Your search for how to store books for long-term storage ends here! This is all you need to know to keep your book collection cosy & safe

Posted on: Mon Jun 12

How to store books for long-term storage

If you love reading, we know how precious your book collection is to you. They’ve taken you on journeys, taught you things about life, and freed your imagination in ways you never thought possible. In a perfect world, you won’t even think about searching, how to store books for long-term storage. Instead, you’ll have them propped up proudly on a bookshelf to admire, perhaps as the statement feature in your living room. They will have plenty of air circulation, you will dust them regularly to ensure their pristine condition, and of course, you’ll be able to easily access them when their pages call out to you. 

But, alas, we understand that not everyone has the space in their home for a book oasis. And even if you do, you might be moving home, and need a special place for your collection while you make the transition. For these reasons and more, planning how to store books for long-term storage may be the only way forward. It’s completely normal to feel apprehensive at first, knowing something so irreplaceable will be placed in a self storage facility – but we’re here to reassure you. 

The three golden rules of long-term book storage

At Masons Self Storage, we’ve been providing the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales with secure and flexible self storage units for over 30 years. We’ve mastered the ins and out of the industry, so if you’re looking to keep your books in pristine condition while in a storage unit, you’ve come to the right place. 

There are 3 golden rules to follow when it comes to book storage. These include:

  • Properly prepare your books before storage 
  • Pack them in a manner that preserves their quality
  • Choose a trusted storage facility that will keep your books safe and allow you unlimited access

Let’s unpack these points more closely:

  1. Prepping your books for storage 
  • Get cleaning 

If you store your books without checking if they are in immaculate condition, pests and the elements will likely wreak havoc on them. The first step is to remove any dust and dirt from the cover and all the pages using a soft, dry paintbrush. Make sure not to wipe down the books with a damp cloth as any type of moisture will cause mould to grow. 

Next, check for dampness or a musty smell. These are signs that your books have retained moisture and they need to be aired out before the packing begins 

Lastly, check for insect eggs. They look like small black seeds and are usually crammed between the pages and binding. Removed these thoroughly with the paintbrush. 

  • All wrapped up

To ensure your books remain clean, dust-free, and free from pests while stored away, you need to wrap them individually in acid-free packing paper. Even hardcover books with a dust jacket need this extra layer of protection. 

Avoid wrapping your books in plastic bags or newspapers. Plastic retains water and newspapers cause chemical reactions. 

  1. Packing your books for storage
  • Bring out the boxes

Another place to avoid plastic due to its moisture-retaining nature is in the storage boxes you choose. Instead, opt for strong cardboard moving boxes for short-term storage (under a year) and acid-free archive boxes for long-term storage. These will keep your hardcover and paperback books sufficiently protected. However, don’t leave these boxes on the floor in case of a flood. Although flooding is rare in well-establishing storage facilities, it’s best to be cautious and place them on top of pallets, furniture, equipment, or other boxes

  • No place for squashing or shifting 

When placing your wrapped books into boxes avoid packing them too tightly or too loosely. Loosely packing books causes them to move around while in transit, causing dents and bumps, while tightly packing books puts too much pressure on them, causing bending and deformation. Instead, each book should have slight gaps between them, wide enough to fill up with bubble wrap or foam pellets to keep them secure without any squashing or shifting. 

  • Time to rest

Now that everything is in order, it’s time to arrange your books. You can lay them flat or stand them upright – if it’s the latter, avoid stacking anything on top of them. Heavier books are best laid flat to prevent any potential damage. Regardless of the orientation, it’s crucial to avoid resting a book on its spine or the front edges of the cover.

  1. Choosing a self storage facility: Only the best for your books

Your precious book collection deserves the best self-storage in Barry, Penarth, and the wider Vale of Glamorgan. At Mason Self Storage, our state-of-the-art storage facility provides 24/7 security, year-round access, and climate-controlled units to ensure your books enjoy a cool, dry environment all year round. Plus, you get the convenience of an onsite packing material shop equipped with everything you need to ensure your books storage is a success. We can even deliver packing materials to your door for added convenience. 

Now that you have a better idea on how to store books for long-term storage, we hope you don’t miss them too much when they’re no longer in your home. The good news is your books can still be cherished and read, no matter where they are stored. At our storage facility on the edge of Barry, we prioritise accessibility and convenience. Our storage units are open round the clock, every day of the year, so you can easily indulge in the joy of reading whenever you wish!

For more info or a free quote, contact our helpful, friendly team:

Masons Self Storage: 0800 533 5708 or [email protected]