I recently picked up my home, husband, and doggy and moved to an unknown area for me. Along with all the other moving checklist items (internet, electric, water, fees, more fees) I found myself in a difficult place moving my impressively large book collection. However, through all the wailing and gnashing of teeth of Biblical proportions, I did successfully move all my books and collectibles to my new place. Here are a few tips and tricks that made is SO much easier.
1) Young one: weed your library
First thing's first, you need to go through your library (or knick-nacks, or clothes, or whatever) and ask yourself: "do I really need to keep this?" This can be very helpful because if you are like me, you may find that you have two, or five, copies of the same book. Heck, they may even be the same publisher and year!
Unless you lend out your personal books often, there is no need for you to hold onto multiple copies of novels, even your favorites.
Another thing to check is the quality of the books you are moving. Here is a secret: my husband has kept every textbook he has ever bought. He even goes to the used books stores and gets the free ones out of the bins. So, our combined family library consists of a few rows of textbooks of all subject matters dating from the 80's to the current year. For those of you who did not have to lug textbooks around in your backpack to a class on the other-side of campus, textbooks are gosh darn heavy. Is it worth breaking your back to move a lifescience textbook from 1984 to your next location? That one is a personal choice, but chances are the textbook is so out of date that it would not even matter. The same goes for the books that are too beaten up to even read. Like Elsa from Frozen says....Let it go.
2) Place Your Books in Some Order
Now, I am not saying pack according to Dewey or LC. If you want to, go ahead, all power to you. What I am saying is put the bigger, heavier books together in a SMALLER box. This will provide protection from a larger book damaging a smaller one, or completely ripping it to shreds. If you choose to use cardboard boxes, MAKE SURE TO LABEL THEM AS BOOKS.
This will spare you or your movers from picking them up and quickly finding out that paper weighs a ton. Do not overload the boxes! I know these are trained, burly men doing the lifting, but they too can get injured lifting something that was unexpectedly heavy.
There are some of you, like me, who have some books that are more fragile or for some reason need better protection. This is a great time to use those sheets and towels that you are stuffing in every nook and cranny and wrap them up nicely but tightly. For the very breakable books (like an old family Bible) I would wrap it in a towel then saran wrap it so that is does not come off.
3) Make Sure Your Boxes are Labeled Properly
Each box, books or not, should be labeled with your last name, the room it will go in, and whether it is heavy or fragile. Again, please make sure to label your boxes as books so that no one gets hurt.
4) Create Handholds
This is the easiest thing that can really save you from getting hurt. Handholds will allow for easier lifting and moving all of your books into and out of the truck. If your hands start to hurt, just use a kitchen towel to cushion them against the cardboard.
I hope these 4 little tips can really help when a bibliophile is on the move!