How to Manage Your Book Collection When You're Moving

Moving can be so stressful. There's the packing, which truly sucks, then getting those larger pieces from different rooms around th...

Moving can be so stressful. There's the packing, which truly sucks, then getting those larger pieces from different rooms around the house (like upstairs!), and squishing it all into a vehicle and hitting the road, then unloading, and unpacking. There's also a bit of sad sentimentality that comes along with leaving a home behind (even if you're moving on to bigger, better things). It's quite a frazzling experience.

We're still on the hunt for the perfect house, but please don't ask me how house-hunting's going, because it's such a stressful topic. It will happen when it happens, I guess. But it's nice to be prepared for a move. I talked about some tips for moving a few years ago after we moved into the house we live in now, so hopefully those things still ring true. But today, let's talk about moving books. Those are precious cargo around these parts.

In the past, we've mostly just loaded up my family's pick-up truck, then we moved on to renting a U-Haul for our last move. But over time, our house has grown and we've acquired more things, so this move may require a moving company to actually help us heave our things many miles away. If it's in the budget, consider hiring a removal service such as MyBekins for some of your packing and moving needs too, as they will take care of much of the hard work for you.

So that's wham, bam - thank you, ma'am, and done.

Well, not quite, especially if you are a lover and collector of books. The thought of moving lots of books can definitely increase stress levels. I mean, what if they get damaged? What if there's not enough packing space? Those boxes and bags of books can get incredibly heavy. But no worries! Let's talk through some suggestions to make moving your books easy-peasy.

#1: Declutter your shelves

Before you start the packing process, do what you probably do with your other household items, and have a decluttering session. Go through each of your books and consider whether you need them in your life or not. If you are never likely to read them again, if you just didn't like a book the first time you read it, or if it's been on your shelf for years and years and you know you'll never read it, then it makes sense to add them to your sell/donate/giveaway pile.

So, rather than taking your unwanted books with you to your new home, you could donate them to your local library (I love the leave mine in the little free libraries around me!), give them to your friends, or make some extra cash by having a yard sale or selling them to your local used bookstore. You will then have less to worry about when it comes to the packing stage, and you will have space in your new home for all the new books you intend to buy.

#2: Pack your books carefully

To prevent damage to your books, lie them spine down, or lay them down flat. Be sure not to pack too many books in each box either, as you might only end up with your books on the floor should the boxes buckle under the weight. Of course, you don't only need to use boxes. Large paper bags for those individual titles that are precious to you, storage baskets, and even suitcases are suitable for carrying your books. I definitely like to utilize other items I'm moving (like those suitcases or baskets) to save room! Whatever storage option you use, be sure to use bubble wrap, paper, and items of clothing to shield them from the risk of damage.

Check out these other book-packing tips for more useful advice.

#3: Pack strategically

If you're anything like me, you probably have hundreds of books to carry with you. You probably tend to have a specific system for ordering your books on your shelves, too, whether it's by color, size, title, author, or genre. So with this in mind, be sure to put the books that are normally shelved together in the same boxes. And label your boxes too, as this will save you time and effort when you're sorting out your books at your new home. You might also want to take a photo of the way your shelves are currently arranged, as you will have something to refer to when you need a reminder of where your books need to go - unless you want to try something different this time around.

#4: Don't pack every book early

Finally, don't pack the books you are still reading (or intend to read) weeks before your house move. And especially if you don't intend to unpack immediately on arrival at your new property, leave one or two out of your main storage boxes so you have something to unwind with when you're settling into your new surroundings. I'd recommend leaving these aside in a tote bag you like to use. Put them with your emergency supplies, as you will then have easy access to them, and because having a book to read at all times is obviously an emergency.

How do you manage your books when battling with a house move?

*This is a collaborative post.

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