If you have a large private library or if you collect books to sell, you may run out of storage space in your home eventually. This is especially true if you decide to downsize or when you need to store belongings for a move. Your books can tolerate being in storage as long as you prep them properly and store them well. Here are four tips that might help.
1. Dust Your Books First
Dust your books before packing them. Dust can help mold grow, and it attracts some types of insects. Books that have been on the shelf a long time may have a fine layer of dust that you can wipe off with a soft brush, cloth, or feather duster. Be careful about wiping down the books with a damp cloth because if the book isn't completely dry before it goes in storage, it could grow mildew. Also, if you find any books with mildew on them already, don't store them with your other books.
2. Use Small Cardboard Boxes For Storage
While plastic protects books from dust, plastic boxes trap moisture, and that could cause your books to grow mildew. You can buy small moving boxes made for holding books. They're small enough that you can lift them easily for transporting your books and filling the storage unit. Don't pack the books tightly because that could damage the dust jackets. Fill the boxes loosely and place air pillows or wadded packing paper in the voids.
3. Protect Valuable Books
Books that have monetary or sentimental value may require extra care when you pack them. You might want to wrap the books in non-acidic packing paper to protect the dust covers and books. Also, be sure to choose sturdy boxes with corners that don't dent so the books won't be damaged.
Whether your books have a lot of value or not, it's a good idea to choose a climate-controlled storage unit so the humidity level is controlled. By storing the books in an environment where the temperature and humidity are kept in a controlled range, the books will be at less risk of deterioration and mold.
4. Keep Boxes Off The Floor
It's good to keep cardboard boxes off of the floor for the best protection against dampness and pests. You might want to bring in sturdy tables for stacking book boxes or put in shelves so you can avoid the need to stack boxes on top of each other. If you'll also use the storage unit for other household goods, be careful about stacking things on top of your book boxes. You don't want to crush or rip a box and allow pests or dust to get inside.
Find a storage unit near you to learn more.