rules of thumb • moving with books

HOW TO MOVE, WITH BOOKS or How I Packed My Books 6 (12) Times by Ed Smith.

When your move involves a library of books, it can be difficult. I have moved 6 times in 12 years mostly due to my wife’s work and have packed my own books each time. Make that packed and unpacked. Longest move was the last one (so far), 3000 miles. Of course the moving truck actually did the transport, but I packed well over 100 boxes of books. I like to use THARCO double-walled #TW-677 boxes (15 x 15 x 15 inches). I use the large size bubble wrap, perforated at 16.” One roll consists of actually 3 rolls. And for this latest move I used 2 rolls (6 rolls) because I had 2 rolls already (6 rolls). I told you it gets complicated. In total, I used 120 boxes and 12 rolls of large size bubble wrap. A word about tape. I tape the whole box. You could take a box of mine, taped, and float it down the Mississippi. UPS once delivered an expensive book of mine to the right address, but the wrong town, and it sat in snow and ice, out in the open at an abandoned house, for 12 days before the recipient called me to state he did not receive it. When he finally got it, it was snug as a bug and dry as the Sahara. So, best way is to have your supplies, and plenty of time, and at least a case of tape (I use 3.6mil clear). I pack very carefully, using plenty of bubble wrap. Layer of bubble, layer of books, layer of bubble, layer of books, etc. Then I stand up some larger books in the remaining space. Remember, you are packing your investment. I pack the same way for shipping to a bookfair. The most important advice is this: pack a weight that considers the lifting from the angle of who has to handle it. My average box weight is 35-40 lbs. It is also wise to number the boxes and keep a list of where stuff is. My new bookshelves are being installed tomorrow, about a month after arriving here in Florida, and I have sold some nice books since being here. Unfortunately, I did not keep a list and did not number the boxes. I have had to locate 6 books so far, and, for the most part, they have been in the next to last box I carefully unpacked and packed again!

Happy moving! Ed


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