How to Pack Books for Storage and Moving


There are different reasons why you might need to store some of your belongings at one point or another.

It doesn’t matter whether you are giving your house a big makeover or about to move into a smaller home: if you want to keep some of your stuff in a temporary storage container for some time, you must pack it properly.

But what about books? If you own hundreds of books, it might be a good idea to sell or donate at least a few so you have fewer of them to put into storage. Then, you must learn how to pack books for storage to keep your precious collection safe.

1. Get sturdy boxes and assemble them

Books are heavy, so you must get sturdy cardboard boxes to store your books. Getting used boxes is okay if they are not damaged or damp.

Avoid getting huge boxes, as they will be a nightmare to lift and move around once they are full of books. Small or medium size boxes are a much better idea.

If you use brand-new boxes, you must assemble them and seal their bottom with packing tape. The strip of tape sealing the bottom flap of each box should extend halfway up its sides.

Your goal is to ensure your boxes can hold the weight of your books!

2. Wrap your most precious books individually

Do you have at least a few precious and expensive books in your collection? Or perhaps you have some old, fragile books that need extra attention.

To protect them, carefully wrap them with packing paper and clear tape before placing them inside a box. Don’t hesitate to use more than one layer of paper to cushion fragile books. Don’t use newspapers for this purpose, as your precious books could become dirty whenever you unpack them.

If you have bubble wrap, you could pad the bottom and the sides of any box containing fragile books.

3. Pack your books upright or flat

Whether you prefer packing your books upright or flat is up to you.

If you want to pack them upright, place them inside the box as if placing them on a shelf. Their spine should rest against one side of the box and fit snugly but not too snugly. If plenty of space is left inside that box, fill it with more upright books or balls of packing paper.

It’s important to never pack a book with the edge of its pages facing down, as it could easily get damaged. If you can’t place them upright in the box, ensure the spine faces down.

If you want to pack your books flat in a box, start with your bigger books, and pack them on top of one another, so their spines are on the same side.

Of course, you can pack some books flat and some upright in the same box. Just make sure no book is at an odd angle.

4. Fill the box with packing paper to keep your books safe

Don’t fill the box to the top with books: leave just a bit of space that you can fill with waddled-up packing paper. You should also fill any space left between your books and the sides of the box with small balls of packing paper. This way, your books won’t shift inside the box while you move them into storage.

When the box is full, close it, and seal it with packing tape. Next, write “Books” on the box, so you will know what’s inside whenever you are ready to take your boxes out of your storage container.

5. Don’t stack book boxes in your storage container

Storage containers are perfect for stacking boxes, pieces of furniture, or any items you need to temporarily put into storage. Your storage container will keep your boxes of books safe if you pack them properly.

Heavy boxes of books should ideally be placed on the floor of your storage container. If you need boxes, try not to stack more than two or three. Since your storage container might need to be carried to a storage facility, you don’t want to build a tower of heavy boxes that could fall and get damaged in transit.

As you can see, packing books for storage is not that complicated. You just have to remember that books are heavy and might get damaged if you throw them inside a box without a second thought.