5 Tips for Packing Books

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5 Tips for Packing Books

Staff Writer · Jan 18, 2010

Packing books for the move is easy, and doesn’t require a lot of work or expense on your part. The hardest part is deciding when and how many books to leave behind. Once you make that decision, then packing books is a breeze if you have enough boxes on hand. Here are 5 tips for making sure your books (and bindings) remain intact at your new location:

1. Get Rid of some before the Move

Examine your collection and decide which books are worth shipping or loading on a moving truck, and which are not. A bunch of heavy books worth $0.99 each is not worth the cost to ship or transport. You would be better off selling them in a moving sale or donating them and replacing them on the other end. This will reduce your need to pack too many books, while reducing your overall moving costs.

2. Pack in Small Quantities

Reference books, textbooks and hardcovers can be heavy. The key to packing books then is to put small amounts in boxes, so that the boxes don’t collapse under the weight. Sort the remaining books you have after selling and giving some away into small quantities that won’t break the box (or your back) when moving.

3. Use Small Boxes

Don’t use large boxes for packing books. This will cause you to put too many books in one box. The small boxes will restrict the amount of books you can pack in one box, making it easier for you to pack them in small quantities. The small boxes you use should be heavy duty, to ensure that they last during the move.

4. Reuse Shipping Boxes

If you order books online a lot, you could use the boxes that your books came in, provided they’re in good condition. For example, if you order books on Amazon, and if the shipment was packaged by them, then the boxes your order came in will pass the test for the right boxes to use for packing books. As soon as you know you’re going to be packing books for a move, make a point to save all shipping boxes you receive. You can also ask family, friends and co-workers for their Amazon boxes or other online bookstore boxes that they receive on a regular basis.

5. Shipping Air Bags

Major online bookstores use shipping or packaging air bags for shipping books, and you should too. If you’re using the US Post Office, FedEx or UPS to mail your books, using air bags can help cushion your books if they’re thrown around on the truck or on your doorstep. Books don’t quite get the “fragile” treatment during transit, and therefore, the more padding you can provide in addition to packing books in sturdy boxes, the better.

After packing the books, you’ll need a way to get them to your new location. If you’re moving long-distance, you can take advantage of sending your books via “media mail” at the Post Office, for a reduced rate.

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