Pack your books strategically...
First, consider how much weight you can lift. While some moving guides say to pack no more than 25 pounds of books in a single box, not everyone can manage this amount of weight. If someone else is responsible for lifting the boxes, stay under this weight limit. However, if you have back or other health issues, pack smaller boxes for yourself that hold fewer books. Boxes to pack books will usually be no more than 12″x12″. After you’ve determined how many boxes you need, and found free boxes or purchased them, reinforce the bottom with extra tape — one piece along the seam and two pieces placed perpendicular to it.
Then, begin grouping books together. Assemble groups of books that stack about as high as the boxes are tall, and label each one with a numbered sticky note (making sure to place it so that you can still see the titles). For the first box, for example, mark a No. 1 on the spines of the books that will be packed inside. Take a picture of the book spines and sticky note in one shot on your phone for reference later.
Start with the largest books, laying them flat against the bottom. Rather than setting them upright as you would on your shelf, stack them like a deck of cards. Align the spines at one side of the box; you’ll have uneven edges on the other side. If you can’t fit a final book to fill the space at the top, don’t try to force it! Add some packing material around the loose spaces, such as brown paper or clean T-shirts. Be sure nothing you add to the box is damp, since this can encourage rapid mold growth.
After closing the box, tape the top — mirroring the bottom side, place one long piece down the seam and two to hold the sides. Finish the box off with a clearly written label displaying the same number that appears on the stack of books inside.
Repeat this process until your bookcase empties, making sure to number all your books and boxes. This will come in handy as you unpack: Labeling simplifies the process of organizing the books in your new home, so you can avoid those notorious boxes that sit around for years after a move.
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