Buying a house was exciting, but soon the reality hit me about how I was going to move the hundreds of books in my house.
If you’re anything like me, the mere thought of moving your bookshelves is enough to have you internally screaming “NOOOOO!”
There was denial, hiding in bed so I didn’t have to deal with it, lots of tears, an emotional breakdown, and finally, getting my books all packed up and safely moved into the new home.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? To avoid the 5 stages of heartbreak while moving your books, here’s some tips of moving books:
- Ask the shopping centre, variety store, bookstores for free boxes and cheer when they pass them onto you.
- Get more boxes than you need, to avoid crushing heartbreak when you realise you’ve just run out of another box.
- Massive big boxes may seem like a good idea, but they’re not for the person trying to lift them.
- Make sure the boxes are shallow and sturdy. This helps to pack them in safely but also makes it easy to lift.
- Take pictures of your bookshelf in your old place for the very last time.
- Don’t pack all your hardbacks in one box, spread them out amongst your paperbacks.
- Pack your books in the order they’re placed on the shelf with the spines up which makes it easy to unpack later.
- Label your boxes so that they’re descriptive and easy to identify later – not like the below.
- When it all gets too hard, stop and wail on Twitter. Fellow book nerds will emphasise.
- Put all your ARCs/your recent TBR in one box so you can pick them out easily.
- Tell your pretties you will be with them soon, and pack a few for the road so you won’t be without them.
- Avoid the bookstore after packing your books because you never want to see a book again (temporary effects will wear off in about 10 days).
- Move with the help of friends/removalists/family who will constantly say “why do you have so many books?!”
- Enjoy your boxes of books in your new home! Congratulations, you’ve survived and you can now plan out the library of your dreams.
Hint: Ways to Not Label Your Boxes
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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.
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So helpful, and funny : ) No plans to move yet, but I have a dozen boxes just waiting in the wings when the day comes! I get the 100 k cup boxes at Sam's Club – they are so great for moving. Definitely agree with the need to disperse the books between many boxes!
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I almost had a panic attack when I started thinking of how I would move all of my books from Greece to the UK next year. It was what made me to finally make the big decision and donate all the books I wasn't going to read. And of course right after that I went and ordered new books *giggles* 😉
That must have been one big move! But I am glad for this because these are definitely some really great tips that I appreciated an awful lot! I do think that spreading out hardbacks and paperbacks equally must be a great idea.
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Thanks Olivia, it was definitely a big one for sure! I\’m looking forward to getting set up in my own room!
Haha all of your tips are great. I can hardcore relate!
Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
I know the feeling. I used double lined paper bags to bring 9 bags of books to my cabin because I have nowhere left in the house :,( It's so stressful but the other option is getting rid of all the books and (for me) that is so much worse.
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Oh wow, it definitely sounds like that was an ordeal but I\’m glad to hear that you retained them in the end!
Another good book moving tip is to use suitcases. They roll and are easy to move.
Aw! No5 and 11 are <3
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I moved to my new house about 3 years ago and I didn't hve as many books as I do now, maybe about 500ish at the time and moving my books was the worst part! I made the mistake of packing too many books in each box which made them way too heavy to move/lift. My book room is upstairs so carrying all those books upstairs was a pain in the ass. Between my boyfriend, his friend, my dad and father in law the books were finally all safely moved upstairs. I don't ever want to move again just having to think of having to move even more books!
Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist
Oh wow! I can't remember how it was the last time we moved, because that was ten years ago. I now have my books spread in several places… some in my home office, some in the living room and several in our place in Spain. The separation between home and vacation place has thrown me for a loop more than once, though, and I've ended up with a couple of doubles…
I'm glad your pretties survived the move – and that you did, too! I hope you'll share some pictures of your new shelves once they're ready, Jeann 🙂
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You deserve some kind of Olympic medal for pulling through this, Jeann. I love books, but when I think about having to ever move mine I break out in hives. But here's to a new beginning, better bookshelves, and aesthetic af backgrounds for bookstagram and booktube ;)! Thanks for all the tips, I will have to revisit this post when it's my own time to move.
Hehe thank you Aentee! Excited about getting those bookshelves up and running, although I've surely been dragging my feet lol. So much to deal with atm.
I asked my parents to move all my boxes for me! So all I did was pack them really. I did the thing where I put all my hardcovers in one box, and that was not a wise idea. That ended up being one of the heavier boxes. Anyways, I don't have as many books as you, and I left some at home, so I was able to unpack them in about a day or so! It was the first I unpacked though.
Also I filled up my boxes halfway so they were light enough to carry!
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That's amazing that your parents helped out! Some of my family did come over and help us move on the day which was amazing. It's good that you only filled them up halfway though. I needed all the space I could get lol.
I love reading about other people's experiences! Moving all my books was such a headache experience. I use those really deep tubs you can get from Big W or Officeworks that are about 80L and fill them up (but not too much, because you don't want books to bend!). However I lacked the organisational skill to put my TBRs into one container, which means whenever I ask my parents (who I am using as a storage centre) for a particular book, Mum has to go digging around a bit. Woops!
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Yeah, I actually thought I was going to be doing the same but then I realised how heavy it would be to lift!
Haha I love your tips here! I put my books in boxes so I quite understand your situation though. Huhu.
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Thanks Clara! Yes, books in boxes can be rather frustrating at times, especially when you need to find the one you want lol.
Hah, omg. I moved my room around and had to move my bookcase which is 4 shelves literally full of triple stacked books so it was a pain already, I can't imagine doing what you did. Omg, the spines up is so useful!!!! When I moved the shelf I put all the books on my massive table and floor but I put them in small stacks so I could easily place them back on the shelf. If I had to have move them into a box I 10/10 wouldn't have put them like that hah, I would v likely put them with covers up. LOL. This guide is totally useful, I'm glad you got it all done even though it was clearly hard work and are now enjoying your books in your new home Jeann <3
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Oh my gosh, that is a LOT of books Siiri! Yeah, spines up does actually take more space which is probably why I kept on running out but it definitely makes it easier to find books that you need! Lol thank you so much Siiri! I\’m looking forward to getting them set up in my house.
lol @ 11. Comforting them is important. Hope it's not getting too stressful for you. It'll be worth it.
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Thank you Christy! I think I'm getting, there, slowly.
These are fantastic suggestions! I personally don't have that many books (not even close) but I rather aspire to (and at my rate of book buying, I eventually will) even though I love my library. I have not moved from home yet, so I'm sure they'll have to go with me when I do! XD
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I think even with few books, moving a pile of them is always going to be tough lol. I had the same problem when moving from my parents place.
Where was this blog post for me a year ago!? For real, this is one of the reasons I despise moving house so much. I still have a giant unpacked box of academic books from my PhD years that may never see the light of day again because I expended so much energy re-organising and re-categorising all my fiction!
Oh man, I know I was looking for this kind of thing when I was moving myself! Yeah, moving house is definitely not on my top ten list of fun things to do.
Your labels cracked me up, Jeann! Haha! 😀
I will definitely need these tips when/if my parents decide to move!
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Hahaha yes you can tell I was just over it lol. Good luck Nick!
I m oved houses a few years ago and I can still remember the agony of packing all my books. We had a lot fo boxes, so that wasn't a problem. i actually only packed half of my boxes with books and then put lighter stuff like clothes on top, so I would still be able to carry the boxes. I often grouped books by author if possible. So one box would be labeled Kelley Armstrong and scarves for example. I packed my books by shelf so i could approximately put them back in the same order in the new house. And I wrote down a few of the authors or books on the box so i knew which books were where. The books I was reading or wanted to read next I packed less, so I still had something to read. Unpacking all the books when you arrive at your new house is the best though!
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Oh yeah, I thought I was going to be doing that as well but packing books was the biggest task! Yeah, I packed mine by shelf too so I could put it back the way they were organised, especially useful for the rainbow shelves. Definitely, I\’ve already started pulling out some of my boxes so I can admire them hahaha.
Oehhh nice tips! I don't have quite that many books (yet obviously) but I'm sure these tips will come in handy for anyone that does & has to move. x)
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Thanks Bee! I know I would\’ve found it handy before going to move lol!
Great post! I'm hopefully moving soon myself, and all I've been thinking about is what I'm going to do with my books, so this is definitely helpful!! Luckily, they're not in any order on my shelves, so I don't have to worry about trying to remember how they were arranged!
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I know those feelings Emma! Good luck if you are moving!
I love how your whole family collects books as well! Yes, I've been planning out my bookshelves but as soon as they're up and running, photo galore!
Hehehe yes it's inevitable! Good luck one day!
Moving sounds slightly scary with that many books. The times my family has moved it's been mum who has done a lot of the packing only because we were at school and Dad was busy with work. I'm sure we still helped but… Anyway my book collections seems meagre compared to yours so I probably won't have much trouble but one day I reckon I will end up with many books. I think with labelling I will have to write somewhere whether it's on the box or just in a notebook somewhere (I think Mum might have done that actually or maybe not I can't remember.) all the titles of the books that are in there. Though I'm sure that would take some time. Great tips! 🙂
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Yesss I have seen that type of labelling which is super handy. Yeah once you get into your own place, it's like BUY ALL THE BOOKS! until you realise you might have to move them at some point lol. Thanks for visiting!
Ahhh, yes, great post! These were the boxes I was booking plane tickets to come and help with right? Looks like you didn't need my help at all!
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Yup, I eventually made it there on the end lol!
Asking for the grocery store boxes is a really great tip, I remember when we moved for the first time my mom taught me that and I was like GENIUS. I'm going to be moving out on my own for the first time and task of moving all these books is definitely daunting so this is a great post 🙂
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Yessss I learnt it from mum when we moved the first time! Who needs to buy boxes when they're getting thrown out all the time? Good luck Alise!
This sounds so stressful! I bet you were glad once you were all moved and settled! We're book bloggers, of course we are going to have waaayyyy too many books to move 😀 Great tips too Jeann
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Thanks Emily! It was definitely stressful and took weeks but I'm glad I don't have to do that again for a very long time.
It seems like a lot of effort, but glad you finally survives the move! 😀 Make sure the box is sturdy is a very important tip, you don't want your books to fall through the other side of the box and make you cry in frustration right? 😀
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Hehe yes I used so much tape in the move but no regrets!
We get several people a week come in to ask for boxes and we usually have to say no as we require the boxes to send the books back for returns. Some weeks we barely have enough for the bookstore! It's difficult when people don't understand this and start harassing my staff – but I'm glad I could help you out with some boxes!
Our house sold before auction last week so I spent yesterday packing up my remaining books which I won't see now until early next year when the development of my new apartment will finish. It's scary thinking about how I won't see so many of my books for so long!!
I really appreciate when you put them aside for me, that helped me get through the last lot of books lol. Congrats on the house sale, although you\’ll definitely miss your books! I\’m still not up and running with my shelves and it\’s making me antsy. I guess it\’s more me being indecisive about where my shelves should go to begin with lol.
LOL such great labels, Jeann. I'm glad you were able to move them okay 🙂 sounds like it was a mammoth effort. Worth it though, right?
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LOL I had so many I seriously had given up at that point! Definitely worth it now, although I still haven't unpacked my books yet!