How To Pack Books For A Move


Anyone who has a collection of books knows the pain of bent covers, ripped pages or broken jackets.

While books spend most of their time on a shelf, when it comes to moving them, they are at a reasonable risk of damage of not handled properly. If you’re about to move and have a bunch of books to pack and transport, then this is the guide for you.

We cover everything  you need to know about how to pack books when moving, including the materials you need, essential packing tips and some very important dos and don’ts.


When should you start?

booksSorting, preparing the boxes, and placing the books in the boxes are the main aspects of packing books when moving, but doing all that will take more time than you think.

We strongly recommend packing up all your books quite early on in your moving plans or you may find yourself dealing with more stress than you already have. We recommend starting to pack your books nearly a month before the moving day to keep things neat and tidy.

What Should You Be Careful Of?

booksBooks lovers will no doubt know that some books are dense and heavy. While you may not consider safety concerns for lighter books, when you pack books that are heavier, you may quickly find that overfilled boxes are difficult to lift and can result in back pain.

Also, the box might collapse on your feet, causing injury. Always be cautious about how heavy you make the boxes and how strong they are.

What Materials Do You Need To Pack Books?

booksThe best materials to pack books include some of the following:


14 Steps to book packing success

  1. Cut Down on Volume

Lots of books First and foremost, do you truly need all of these books? It’s tempting to keep them all but moving is the perfect opportunity to lighten the load a bit.

Chances are there are some you haven’t touched in years and can let go of.

  1. Start Early

clock Packing books for a move takes a long time, owing to the use of many high-quality boxes, meticulous arrangement, and the odd reading break.

This isn’t something you can put off until the last minute. While you will end up with a pile of boxes, this is much better than realizing how much work there is to do when it’s nearly too late.


  1. Group by Size

The next step is to pick which books will move with you to your new home.

The best place to start is to arrange them in size, as they can be small and thin, thick and short or large and heavy. By having them grouped by size, you’ll be able to arrange them better in the boxes.

  1. Use Small Boxes

moving-booksWhile one book is easy to carry, thirty, forty or even fifty can really add up in weight. No matter how many books you move, even a few will get heavy quickly.

That’s why we recommend packing your books in smaller boxes so that you won’t be tempted to put too many in one place and then deal with something unmanageable.

Boxes should be very sturdy and made of good materials – with extra tape at the bottom to reinforce the seal for extra protection. Then, line your boxes with packing paper, clothes or newspapers for extra cushioning and protection.

You can get boxes from:

  1. Suitcases Are Best

suitcaseWhile we might think suitcases are just for traveling, they are actually perfect for packing books for a move.

They are sturdy, have lots of space and usually have wheels, which makes life a lot easier.

Chances are you won’t have enough suitcases for all your books, so reserve space in them for those that are the most precious or fragile.

  1. Pack by Weight

weightNow that your books are organized by size, it’s a good idea to group them by weight as well.

This way, you can put the heaviest ones at the bottom of the box, with the lightest ones on top – protecting some of the more delicate books in your collection.

  1. Packing Positions Matter

packingThere are three main ways to pack your books. We recommend using a combination of the below to maximize space in boxes:

  1. Fill the Gaps

holeEven if books are neatly rectangular, there is frequently extra room in the box. When this happens, you should use packing materials to cover any gaps.

You could even fill in the gaps with your own clothes — this is a superb method to prevent wasted space while still packing a few additional items. Furthermore, clothing materials are soft, flexible, and durable, making them ideal for padding.

  1. Secure The Top of the Box

padlockJust like you did with the bottom of the box, go ahead and seal the top in the same manner.

This will keep your books more secure and will prevent water, dust and dirt from getting in during the move.

  1. Label Clearly

labelLabelling your book boxes will help you out when it comes to unpacking.

That way, you’ll know which are the biggest books, the most fragile, which genre, type and so on. By knowing which box has what, you’ll be able to get them to their new home perfectly organized.

  1. Hold One or Two Back

backpackDon’t pack all your books:

Keep one or two in your ‘hand luggage’ so that if you find yourself in need of passing some time, you won’t have to root through what you’ve already packed.

  1. Unpack Your Books First

booksWhile they may not be a high-priority item, your books will be taking up a lot of space in the boxes or suitcases.

By getting them up on and the shelf early, you’ll be able to clear up more space and clutter when dealing with the rest of your cargo.

  1. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

cupboardIf your books and other cargo are going to be in storage for a while, ensure that the environment can’t damage paper and cardboard.

Cool, dry storage is always best and it doesn’t hurt to cover the boxes in plastic if you can.

  1. Let Removalists Help You Out

moverThe sheer effort of transporting your books isn’t one that you have to deal with.

Let your removalist help you out with their specialist equipment to ensure you protect your cargo, and your back!

Dos and Don’ts When Moving Books

Let’s sum up the above points when it comes to how to pack books when moving:





Other Helpful Moving Tips And Articles


Let ZOOM Removals help you out

Our Sydney removalists are more than experienced in moving boxes with books, so just go ahead and let them do everything for you – including unloading at the other side.

And, if you don’t have enough boxes or want your precious books to be better protected, we’ll supply you with sturdy and waterproof free moving boxes at no extra cost.


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