How to Pack Books in 7 Steps

If you have a big move coming up, you want to ensure all of your possessions make it safely to your new home, including your expensive or sentimental book collection. The same goes for packing up books you intend to put in storage. While books can’t shatter the way glass or fine China can, packing them improperly could lead to damaged spines and bent pages. Because of that, the professionals at Georgetown Moving and Storage Company have created an outline for how to pack books in seven steps.

Are you moving in or around the Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia area and need help packing or storing books? If so, give us a call at ​(703) 466-0575 today!

Pare Down Your Collection

For their size, books are some of the heaviest items in your home. If you’re moving long distance and the total weight of your belongings matters, consider selling or giving away some of your books. Your local thrift shop, school, or library will be happy to take gently used books off your hands.

Use Sturdy Book Boxes

To keep the weight manageable, pack your books in small boxes – no matter how large your collection is. For safety reasons, the goal is to keep each box at 40 pounds or less. Boxes built specifically to hold books are best because they’re made of thick cardboard that won’t fail under the weight of heavy books.

Prepare Your Boxes

Apply two layers of packing tape to the bottom seam to ensure the box doesn’t split open. Then, line the bottom of the box with a sheet of packing paper to create a clean surface for your books to sit on.

Prepare Your Books

Group your collection by size and binding type (hardback or paperback) to make packing easier and more efficient. If you have any particularly fragile or sentimental books, wrap them individually in packing paper for extra protection.

Pack Your Books

You have three primary options for packing books:

  • Pack hardback books upright, as if the bottom of the box was a shelf in a bookcase. Two rows of books should sit spine to spine. If there’s a third row, separate them with a layer of packing paper to prevent the pages from touching.
  • Lay paperback books flat with packing paper between each stack to prevent the pages from touching.
  • Pack books with their spines facing down. Never pack books with the spines facing up because this could damage the bindings forever, especially when it comes to hardback books.


Finalize Each Box

Fill any empty space that remains in each book box with crumpled packing paper to prevent the books from shifting. Place a final sheet of packing paper on top of the books to ensure a clean surface for them to rest against. Close the box, tape it securely, and label it with the word “books” and the destination room in your new home.

Load the Moving Truck or Storage Container

Book boxes are small, but because they’re heavy, they should go at the bottom of each stack of boxes. Load them at the beginning, so they sit toward the back of the moving truck. If you’re loading a storage container, don’t stack book boxes too high or they could topple over, potentially damaging the books inside.

Let Georgetown Moving and Storage Company Pack Your Books

While you always have the option to pack all of your belongings yourself, you can speed up the process and ensure your books are packed professionally by requesting packing services from Georgetown Moving and Storage Company. We can pack your whole house, each individual room, or specific items such as your book collection. We make packing easy!

To learn more about how to pack books, or how to schedule packing, moving, or storage services in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC areas – contact us today at (703) 466-0575! While you’re at it, go ahead and request a free moving and storage quote as well.

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