Home / Categories / Moving Tips / How to Move Books

How to Move Books

March 22nd, 2017 - 1:53 PM

Tips for moving books

When it comes to moving, books are in a category of their own. Since they can’t break like dishes, and they aren’t big like a couch, you may not know how to pack them. Whether it’s one shelf full or an entire library, books need to be carefully packed to stay protected. But besides stacking them in boxes, how do you move books?

Always pack books spine to spine in book boxes.

Packing books for moving

When packing books, consider their weight. Spread them out so you (or the movers) can easily carry the boxes on moving day. We recommend keeping the weight of any box under 40 lbs. To do this, use moving boxes for books — specifically, small ones.

Use Book boxes​

To keep the weight down, you’ll want to use small boxes to avoid packing too many books in any one container.  U-Pack small boxes measure 20” x 11” x 11”, which is great as the compact size will keep the weight of the carton manageable. Larger format volumes may require a medium box (U-Pack medium boxes measure 21” x 15” x 15”) – just make sure you don’t overload it so you can safely lift it.

How to pack book boxes

Use sturdy boxes. Used or found boxes may not be in very good condition and aren’t typically designed to protect your items during a long distance move.

2.    Tape the box well. Place a double layer of packing tape along the bottom seam and any corners or edges to add support.

3.    Prepare the box. Add crushed packing paper to the bottom of the box to create a layer of protection.

4.    Organize the books. Group them by size for easier packing..

5.    Wrap special books in packing paper. Items that are older, fragile or special should be wrapped to provide extra protection. If it’s a very high value book, we recommend keeping it with you during the move.

6.    Pack the books. There are three ways to place books in the box when packing:

  • Upright (like on a shelf): Best for hardbacks, place each book with pages facing the outside of the box. Rows of books should be spine to spine, and if there’s a third row, use a layer of packing paper to keep pages from touching.
  • Laid flat: This option is best for paperback books. Stack books on top of each other and place packing paper between stacks to prevent pages from touching.
  • Spine down: Place books in the box with the pages upright, then add packing paper to keep them secure.

7.     Eliminate empty spaces. Fill any extra space in the box with crushed packing paper to keep books from shifting.

8.     Tape the box closed. Apply two layers of packing tape to the top for extra protection.

9.     Label each box clearly. Write the contents on the box to make loading and unloading easier.

How to load books

When it’s time to load, evenly distribute the boxes of books to ensure you don’t overload the trailer or container. Unless you’re moving a very large book collection, this typically isn’t a problem (the moving trailer weight limit is 825 pounds per linear foot, and the total ReloCube weight limit is 2,500 lbs) Just keep heavy cartons low to the floor of the trailer or container – don’t stack them too high or load them inside furniture to avoid damage during transit.

What to do with unwanted books

If you decide to sort through your book collection before the move, there are several places you can donate books you no longer need or want. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, libraries and resale shops are great places to donate books that are still in good condition. Donations are tax deductible, so remember to save your donation receipt!  

Pack books yourself and save

If you’re moving and want to save money, check out U-Pack — an affordable “you pack, we drive” moving service. Click for a free moving quote or call a helpful consultant at 800-413-4799.  

If you have more questions about how to move books, we’ll be happy to help. Just leave a comment below.