If you’re like me, you love curating your own personal home library. Is the basis for a well rounded, educated, classical mind. Books lovingly garnered throughout the years, books from childhood, books that made a lasting impression on you, books given as gifts, books you want to read someday… all alphabetically arranged on your shelves. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably run out of bookshelf space by now, and are having a hard time deciding whether or not to save up for a new bookcase, or more books. (Now that’s a tough one…)
Anyway, sooner or later there comes a point in everyone’s life when we are called to move. Maybe it’s across town, or maybe it’s out of state. But there’s the issue of moving with all those books. And if you homeschool, this is an even more daunting task.
I won’t pretend to be the world’s biggest expert on this subject (I’m sure there’s loads of helpful websites out there), but I have moved on average about every 5 years (and it looks like that average will be changed again shortly). So here are a few tips and experiences shared:
1. Decide what you really want to bring with you, and what you can part with. If you can’t bear to do this, skip to Step Two.
2. Organize according to like genres. This might just mean split into fiction and non-fiction. Or it might be a bit more detailed, like CIVIL WAR; DEVOTIONALS; NANCY DREW… I wouldn’t advise planning on keeping an alphabetized system in tact, though. You need to utilize the space in boxes to best advantage, and the big tome of Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories may not fit with the other T’s. So in with the G’s (Gallico, Gilbreth, Grahame, Grimm) it goes. It may put your panties in a twist, but try not to let it stress you out too much. It’s fun reorganizing them all over again once you’re in the process of unpacking anyway!
3. Consider whether or not some books might go in storage for a period of time. It’s hard not to have easy access to the books we want when we want, but this isn’t always possible. Decide which books you can’t live without, and which can hibernate in storage. It might be wise to be a little more specific when marking what kinds of books are in the storage boxes. Simply marking ‘BOOKS’ may not be convenient when you have an unexpected need to search storage for a book you suddenly have a craving for. Oh, and mark on all four sides + the top of the box, since movers are especially good at placing the one marked side towards the farthest removed from visible convenience…
4. Take careful thought for where your boxes of books will be stored. Years ago my family went through an unpredictably long move, which included moving out of state twice. It was a year and a half before we were able to get to some of our boxes of books. Sadly, I discovered when I unpacked that some of my books had mildewed and some had such considerable mold that they had to be pitched (an old copy of “Alice in Wonderland” was among them). A modern, climate-controlled storage is probably best (NOT an aging outbuilding).
5. DO NOT pack your books in big boxes, hoping to cut down on the embarrassing amount of boxes needed to move them. That is, unless you want your movers to curse you. On second thought, they may be cursing you for the large number of smaller boxes of books you require them to move, but at least they won’t be breaking their backs doing it. Believe me, they get heavy. Big boxes = dumb dumb dumb. Smaller to medium sized boxes are better. And make sure they are sturdy. Especially if they will be going into storage and must be stacked on top of each other. Over time, cardboard starts to weaken with all the weight it has to hold up under, so the sturdier the better.
6. You may want to prewarn your movers that you have a large amount of books to move. I say this because it’s been my experience that moving day can become ‘side show freak day’ with volunteers (usually uneducated males) making such *jovial* comments as: “Didn’t know you had so much stuff, did you?”; “I’d say you needed to have a yard sale!”(when actually we had had a rather large 3-day one); “I thought the library had a lot of books, but I think you have them beat!”; “I bet you don’t even read these!”; “More books?!” Now, if these boxes had been filled with power tools, they would not be having a problem. In the end, there may not be a way around these embarrassing comments. Just hold your head high in a high brow, dignified manner and don’t apologize. Remember, more likely than not, there’s probably others who have moved farther with more books than you.
Do you have moving with books tips? Share below!