How to keep your books safe in storage

Jun 14, 2013

In a world of e-readers, some people would argue that books are redundant and should be sold or dumped. For others, the very thought of throwing out their old books is anxiety provoking.

If you fall into the latter category but really don’t have the space for your extensive book collection, then Containaway is the answer. Our mobile self storage containers are perfect for your book collections – whether you want to store them for a short time or a long time.

Our facilities provide the best conditions for storage including adequate air flow and clean surroundings.

Yet when it comes to storing books, the best way to protect them lies in the packing.

Before you pack your books into boxes, it is important to clean them. Start by removing bookmarks or pieces of paper from inside the books, then using a microfibre cloth, dust the books from the spine and work outwards. Next you’ll need to ensure they are free from insect infestation. To do this, look in the gutters between pages for insect eggs which can resemble poppy seeds. Remove these with a soft brush. If the books feel damp or have a musty odour, air them in a well-ventilated room.

Once the books are clean, it’s time to start packing them. To protect precious and leather-bound books from sticking, place archival paper inside the front cover and wrap around the book.

Boxes for book storage should be strong, clean, dry and able to be closed. While you can use recycled boxes, it’s a good idea not to use boxes previously used to hold food, as food residue and odours will attract pests.

While you may need to pack more of them, small boxes are best. Books can get heavy and the last thing you want is for the bottom of the box to fall out when you are carting the box into your self storage container. On this note, make sure the boxes are taped securely.

If you have large, heavy books, these are best packed lying flat. For other hardbacks, store them upright, remembering never to have them resting on their spines. Books should be packed securely enough to prevent them leaning at an angle but not crammed together in a way that subjects them to excessive pressure and makes unpacking difficult.

Finally, don’t forget to label your boxes so you can find the book you want quickly and easily.

Once your books are all boxed up, you need to stack them in your Containaway container. This also requires a little bit of attention. When stacking the boxes, try and put the heaviest ones on the bottom. Where possible, avoid placing the boxes directly on the floor, instead put them on wooden pallets.

Don’t let books clutter up your house, storing your books is easy with a little know-how.