Preparing Your Library for Moving

Moving house means packing up everything from clothes and dishes to furniture. For book lovers, it can be especially challenging. An extensive library takes up a lot of space and can be very heavy. Following these tips will help you get your favourite volumes into your new home without damage or inconvenience. 

Bigger isn't better

When you're packing up your library, don't feel that you need large boxes just because you have a lot of books. Large boxes full of books can be too heavy to carry safely, leading to wasted space. Instead, look for small- or medium-sized boxes to hold your collection. 

Pad lightly

To avoid damage to covers and spines, line the boxes with a layer of tissue or packing paper. It doesn't have to be huge, but it should help keep the books from scuffing against the inner surface of the box.

Pack flat

Pack your books into the boxes lying flat. This will help distribute the pull of gravity and the pressure of other books evenly, minimising bending or other damage. Your box may end up containing several stacks of books, but don't pile them too high. It's all right to leave a void between the topmost book in a stack and the lid if it keeps the box at a manageable weight. 

Fill the gaps

If your books slide around within the box, they're likely to get dinged or even torn. To avoid this kind of damage, fill the empty spaces in the box with lightweight packing material. You could use bubble wrap or tissue paper, but the easiest method is probably to use clothes or bedding. You'll protect your books and provide a place to pack your socks at the same time. 

Label your boxes

Clear labelling is vital, even if you're just moving your boxes yourself or with the help of friends. For intercity removals, though, you'll probably be securing the help of a removal firm. Clearly marking boxes that contain books helps your movers know which ones need careful handling and which have to be placed on the bottom of box stacks in the moving vehicle or shipping container. 

A large library can be a daunting thing to pack, so start early and do a little bit of the preparation at a time. With these tips, you should be able to get your book collection ready for a safe and stress-free move.