Bent spines, crushed corners, and ripped pages are the heartbreaking outcomes of a hurried or improper packing job. We’ve all been there, seeing our beloved novels with crushed corners or ripped pages after a bumpy ride in the moving truck.

Imagine unpacking boxes filled with your favorite stories, their pages crisp and spines unscratched. This joy is simply the power of proper packing. We will share some simple tips that will keep your cherished collection happy and healthy during the journey. Let’s collect some beans together!

Best Ways to Pack Books What Moving: A Complete Guide

I. Getting Ready 

Packing books for a move can be tricky with an extensive book collection. Just tossing your books in boxes can end badly for your favorites. Some pre-packing habits will help to maintain your treasure’s value and longevity. 

1. Smaller your Collection 

It’s often overlooked, but it’s a fact that books contribute massive weight when packed. Reducing your book collection before a move is a win-win! It will save you time and money, especially if you’re hiring movers for a long-distance move.

Take some time to revisit your collection and donate any books you no longer reach for. Libraries, schools, and even second-hand stores are happy to accept gently used books, giving them a second life. You will free up space for all those new books waiting to be discovered!

2. Sort Your Books 

Unpacking a massive, unsorted book collection after a move can be a time-consuming hassle. We suggest that you sort your books before packing them. While sorting takes some time upfront, it will save you frustration and effort later by ensuring your books are easily accessible and well-protected. 

Here are different sorting methods to keep your collection organized: 

  • By Genre/Topic: For extensive collections, sort by category (e.g., art books, sci-fi novels). This makes unpacking and finding specific books easier. 
  • By Favorites: Pack your most-loved books in a separate box for quick access in your new space. 
  • By Book Type: Separate paperbacks and hardcovers to prevent damage during the move.

3. Gathering Supplies: 

Packing supplies is an essential part of the moving process. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to pack your books safely: 

  • Sturdy boxes: Packing books in boxes is the safest way to transport them. Choose cardboard boxes that are in good condition, with no rips or tears. The size and weight of the boxes will depend on the number and size of your books. A good rule of thumb is to use medium-sized boxes that you can comfortably lift when complete. 
  • Packing paper (acid-free for valuables) Packing paper is a great way to cushion your books and prevent them from rubbing against each other. Opt for acid-free paper for valuable books, as this will help to prevent them from deteriorating over time.  
  • Bubble wrap:  For extra protection, consider using bubble wrap to secure fragile books.  
  • Packing tape: You’ll need sturdy packing tape to seal your boxes securely.  
  • Marker pens: Use marker pens to clearly label the contents of each box. This will make it easier for you to find specific books later on. 

II. Packing Time: Sending Your Books on a First-Class Journey 

Now that your collection is prepped and lean, it’s time to ensure their safe arrival at your new destination. 

1. Prepare the Boxes for Packing 

Books are heavier when packed. Using sturdy boxes is the best way to pack your books.  When packing books, you need to secure your boxes. Seal the bottom firmly with a double layer of tape over all the seams. For the center flap, make sure to continue the tape at least halfway up the sides of the box. Proper sealing secures the boxes and books alike.  

2. Packing Hardcover Books 

You can place books flat or upright in a box. For hardcover books, place them in a box standing upright, spine against the box’s side, just like you would place them on a shelf. Avoid tight squeezes as they will cause damage. You can value your high-value books with packing paper or bubble wrap before placing them in the box. 

3. Packing Paperback Books 

It is wise to sort your paperbacks in size order. You can stack them or pack them lined up, spine first. Do not pack them with the paper edges facing down. It causes the pages to bend. 

To make the most of your box, you can use stacking and spine-up methods together. It ensures your books fit tightly inside the box. You can also pack books flat, especially coffee table books and bigger paperbacks.

4. Fill Spaces with Packing Paper or Bubble Wrap 

Books can shift quickly during the move. Use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill any remaining spaces. Remember to distribute the weight evenly. If you are using oversized boxes, fill them up to 60% with books and 40% with wrapping paper to ensure easy lift.  

5. Seal and Label your Boxes 

Now that all your books are arranged inside the boxes, it’s time to seal up the boxes. Use packing tape to prevent your box from opening up during your move. Once your box is sealed, you need to label it! Use a marker and clearly write the contents on the outside. Be as specific as you can and label each box with the type of book it contains. For instance, Hardcover Sci-fictions or Paperback Self-improvement books. This organization will make your unpacking process a breeze. 

To sum up 

If you are moving for a long distance, declutter your collection and donate books that are no longer attractive to you. It will save you some bucks for sure! As a rule of thumb for packing books, always pack large and heavier books at the bottom. The best way to pack your books is to sort them by size and weight, label the boxes, and use wrapping paper or bubble wrap to prevent shifting and damage during transport. 
So, take your time and pack your books carefully for your move. Don’t hesitate to use extra packing materials to ensure their safety.