How To Pack (Everything) During A Library Move

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    How To Pack (Everything) During A Library Move

    Packing during a library move can be very stressful, especially if you’re dealing with rare and delicate items. It’s hard to know just how to pack everything, and keeping important items safe and well-organized is a challenge.

    Thankfully, library moves don’t happen too often. But if you’re moving a library, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled relevant information about packing materials, techniques, and proper storage methods so that you can get your library moved safely and securely.

    The Materials You’ll Need

    The first step when moving a library is assembling the materials that you’ll need. Here’s a list of important materials that will help you keep your items safe and secure.

    • Acid-Free Tissue: Sheets or Rolls – General protection, wrapping of items, useful for padding
    • Archival Manila Paper – Used for padding if necessary, or interleaving between pages or items to maintain separation.
    • Bubble Wrap – All purpose wrapping of crates and boxes. Face smooth side toward contents of boxes. Small and large bubble required.
    • Cable Ties – Useful for securing the tops of crates.
    • Heavy-Duty Cardboard Boxes – Useful for holding pre-wrapped items. Don’t stack.
    • Cotton Tape – Non-adhesive. Holds wrapping around delicate items.
    • Foam Padding – Optional method to reduce vibration/movement within boxes or crates
    • HDPE Plastic Crates – Preferably stackable to up to 5 height. Rectangular, ridged, and lidded. No ventilation holes. Crates are preferable to boxes for most items in a library, and can be purchased, or rented from some moving companies.
    • Masking Tape – Can be used to wrap non-delicate items and hold packing materials in place.
    • Polypropylene Strapping – Used to strap crates together, or strap individual crates to ensure maximum protection

    Prepping Your HDPE Crates

    Begin by padding your crate with bubblewrap, and face the bubbles to the outside of the crate. Add a layer of bubble-wrap or foam padding at the bottom of the crate to reduce vibration, if desired.

    Mark or label the crate with the relevant information about the materials and contents for easy recognition. Color coding can be helpful to aid in differentiation – whether through different colored crates or markings on the exterior. In addition, you should have a list on hand to mark off the materials placed in a particular crate, so that they may be easily found later.

    How To Move Library Materials

    Archive materials

    • Archive materials should be left in their archival boxes. If they are properly packed within their archival boxes, they will not require further specialized packing. This includes archival materials such as single-sheet documents, unframed photographs, folders, and rolled-up items. If desired, the archival box can be packed with extra bubble wrap, acid-free tissue, or archival manila paper to ensure the contents don’t move.
    • Boxes should be packed flat within the crate, and rolled items should be padded and secured with cotton tape. Avoid mixing archival materials with other heavy materials such as modern books.

    AV materials

    • CDs and DVDs can be stored upright in packing boxes. CDs and DVDs have robust enclosures, and are strongest when stored upright. Fill any remaining empty space in a crate with bubble wrap.
    • Vinyl records can also be stored upright if in their original sleeves. If you lack the original sleeves, place similar-sized records together and interleave manila paper between the records. Support the records with foam padding on either side, and fill any empty airspace with bubble wrap or foam padding.


    • Books in good condition require very little wrapping – tissue paper can be used if desired – and should be placed flat, with each book’s spine facing the next book’s fore-edge. Books in poor condition receive the same treatment, but can be wrapped with bubble-wrap and masking tape.
    • Bound volumes with clasps and photo albums should be wrapped in bubble wrap or with archival tissue, and placed in one layer with shaped padding underneath, allowing shock absorption. This will avoid shock and vibration damage to contents that should not be compressed.
    • Books with limp bindings may be stored either flat or on their spine, as the spine of the book is not at risk of breakage.

    Framed material

    • Small framed materials should be packed into archive boxes flat, with the image facing upwards. Place padding between multiple items, and ensure no compression on the item with plenty of padding in the archival box and in the HDPE crate itself. Larger items may require custom-made boxes.

    Glass-mounted materials

    • Materials such as glass plate negatives and photographs and other glass-mounted materials should be placed upright longest edge in an archival box. The bottom of the box should be lined with foam, and foam should be placed in between separate glass items. The box should then be placed upright in the crate, and any airspace left filled with bubble wrap to ensure the items don’t move.

    Choosing A Moving Company – The Most Important Step of All

    All of your careful packing won’t amount to much if you don’t hire the right moving company. The best library movers pay careful attention to each and every crate of materials, and have expertise moving and packing rare archival materials and old volumes.

    At Orange Movers, we specialize in just about every form of commercial moving, including library moving services. If you’re making a local move in Golden Beach and looking for a library moving solution, you’ve found it.

    Our experts will pay careful attention to all of your moving needs, and ensure that your material reach their destination safely and securely. Your library materials deserve the best – and Orange Movers only delivers the best.

    Get in touch with us now, and learn more about our local moving services by visiting our website. We’d be happy to consult with you about your specific library moving needs, and discuss our services and rates.

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