Do you have an at-home library? If you have shelf after shelf of books to pack (plus the shelves themselves), take a look at the questions you need to ask before your moving day arrives.

Will You Move All Your Books?

You may not need to pack each title in your at-home library. Before you start to box every book, consider which ones you need or want to bring with you. Older books that you don’t plan to read again, have no sentimental meaning, or have serious damage are all candidates to stay behind.

While you shouldn’t leave the books in your old home (unless the new owner specifically asks you to do so), you can:

  • Donate your books. Books in acceptable condition (no visible damage, missing pages, or pests) can go to a charity, library, or other donation center.
  • Recycle the books. Cardboard and paper are common recycled materials. Before you place paperbacks or hardbacks in your recycling bin, make sure your local refuse company accepts these materials.
  • Sell your books. Do you have pristine books that you won’t read again? Turn your unused books into extra money for your move.
  • Throw your books away. While recycling is ideal, books with severe water damage, mold growth, fire damage, or pests belong in the trash.

After you decide which books to move, and which ones to donate, recycle, sell, or throw away, to take the next step and pack.

How Should You Pack Your Books?

The answer to this question depends on how many books you have and how heavy the load is. To safely and effectively pack your books:

  • Choose the right container. A cardboard box can help you to move your light paperbacks. But this option may break or tear at the bottom if you fill it with hardbacks. A heavy-duty plastic bin is a better choice for hardback books — especially if you have multiple books to move.
  • Limit the number of books in each box or bin. Don’t overfill boxes or bins. If the box or bin feels excessively heavy, chances are it will break the bottom of the container. A heavy book-filled container may also put you or the movers at a higher risk for strain-related injuries.
  • Cover the container. Close the top of a box or use a tight-fitting lid with a plastic bin. This helps to reduce the chances of mid-move book loss.

Along with packing your books, make sure to label each box or bin. A clear, easy-to-understand label adds to the overall move organization and efficiency.

How Should You Pack Your Bookshelves?

Your books aren’t the only items you need to pack when you move an in-home library. If you have an extensive shelving system (or even a few shelves):

  • Remove the books. Never try to move a shelving unit with books still on it. This can result in damage to shelves or to the books.
  • Disassemble the shelves first. Move shelving units in smaller sections. If possible, disassemble the shelves before the movers arrive.
  • Keep hardware together. Place nuts, screws, bolts, and other hardware into a zipper baggie. Attach the baggie to a larger piece of the shelving unit, or carry it with you.
  • Hire a professional. If your shelves aren’t easy to disassemble, leave this job to the pros. The movers have the expertise and equipment to lift and transport a heavy or awkwardly shaped shelving unit safely.

Shelves and shelving units won’t fit in most types of boxes or bins. Instead, cover this type of library furniture with moving quilts or another similar type of padding.

Do you need help with your move? Contact Island Movers Inc. for more information.