Tips For Storing Books Without Risking Damage

Posted on: 16 June 2016


If you are getting ready to put your book collection in storage for any reason, proper packing is important. If you don't get them packed properly, you'll risk mildew, mold and deterioration when you take them out of storage. Even if you rent a climate-controlled storage unit, you still need to take steps to protect them. Here are some tips to help you keep your books secure and safe from damage while in storage.

Choose The Right Containers

Avoid packing books in cardboard boxes because those can be porous and vulnerable to moisture. Instead, pack your books in plastic containers fitted with airtight covers so that you don't have to worry about the effects of humidity or other issues. Add a couple of silica packets for extra protection against moisture. Airtight plastic also keeps dust and odor at bay. If you want to really prevent odor, consider putting a couple of scented dryer sheets in each container. Choose small containers and pack a few boxes at a time so that you don't end up with containers that are excessively heavy. After all, books can add up to a lot of weight pretty quickly.

Pack The Books Carefully

Separate your books by size as best as possible. That way, you can pack similar sizes together for more consistent packing. When your books are all similar in size, you'll get neater, more organized containers. This may even make it easier to fit more books in some containers because you won't be working around books that are particularly tall that may interfere with stacking other books in that space.

When you pack them in the containers, make sure you store them in the same manner as they would be sitting on a bookshelf. That way, you're not stacking them up and putting weight on the bindings. Any excess weight pushing on the bindings of a book can cause that binding to separate or warp over time. You can even position the books so that the spines are alternated. Fill in gaps with crumpled packing paper and small books. That way, the books don't shift and end up with worn or frayed areas on the edges.

Protect Them In The Storage Unit

When you put the containers into storage, consider putting them on pallets so that they don't sit directly on the floor of the storage unit. While moisture can't seep through plastic, the cold temperatures of the floor can, and it may lead to condensation inside the container.