When it comes to moving to downtown Toronto, there is one thing that tends to frustrate everyone. For some, it is large pieces of furniture. For others, it’s expensive electronics. For me, it is books. If you are a fellow book lover like me, you likely have cases upon cases of books in your home. While these are wonderful conversational pieces and great for revisiting from time to time, they prove to be an incredibly heavy item to move. All that cumulative knowledge can definitely make it feel as if you are on the cusp of throwing your back out.

However, packing books can be a bit of an easier process. You just need to know the best practices. As professional movers, we have spent a lot of time finding the best ways to pack and move difficult items. Let’s review some of the best tips for how to pack books for moving.

Consider Cutting Down Your Library

Yes, we realize that this amounts to somewhat of a sacrilege for bibliophiles. However, there is a chance that you have books that you simply do not want anymore. Getting rid of these can be very effective for reducing the amount of things you have to pack. Plus, you can take the books you no longer want and donate them to somewhere where they will be better appreciated and used. If you can’t conceivably part with any of your books, we won’t judge you.

Find Small Yet Sturdy Boxes

With many things you pack, you are able to use a wide variety of boxes. However, books do not afford you that opportunity. In fact, you need to look for a very specific type of box. You want small cardboard boxes that are very sturdy. In fact, boxes that are used to store printer paper are perhaps the most ideal boxes for packing books. They are incredibly sturdy and small as they are already used for transporting heavy items.

Don’t Pack Them Like on a Shelf

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to packing books is to pack them standing up like you have them on a shelf. However, this is not the most efficient way to pack them. Instead, you should lay the books flat in a box and stack them on top of one another. In this way, you are creating columns of books. For the aforementioned paper boxes, there can typically be two columns.

Put Large Books on the Bottom

Like with many things, you want to opt for the larger, heavier books on bottom and smaller, lighter ones on top. This will prevent your books from getting damaged. Paperback books should always go on top as they are prone to getting bent or torn if heavier books are placed on top of them. An additional thing to consider when packing your boxes is not to overfill them. For example, filling a box with hardcover books may make it too heavy to easily transport. Consider filling the top half with light items such as socks.

Fill In the Gaps

It is very important to keep books from shifting around while moving. This can cause a number of problems. First, shifting books can get bent or otherwise damaged. Secondly, books shifting rapidly can cause the box to tip over if you haven’t packed it well. Thus, be sure to fill in the space between books. This is one of the most effective ways to provide stability for your boxes. Towels, washcloths, and linens are great items to use for filling in the gaps when packing books for moving.

Don’t Use Paperbacks for Fillers

Many people decide to fill the gaps in the box by shoving paperbacks into them. While this can definitely be a very tempting way of making more fit into a box, it is not something you should do. While paperbacks may work well as filler if they stay upright, they tend to shift to be a bit diagonal during the move. This ultimately causes the spines to bend, distorting the books. You definitely don’t want to do this if you value your paperbacks.

Take Extra Care of Important Books

If you have some important books like family heirlooms or autographed copies (or even books that are damaged), take some extra care of them by wrapping them individually with some packing paper to provide extra protection. This is particularly important if you plan to keep them in storage for a period of time. In this case, be sure that you are using acid-free paper.

Reinforce Boxes When Necessary

As we’ve noted, books are incredibly heavy. If you are using ideal boxes such as those used to transport printer paper, you don’t need to provide any reinforcement. However, if you are packing your books in traditional cardboard boxes, you’ll want to ensure that you reinforce them so that the bottoms don’t fall out while moving. You’ll want to use three pieces of tape across the width of the bottom in order to provide sufficient support in these cases.

Final Thoughts

Books can be some of our most valued possessions. They are also quite difficult to pack especially if you have a few bookshelves full or more. However, lugging your books from one residence to another does not have to be a back breaking endeavour. If you pack smartly and efficiently, you can easily transport books with minimal effort. Following these tips will help ease the load and save your back.

If you’d rather outsource the process to the professionals or simply get some extra hands to carry the heavy items, our team is always happy to assist. Simply get in touch with us and share your needs. We are happy to provide advice and the services that will help make your move as stress free as possible.