Tips for Packing Your Home Library

Packing Tips - June 13, 2019

Packing is the most tiresome and time-consuming part of each relocation. Some would argue that the kitchen is the hardest one to pack due to all those appliances and small parts involved. But others would say that if you have a sizeable book collection, that is the real challenge. Due to the collector’s emotional aspect and the rarity of your books, this process becomes harder than it seems. You cant simply toss all your books in moving boxes and be done with it. There is a special approach, depending on the situation. Nevertheless, everything should be handled with special care. Therefore, today we will assist in packing your home library.

Start packing your home library by cleaning everything thoroughly

You should start by cleaning everything. This is important since you want to avoid bringing dust and the stale smell into your new home. Therefore, you might do it all now and unpack fresh and clean onto your shelves. Assuming that you had your books lined up in a particular order, you should pack the same way. Firstly, clean your hands. You will handle almost every book in your possession, therefore you should reduce moisture and natural oils on your hands. For this situation, you can use gloves for extra protection. Secondly, you should dust off each book using a duster or a microfiber cloth. Remember not to use water or any cleaning products. A dry swipe would be enough to get rid of the dust.

Although, if you have a certain valuable piece and you want to clean it, better consult a professional. They know the best ways on how to clean old books. Unless you are informed of all the cleaning techniques and methods, then you can do it yourself. Packing your home library should be done with special care. If you are not sure, better to ask than to ruin a unique piece.

Clean your books and sort them out, before you pack them

Protect your book collection

We can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning before packing. Especially if you’ll keep your books packed for some time. You will probably unpack the essentials and everyday items first. This might keep your boxes lying around for a week or two. Therefore, your library should be well protected before packing. It is important that books have zero moisture in them to prevent the creating of a moldy environment. A more serious approach is to use the book covers and sleeves for all books, or only for the valuable tomes. Also, it is important to control the climate of the room where your boxes are. It should be a dark and dry place, free of humidity and rodents. Once packing your home library, think well in advance to avoid mishaps.

Sort everything out

Probably the most amusing part for the book lover is sorting through your collection. While cleaning your books, keep an eye on the order you are packing your books. You probably have the personal preference on how to sort your books. But here are some examples.

Start by separating your hardcovers from the paperback. As well as old books from the new ones. Also, follow the same path if you decided to sort them by the color. Or by rarity, and the condition the book is in. Most common is to sort them by the genre, subject, or alphabetically. Whatever is the case, you shouldn’t shuffle everything in a hurry. If you do, it will take you much more time to sort it all out while unpacking.

Now to pack like a pro

Now, we should tackle the tiresome part of the move. The packing of your library. Here are all the necessary steps you should take to complete it successfully

  • Cardboard boxes – These are commonly used in each moving endeavor. You can buy boxes at your retailer, or from a moving company. Or simply check at your local grocery store if they have a few to spare.
Before you start packing your home library find proper boxes
Find different sizes of boxes
  • Plastic containers and bins – Plastic bins are a bit more expensive but they are reusable, more stable, and much more useful. It is a highly lucrative long term investment. Consider it.
  • Packing materials – You’ll need packing tape, packing paper, scissors, box cutter, and old cloth. For example, you can use old rags, towels, sheets, towels, etc.
  • More serious approachThere are lower and higher quality packing materials. Some are more expensive than others. Those are Styrofoam, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap. Be sure to check if they have any chemical compounds in their structure. Those can damage your books if they are exposed for too long.
  • Label everything – Use the dark colored markers to label each box. This will make your life easier while unpacking.

In the end, it is simple. Make a cushion inside the box and place your books inside. You can add an extra layer between the book rows to prevent them from rubbing against each other. Also, you should cover books the same way, and seal the box tightly. Protect the corners with extra padding to make them stronger.  And remember, keep your boxes below 30-40 lbs. to prevent them from falling apart.

Books are heavy, maybe you should hire some help?

You attempted to pack and move your book collection yourself and mid-process you realized you can’t do it alone. This is a moment where you should consider hiring a professional moving company. As a matter of fact, you’ll probably need emergency movers. Since you have many books and your collection is vast, and there is little time, this would be the best approach. Moving companies are offering various moving services you can utilize. The basic ones are packing, unpacking, and storing. But there are many more, depending on your situation. Therefore, do proper research online and decide on which company would be the best for you.

It is important to do a background of the company you choose, especially if you are moving to a smaller neighborhood like River North. The best option would be to check out the Wolley Movers, as one of the best local moving crews. We recommend this option since they are an experienced team, with many years in the business. They will assist when packing your home library like they assisted many times before. You can’t go wrong here since movers are handling book collections regularly. There is no better and cheaper solution.

Packing your home library for a certain period

If the situation is such, that you are moving into a smaller household, then you need a different approach. Start thinking of renting extra space for your library. You can build an improvised shed if your backyard is big enough. Or store everything in your garage or the attic. But that would require a climate controlled environment since books are prone to rotting when influenced by humidity. Therefore, the best solution would be to choose a storing facility.

storage unit
Store your books in a climate- controlled unit

Renting a storage unit is a popular trend. Many use them for seasonal items storing, or some use them as a place to store their bicycles and motorbikes. Or even as a studio that will cultivate and keep their hobby alive. In your case, you can always build a library inside your unit and make it accessible. What is important is to find the climate controlled unit, preferably near your home. You should visit regularly and keep it clean and tidy. You can even bring a cozy sofa and have a quiet place to read your books in peace.

These were the basic tips when packing your home library. Utilize the knowledge you obtained today once the time comes and you’ll be free of headaches. Remember that your collection is of incalculable value and let only ones you trust to handle it. We wish you the safest relocation possible. Good luck!


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