March 4, 2024
A mover considering how to pack books correctly

As a bookworm moving to a new home, you might be staring at your overflowing bookcases and feeling like packing up all those novels and volumes into boxes is an unclimbable mountain. Fear not! You can easily learn how to pack books so your favorite publications are ready for you to dive back into when you settle in at your new place.

Find the best boxes to pack your books

Part of preparing and packing for move day is equipping yourself with the right packing materials. Boxes of books get very heavy very quickly, so make sure you use boxes that are strong enough to hold their weight. Cardboard boxes with strong or double walls and sturdy plastic moving bins are great for packing books.

Another factor to consider as you learn how to pack books is that someone—either you or your movers—will eventually have to carry each box to and from the moving truck. Although it might be tempting to pile dozens of books into one box, it’s actually safer for the books and the person carrying them to keep the weight minimal and manageable.

To make sure your book boxes can be safely and easily carried, pack your publications into small boxes. If you’re using plastic totes or large cardboard boxes for your books, make sure you also pack in some lightweight material like pillows or clothing to fill the boxes up without adding too much weight.

Clean each book as you pack  

Packing books is a big step in the moving process, so try to knock it off your list early. However, don’t just plop dusty books into a box! You’re moving into a nice, clean new home, and your beloved reading material should arrive there nice and clean as well.

Here are a few tips to clean your books before you pack them:

  • Gently vacuum the dust from the cover and pages.
  • Keep a soft microfiber cloth or a dust wand on hand to give them a quick dry wipe.
  • Shake out the pages to make sure no dust has settled inside.

If you’re fighting more than dust, there are plenty of other materials and methods you can use to give your books a nice refresh. Just take your time and give them the proper care they deserve!

Take special care of your most prized books

You love each and every one of your books. And while some of them probably have a few dogeared pages and notes scribbled in the margins, others might be particularly valuable to you. If you have signed copies, antique volumes, rare editions, or just a few that you’re sentimentally attached to, you should take special care of them.

First, ask your local movers how to pack books of value, and let them know about any unique or valuable publications in your collection. Your moving company will be able to suggest special materials to care for rare books. And if you have a book of extraordinary value (which generally means over $100 per pound), they might recommend that you keep that book with you and transport it to your new home yourself.

Learn how to pack books inside boxes the right way

Books come in all shapes and sizes—not to mention paperback, hardcover, and other materials. Here are a few tips on how to pack books the right way:

  • Wrap each book in packing paper to prevent scratches.
  • Pack oversized books, large photo albums, and scrapbooks laying down flat inside the box.
  • Pack books of standard size upright (the same way you’d place them on a bookshelf). This will help prevent damage to the spines and pages.
  • To reduce each box’s weight and prevent the books from jiggling around, don’t forget to fill the voids with lightweight items like pillows, small towels, or crumpled up packing paper.

Careful packing is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth and damage-free move, so it’s important to be patient and pack books the right way.

Carefully label each box of books

As you fill up each box of books, grab a permanent marker and label the top and sides. If you have an organizational system, include those words for easy unpacking. Maybe you’ll have a box labeled “Book Titles A-G” or “Charles Dickens Books”. You can even write “FRAGILE” to make sure the box isn’t stacked underneath other heavy boxes on the moving truck.

Additionally, write the room location on each box. Some of your books might go into your living room or bedroom, and your box of cookbooks should probably be placed in the kitchen. The more you label, the smoother your move and unpacking process will be, so spend a few minutes writing important information on each box.

Plus, clear and accurate labeling means that you’ll be able to easily find your favorite book so you can enjoy it the first night in your new home!

Clean your bookcases after packing your books

After the books are cleaned and packed, refresh and clean your bookcases as well. Take out the removable shelves and vacuum and dust away the dirt that’s been hiding underneath the books. There’s no need to move dirty furniture to your new home. So make your books happy by giving them a nice, clean place to live at your new place!

The best packers in Chicago love to pack books!

Your books are some of your most prized possessions. Some of them were likely gifts, and others you might’ve collected from school and bookstores over the years.

If you’re unsure about how to pack books—or aren’t completely confident in your packing skills—let our team of professional packers take the lead. We’ll bring the best packing materials to safely and efficiently pack up your paperbacks and hardcovers, and we’ll even handle the labeling.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you have a great packing and moving experience!  

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