Simple Tips for Packing and Storing your Books
Many people do not realise it but there are important steps that you will need to follow when packing and storing your precious books. If books are not packed properly, they can be damaged during a move or when in storage.
Books are very important to many households. Whether you have photo albums or leather-bound books, hard-covers or paperbacks, it pays to ensure that they are packed properly.
The following is what you need to do, to pack and store your books the right way.
Check before Packing
Make sure that your books are clean and dry before you pack them away. If they smell musty or feel damp, you should let them dry out in a well-ventilated room first. Be sure to remove any dust or dirt before packing the books. Mold can cause damage to your books; it can also be a health hazard for you. Hence if your books are mouldy, do get them treated first if you do not wish to discard them.
Check each book for insect infestations before packing it. Little black seed-like pods in between the gutters between pages are usually insect eggs. You can use a dry, soft cloth to remove and discard them.
Wrap your more expensive books as well as leather-bound ones in quality acid-free archival paper or they may stain or be stained by your other books.
Preparing the Storage Boxes
Once you have checked all your books for damage and infestations, you need to prepare the boxes.
Make sure you use only good quality cardboard boxes. Because books are sensitive and can damage easily, the boxes used must be free from acid, lignin and other chemicals harmful to your books.
These boxes need to be strong and sturdy too, so be sure to reinforce the seams and the bottom panel with extra strips of packing tape. It’s a good idea to line the bottom of the box with acid-free paper or bubble wrap.
Make sure the boxes are dry as damp ones can encourage mold growth. If a box had been used for packing food items previously, avoid using it as the leftovers may attract mites and insects.
Note too that books when packed together can be heavy. Thus avoid using large boxes to keep the weight manageable.
Packing into the Storage Box
Sort your books by size and weight before pack them in stacks. Larger and heavier books should be placed at the bottom of each stack.
As far as possible, let your books lie flat, with a piece of stiff cardboard in between each of them, to minimize damage to the spine. An exception is hardcover books; you may let them stand as they do when they are shelved. Be sure that you don’t place anything heavy on top of boxes with upright books; this may cause the spines to break and the page blocks to drop.
Use padding around the spaces between the stacks. You can use bubble wrap or acid-free paper for this purpose. Once you are done packing, line the top with acid-free paper or bubble wrap as well and seal the box with tape.
Unlike when packing fragile items, don’t pack books too tightly because when you remove them, they can become damaged. It is also a good idea to pack books of the same kind together e.g. hardcover with other hardcovers and paperback with other paperbacks etc. This is to minimise damage to the book. Avoid, especially, placing hardcover books with fragile items.
Precautions if Placing Books in Storage
If your books will be in storage for a while, check to ensure that there are no signs of water damage or pest infestation at the storage facility. If your budget permits, use only climate controlled storage space, given Singapore’s heat and humidity. Never place storage boxes directly on the floor. Instead, place them on palettes to allow for proper ventilation, especially if the compartment does not have climate control. This is also done as a precaution against damage cause by moisture absorption from the flooring. Boxes placed against outside walls can absorb moisture as well, so be sure not to line the boxes directly against the wall. As a further protective measure, add packages of silicone which will help absorb any moisture.
It helps too if you can organise your books by subjects matters or categories and make an inventory list of the exact boxes they are in. The more detailed you are, the easier it is when you need to retrieve them in future. In the unfortunate event that they are damaged while in storage, it may help in your insurance claim process that you are able to provide your insurer with an exact list of items damaged.
Lastly, never leave your books in storage for too long. They need proper ventilation. More importantly, they are meant to be appreciated, not stored.
The above tips on packing and storing your precious books are proudly brought to you by Movers Singapore. If ever you are in need of reliable moving services, do contact us for an obligation free moving quote.