woman packing books in moving boxes

Pro Tips for Proper Book Storage

If you plan on moving or remodeling your home, it is only natural to wonder what the best way to pack books is, as they can be easily damaged. It is equally important to make sure they stay fresh when storing them long-term in your home or in storage units.

Does stacking books damage them? Should you store them in cardboard boxes or plastic containers? Do they need climate-controlled storage units? Here is all you need to know on how to best keep books in your home library and storage spaces across the US.

How to Pack Books When Moving

Books of all types are heavy, yet fragile. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of being manipulated carelessly and permanently damaged. To make sure the movers don’t affect their integrity, especially if you have collectible books, follow these guidelines:

  • Pack books in smaller boxes that are easier to handle.
  • Make sure the boxes are very sturdy, sealed with strong adhesive tape, and lined with bubble wrap for extra protection.
  • Place hardcover books upright, like in a bookcase, with spines facing the walls of the box. You can also place them with the spine down. If you do, label the box with two UP arrows on all sides because the pages are considerably more fragile than book covers.
  • Don’t pack books too tightly as you may damage them when unpacking.
  • Wrap each collectible book in brown paper before boxing it.
  • Stack books that are the same size and consider mixing the packing positions to fill the box. Put clothes or soft packing materials in the remaining gaps.

young couple packing books into moving boxes

How to Store Books Long Term

Depending on how much space you have available, you can display your collection on bookshelves or keep them boxed in a closet or a self-storage unit. Either way, collectible books with dust jackets should be stored with protective covers, as impeccable dust jackets often increase their value.

While your attic or basement may seem like convenient storage spaces, books require special care, so you should opt for a climate-controlled environment. You must always pay attention to temperature and humidity as mildew is their number one enemy. If the book storage you choose is your home library, ensure the bookshelf gets air circulation and keep books away from direct sunlight.

Should you store books in plastic containers or boxes?

Cardboard boxes are ideal for moving but are more susceptible to humidity long-term. Plastic containers help better protect books from mildew, bugs, and mice. Otherwise, book storage follows the same guidelines as packing them for a move: stack them or place them with the spine against the container wall.

Choose the Right Storage Unit for Your Book Collection

Now that you know what harms books and how to protect them, it is time to choose a storage space for all those books you want to keep but do not need to access on a regular basis. Your best bet will be a storage unit with climate control because of all the potential issues with humidity and mildew. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from and you can rest assured that your book collection will live on unharmed.

Categories Storage