Whether you are an avid reader or enjoy a good book collection, letting go of books is difficult. If you are like most people, chances are you have books sitting on a shelf or stashed away in a box somewhere. When the time comes to move, downsize or create additional space in your home, moving and storing those same books you love and enjoy can be a challenge. Books are highly susceptible to humidity, dust, moths and other forces of nature, causing deterioration over time.
If you want to continue to enjoy your books and magazines years later, follow these easy tips on how to properly prepare them for a storing at a storage facility.
1. Clean Your Books
As odd as it sounds, start by cleaning your books by dusting them lightly with a cloth. This will remove any dust and debris that may have fallen on them while they’ve been on your shelves. Make sure that the cloth isn’t damp, otherwise the moisture can get trapped in the book or magazine.
2. Use Dividers
Before you start packing the books in your boxes, make sure that you get a couple of dividers ready. One of the biggest reasons you want to place dividers in between your books is to avoid them sticking together. When choosing the divider, avoid newspaper as the image and wording can transfer.
If you are storing antique books, get acid-free dividers to provide extra protection during long-term storage. For short to medium term storage though, thicker paper dividers will suffice.
3. Pack by Size and Weight
As with most items when packing for a move or preparing for storage, packing heavier items at the bottom prevents smaller, lighter items from getting crushed over time. In this case, pack heavy and large books at the bottom of the book box. If you have a combination of paperback and hardcover books, pack hardcover books first as they tend to be heavier and can withstand more weight on top of them. In addition, to maximize the space in your box, keep like-sized books together.
4. Pack Spine on Bottom or Sideways
Books are fragile, which is why you’ll want to make sure that you pack them with the spine on the bottom or sideways, laying down in the box. If you pack them spine up, it will not support the weight of additional books on top. Packing them sideways allows the larger surface area to carry the load. If you are planning on storing it with the spine on the bottom, place a larger divider on top of the section before placing the next set up books on top. This will help with distributing the weight more evenly in the box.
5. Alternate Spines
When it comes to efficiency, keeping like-sized books or magazines is one way to maximize the space in your boxes. Another method to make sure books or magazines don’t get damaged and you get the most amount of space, is alternating the book/magazines spines in the box. Not only does this give you more space, but it also prevents your reading materials from having their spines damaged while they are pressed together.
6. Don’t Pack Too Heavy
Most importantly, don’t pack your boxes too heavy. While you may want to be efficient in placing as much as you possibly can in one box, if the box gets too heavy, moving it will become tough. Over loading the contents of the box can also cause the items at the bottom to get damaged over time from the overall weight. So, pack no more than 25lbs per box and avoid hurting yourself. With carts at all our storage locations, moving multiple boxes will be less of a hassle.
7. Choose Climate-Controlled Storage
When deciding what storage unit type to get to store your books, choose an indoor facility with climate control. It adds a second layer of protection against the elements, such as humidity and temperature. Not to mention, climate-controlled facilities maintain a constant temperature year round, meaning your books and magazines will have conditions just like they would at home.
Proper storage of your books and magazines can ensure that these relics of the past can be preserved and enjoyed by you and your family for years to come. Many books that are classics or out-of-print magazines can become collector items as well. Taking care of these items is essential to protecting an investment that could pay for their storage down the road.
From storage supplies to climate-controlled self-storage units, U-Haul has everything you need to keep your books dry and secure. Find a self-storage location near you for your books and magazines.