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How to Pack Books for Moving: 4 Easy Tips

woman packs books in a box

When you are moving, books are almost as troublesome as furniture. Some book owners tend to hoard them, and the logistics of packing them for transport can be tricky. However, with a little preparation and methodical work, you can do it easily and cheaply. Let’s find out the best way to pack your books for moving.

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Before You Start

The most critical part of packing books is to not strain yourself by lifting too many at a time or overpacking boxes, which can hurt you later on if they break. Next, you’ll need to gather some key equipment before you’re ready to pack your books. Don’t worry, it’s not a lot! Let’s check out what you’ll need below.

You’ll need:
  • Strong, compact boxes
  • Lots of heavy-duty packing tape (brown packing tape and masking tape work well)
  • Scissors
  • Bubble wrap
  • Marker
  • Gap-filling items like newspaper, wrapping paper, rags, old clothing
  • Cardboard (optional)

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The 4 Tips to Help You Pack Books for Moving

1. Prepare Your Boxes

woman holding a box
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Books are extremely heavy when you pile a bunch of hardcovers in one box, so regular boxes aren’t going to cut it. Cut up cardboard into strips and form small cardboard rolls, which you’ll tape to the corners of your boxes. Next, place several layers of your chosen heavy-duty tape over the bottom of the box, focusing on the seams. Your goal here is to reinforce the box so the weight of your books doesn’t make the bottom doesn’t buckle.

2. Sort Your Books

First, separate your books into hardcovers, paperbacks, and miscellaneous types like comic books. Then arrange them in order from smallest to largest, keeping similarly sized books close together. This will make it easier to pack your books without damaging them, plus it’ll help you sort them once you’re unpacking.

3. Pack Your Books

assorted books in the box
Image Credit: Piqsels

First, let’s pack your hardcover books. Stand them upright with their spines facing the side of the box. To protect their spines, place layers of bubble wrap or wrapping paper, which will reduce the chances of a drop breaking a fragile hardcover.

Depending on the size of your boxes, you can stack multiple rows against one another, but make sure to test the box’s weight as you go. It’s better to pack multiple small boxes than a few large boxes—you’ll reduce the chances of your boxes failing from weight and you’ll have an easier time lifting them.

Paperbacks aren’t as difficult to pack, but again, you can put layers of bubble wrap or wrapping paper to reinforce them. Put layers between books and rows of books to prevent them from damaging each other while adding fall resistance.

4. Seal & Label Your Boxes

Once you’re done packing your books, it’s time to seal those boxes. You want to prevent any sharp objects along the way from slipping into the boxes, plus it will make arranging your boxes easier. Seal several layers of your heavy-duty tape over the box, then label them by their contents. You can just write “hardcover” and “paperbacks,” or you can label them by author, series, or genre. You mustn’t forget to label your boxes because you may think it’s a lighter box when you’re unpacking.

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Moving books can be stressful if you’ve  a lot of them, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With some basic equipment, you can securely pack your boxes, so they’ll get to your destination safely and without damage.

Featured Image Credit: Robert Kneschke, Shutterstock


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