How to Pack Books When Moving

For book lovers, packing up to move to a new home can be especially challenging, since books are among the heaviest items. While it’s important to purge and get rid of what you don’t need before you move into your new place, books can sometimes be a little trickier to assess whether they stay or go. Whether it’s one shelf full or an entire library, books need to be carefully packed to stay protected. When packing them, consider their weight and distribute them so you can easily carry the boxes.


Assess your books

It is best to go through all of your books before you move and figure what you should pass along to a friend, place in storage, donate and/or get rid of. It can be tempting to hold onto every book in your collection, but donating them is a great idea to give back to a local charity or school, or you can also give them to a friend who you think would love the book just as much as you did.

You could also have a yard sale (season and weather permitting). Yard sales are a great way to earn a little extra money before you move, and get rid of a lot of the things you don’t need in your new home.

Go through your books, start early, and take your time: you don’t want to rush your decision.


Pack your books early

Books take a long time to pack, mainly because it involves multiple boxes, careful placement, and the occasional reading break. One of the easiest mistakes to make when packing books is packing boxes too full. Books are heavy, and their bulk adds up quickly. The best way to pack books for moving is to use small boxes that will keep the weight below 40 lbs. This will make your books easier – and safer – to move.


Make sure boxes are strong enough

The boxes you get should be small and made of thick cardboard, very strong on the sides and corners. While we love to reuse boxes where we can, you don’t want to use a book box that looks like it’s seen better days. When you’ve made certain the box will be strong enough for books, add extra tape to the bottom where the seam is formed. This adds some extra sealing power, and protects your books from any liquid or dirt.

Finally, line all your book boxes with a couple layers of packing paper. This adds a bit of extra cushioning and it’s just one more way to protect your books. If you have any space in between your books, consider filling them with small dish towels, shirts, underwear, and/or socks for padding.

Don’t forget to label your boxes. It’s really important to do it so your movers know exactly where your boxes should go when you finally get into your new house. And since these boxes will be super heavy, labeling them as books will ensure that they won’t be placed on top of anything that mark as fragile.


Tips for Hardcover books

Place them in the box standing upright, spine against the box’s side, just like you were placing it on a shelf. If you pack them this way, make sure they’re packed well, but not so tightly that they might be damaged when removing them from the box. If you’re packing valuable editions, wrap those in packing paper or use cardboard slotted between volumes to protect their covers and to keep them from shifting during transport.


Tips for Paperback books

Place them flat or spine first so that their paper edges face upwards. Don’t pack them so the edges of the pages face down or they’ll bend and warp. If you leave the boxes this way long term, they’ll be permanently damaged. Fill empty spaces with wadded-up paper to help limit any shifting in the box. You want to keep the books from falling onto their sides or bending.


Packing can be overwhelming. Did you know that we offer packing services as well as supplies? Elite Moving has everything from tape to packing paper and every moving box you could need. Call us for your next move. Together we can get you packed and moved- around the corner or coast to coast.