Books may seem sturdy and easy to move initially, but they're actually one of the most difficult items to pack and move. They are prone to warping, water damage, and ink damage, and they're also quite heavy! To keep yourself and your books safe during the moving process, follow these five steps.
Step 1: Pare down your collection.
Before your move is the perfect time to go through your books and get rid of the ones you don't need or want anymore. Donate them to charity, sell them online, or give them to a friend. The fewer books you have to pack, the easier the task will be.
Step 2: Separate the paperbacks and hardcovers.
You don't want to stack paperbacks between hardcovers because it could damage their spine. So, separate your books into two piles. If you have a large collection, you may even want to separate them further into a few different stacks based on size.
Step 3: Remove anything from between the pages.
Leaf through each book and make sure there's nothing stuck between the pages. A bookmark or piece of folded paper could leave an imprint or ink stains on the book's pages during its time in storage. This is less important if you're packing the books to move them to a new home and are confident they'll only be in the box for a few days.
Step 4: Pack the books in small boxes.
Use small boxes so they don't get so heavy that you strain your back or arms. Stack the books on their sides. Put books of the same size on top of one another. Put paperbacks in one box, and hardcovers in other boxes. Do not put books sideways in the box so that they rest on their spines, as this could cause the pages to bend. If there is any extra space in the box after you fill it with books, stuff this space full of ink-free packing paper or tissue paper. Do not use newspaper as it could leave traces of ink on the books.
Step 5: Tape up the boxes.
Do not rely on folding the sides of the boxes inward to keep them stable. All it takes is picking the box up the wrong way, and the weight of the books could cause them to tumble out the sides. Use actual packing tape -- the type with built-in strings for reinforcement -- to tape your boxes closed for transportation.
If you follow the steps above, your books are sure to arrive at your new home in great shape! Places like M Dyer & Sons Inc can also help with your packing needs.