How I Packed Up My Lifelong Library Without Breaking A Sweat?

moving companies in Edmonton
moving companies in Edmonton

Moving and organizing thousands of books is no small feat, but with these clever tips from a bookworm who has moved dozens of times, you can streamline the process.

Moving and organizing thousands of books is no small feat, but with these clever tips from a bookworm who has moved dozens of times, you can streamline the process.

Moving a large personal library can feel totally overwhelming. As an avid reader who has relocated over 20 times, I’ve perfected strategies for smoothly transporting even the most extensive book collections. 

Whether you’ve got a few packed bookshelves or aisles of novels like I do, you can simplify this potentially headache-inducing task.

The key is organization and preparation. Follow these tips to effortlessly box up your books and shelve them in your new home.

Carefully Audit and Categorize Your Collection

Before randomly tossing books into boxes, take stock of exactly what you need to move. I separate my library into:

  • Keepers – Books I reference often or have sentimental value. These specially packed boxes ship with me (rather than movers).
  • Giveaways – Duplicate books or ones I don’t love. I offer these to friends or donate them.
  • Sell – Valuable collectibles or series I’ve outgrown. I sell these online for extra moving cash.
  • Undecided – Books I’m still on the fence about. I pack these separately to evaluate later.

Invest In Moving Supplies

Protecting books requires high-quality moving materials, so don’t skimp here. Essentials include:

  • Sturdy small, medium, and large book cartons (for heavy texts)
  • Bubble wrap to cushion book spines
  • Packing paper to wrap delicate dust jackets
  • Book wrap rolls to secure packed rows
  • Labels to organize box contents

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Box Books By Category

Packing methodically streamlines unpacking. I always box books by:

  • Genre – All sci-fi novels together, cookbooks together
  • Size – Cluster books of similar dimensions
  • Importance – Most treasured texts get premium treatment

I also never overload boxes, leaving some empty room for padding.

Layer Books Vertically

Stand books upright when packing, alternating bound edges left-right-left. Wrap the entire vertical row with book wrap to keep stationary. Then pad the next vertical facing row.

This balances weight distribution and minimizes shifting or falling that damages covers and pages.

P.S. Never stack books horizontally! This puts too much pressure on delicate bindings.

Label Smartly

Seamlessly shelving your new library means labeling boxes clearly. Don’t just write vague terms like “Master Bedroom Books.” Instead, list:

  • Exact genres and types – “Gardening How-To Guides”
  • Special packing details – “Do Not Stack: Vintage Hardcovers”
  • Priority level – “Last Unpack: Paperback Fiction”

I also number box sets for fast inventory, like “Thrillers Part 1 of 3.”

Unpack Patiently By Category

Finally, when moving volumes into new bookshelves, do so methodically by:

  • Genre – Unpack all romances together per shelf
  • Height – Fill lower shelves then incrementally work up
  • Look – Alternate colorful spines and textures for flair

Attempting to randomly empty every book box into available new shelves only creates frustrating re-sorting later. Have patience and shelve intelligently from the start.

What special packing tips do you have for smoothly moving book collections? Share your thoughts below!