pack Books Based on their Type

Books come in two types; hardcover and paperback. While it doesn’t make a huge difference how you pack them, if you store them long-term, it could. For that reason, you should pack hardcover books standing up, as they would be on a bookshelf. Paperback books should lay on their side like on a coffee table. Have room at the top of a book box? If so, laying a few hardcovers on top and on their side to fill the space works too. You could also fill the space with magazines and comic books.

Tip 8: Never Pack Liquids with your Books

Sometimes you might have space at the top of a box of books and need to fill it. If you do, never use something that contains liquids. Cleaning products, drinks, liquor, etc. If those liquid-filled containers leak (and they often do while moving), they could destroy your books.

Tip 9: Only Stack Book Boxes 3 High at the Most

Never stack book boxes over three high to protect things from the heavy weight of book boxes while moving. Better still would be to stack them two high as a base for other items. This method will protect your books, body, and other things. (This holds for storing books in a storage unit, also.)

How to Pack Books for Moving Tips Brought to you by Moove-In Self Storage

We hope you found today’s book packing tips extremely helpful. The better you pack them, the better your books will arrive in your new home. If you have other questions about packing, moving, or self-storage, Moove-In can help. We’re self-storage experts with locations across the Northeast. Click this link to our website and find the Moove-In Self Storage nearest you! All of our facilities have on-site managers who will gladly answer all of your questions. Plus, they can help you decide which storage unit is best for your specific needs!

Check out these other self storage articles on the blog!