How to Pack Books for a Move 12 Helpful Tips

How to Pack Books for a Move: 12 Helpful Tips

Published: 30 Mar, 2022

Last Updated: 20 Jan, 2023

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If you happen to be an enthusiastic reader, it is highly probable that you have your own personal library at home. It is slightly less, although still probable, that you will have to face the obstacle of moving your books at some point.

Moving items which rest in your home on the shelves or walls (whether it is books, fine art or any other) can be time-consuming and stressful. Plenty of avid readers know the disappointment of noticing wrinkled, torn, or even missing pages. This is a common occurrence when the book is not handled with enough care.

No need to panic! Seka Moving has prepared a proven set of tips which will help you prevent all the hindrances and deliver your books in safe storage.


Why Do You Need to Pack Books for a Move?

Perhaps you have just gotten new books and didn’t have time to go over them yet. Or maybe you possess your all-time favorite classics, souvenirs from dear ones, which become like old friends to you and are linked to great memories. Regardless of the case, it would be disappointing to leave old purchases behind. Moving an already existing collection is a lot more logical and efficient rather than starting anew upon arrival.

  The Necessary Packing Material for Books

The Necessary Packing Material for Books

A big part of your preparation is having your supplies together. No matter which item you’re preparing to move, it’s vital to have the necessary packing supplies, as well as an accurate understanding of how to use them.

To pack your literary collection properly, you will need the following packing materials:

  • moving boxes;
  • tissue paper;
  • bubble wrap;
  • packing tape;
  • scissors;
  • a marker;
  • cardboard sheets.
  How to Pack Books for Moving?

How to Pack Books for Moving?

Remember that books can be quite fragile, depending on their material and condition. SEKA Moving recommends following the steps thoroughly.

  1. Optimize Your Collection of Books.

    Are there books on your shelf which have been dusted and put aside for years? Books you have read millions of times, to the point where you’ve memorized every word backward and would prefer to give away? What about that story which involved a boring assignment given to you in class and thankfully, you never had to return to it again? Maybe there are even a few books you considered donating.

    If you are doubting whether to take or leave a book, leave it. Only take with you the books you need. Your collection will be renewed and you will make a friend or stranger happy by gifting or donating, so it’s a win-win situation.

  2. Organize Your Books by Size.

    To organize your books properly, plan wisely. You want to fit as many books as possible, while still balancing on the verge of safety – overfilling a box can become troublesome!

    Don’t try to fill in the boxes without any logical order. Stack larger and smaller books separately. The aim is to make sure the top sides of your books align and that stacks of books aren’t staggered.

  3. Organize Your Books by Weight.

    Proceed to separate your books, just like you did by size. Softcover books tend to be more lightweight, while hardcover books are typically heavier.

  4. Choose Sturdy Cardboard Boxes.

    A common mistake would be choosing a bigger box to fit as many books as possible. You would be surprised to find it’s a trap – book boxes quickly become too heavy! A small to medium box is best suited for the task, and can usually carry about 20 books.

    Professional moving boxes, banana boxes or shoe boxes are perfect examples for this kind of task, and Seka Moving highly advises using any of these. Avoid easily breakable boxes, such as the ones you would usually pick up for free in a grocery store – they get worn out easily and may not be equipped for the move.

  5. Tape the Box Seams With a Double Layer of Tape.

    You may have chosen the right box, but anything can happen – it’s better to be safe than sorry! Cover the seams of your box with a double layer of tape. This will prevent the box from tearing apart at the seams. On top of the box, Seka Moving advises placing two layers of tape on the seam and one layer of tape to cross it.

    Taping the seams is a financially smart choice as well, as it leaves you with less probability of spending money on restoration.

  6. Pack Hardcover Books Properly.

    Another common assumption book movers can face is thinking books need to be packed upright – the same way you’d place them on a shelf.

    That is also a misconception! The best, and safest way to pack books is flat. Heaviest books should always go on the bottom of the box. Make sure you fit them tight enough, but not to the point of having to squeeze the books in.

  7. Pack Ordinary Paper Books Properly.

    Once again, pack softcover books flat, with the paper sides facing up to prevent them from bending or tearing. Just like you would with the hardcover books, wrap each item in tissue paper to ensure extra safety.

    If you end up having too much empty space in the hardcover books, you can use a couple of paperbacks to fill it in – just don’t go overboard, or rather, over-box with it! (The next tip will tell you why.) Keep the book spine straight to prevent any pages from falling apart.

  8. Do Not Overfill a Box.

    You may have noticed from tip 2 that packing books is about planning wisely. It isn’t usually a good idea to attempt stacking all your books in as tightly as possible. Make sure to not overfill, to keep the box from breaking apart during the move. It’s better to leave a little extra space and deal with it later with the help of wadded up-paper (see next tip for info).

    If you didn’t have any smaller containers and still ended up using a bigger box, make sure you only fill up about 75% of it. Overfilling a box can cause it to tear apart or burst during the trip, even if you have taped the seams. Additionally, it won’t be very comfortable for you to move around or even lift.

  9. Fill the Empty Spaces in the Box With Wadded-up Paper.

    Since books are prone towards shifting around in the box during the trip, their covers and edges are more likely to be damaged that way. To avoid that, fill the remaining empty spaces in the box with wadded-up paper, tissue paper or bubble wrap.

    Although these three particular options are most efficient and common, you may also use old clothes, or either crunch up the newspaper or even regular white paper in absence of the materials above.

  10. Label the Boxes.

    Write “Books” on all of the book boxes, so the movers know the box is heavy and needs to be put on the bottom. The label should help not only the movers, but also yourself: chances are, you have plenty of other material you’re moving and want to identify the content of the box.

    If you wish, place any additional labels: hardcovers, softcovers, heavy books, lightweight books, school material, etc. This will drastically simplify for you the process of unpacking that lies ahead.

  11. Keep Food, Drinks, and Other Liquids Away From the Boxes With Books.

    You may have packed your books perfectly, but accidents still happen! If you’re carrying any food, drinks, or other liquids alongside, place them farther away from the book boxes to avoid making a mess.

  12. Take Extra Care of Fragile Books.

    If you have any books which are already damaged or need special care, perhaps it would be a good idea to separate them from the rest of the piles. Wrap each fragile book individually in tissue paper – you may even place a layer on the bottom of the box. Perhaps you could even place them in a separate gift box if you plan on giving someone a present – you want to make sure these books arrive in their best condition.


Moving to a different place is an exhausting process, but learning these tips and tricks will significantly eradicate your stress. Your books will arrive to your new place in great condition and of equal value. As long as you follow these easy and simple steps, Seka Moving guarantees you the safety of your items and would gladly assist your voyage.

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