Almost everyone that moves possessions into a self storage unit has some of the same basic small items that need to be packed into boxes for easier carrying and storing. These items often include hard back and soft back books. Although it might be tempting, it is not good to just fill any cardboard boxes to their capacity, seal them, and move them to the self storage unit. Even though books are not usually considered expensive to replace, care should still be taken to keep them from being damaged while they are stored.
Choosing proper cardboard boxes for storing books is important. The boxes need to be sturdy and constructed well so that the weight of the books does not cause the bottom of the box to break open and dump the books everywhere. Placing all of the books in one huge box might make it easier to find things in the future, but it will be very difficult to handle. Instead, when choosing boxes for storing books, they should be small so that they are easy to pick up and carry as well as stack in the storage unit. It is best if the boxes of books do not weigh more than about twenty pounds when they are full.
If they are simply tossed into a box, books can develop several types of damage. Mildew and stains can form on the surfaces if the books are dusty or dirty when stored. The pages and soft covers may get bent or torn from careless packing. In addition, the spines could get damaged due to the books not being positioned properly in the box. To properly pack all books, they should be gently cleaned by using a magnetic cloth to wipe across the closed book from the spine outward. To avoid damage to the pages, it is advised to remove anything that is placed inside the book, including bookmarks. The books should be neatly stacked flat in the boxes to protect their spines. As each book is placed in a box, its name should be added to an inventory list so that it is easier to know which box to look in when trying to find a certain book at a later date. It is also important to label several sides of the box with a key phrase, such as fiction authors A-F and put the same label on the inventory list to aid in the retrieval of books in the future.