When packing your belongings, special consideration should be given to fragile items such as books. From rough handling, which can deform or dent covers, to sunlight which can fade the paper, your books need to protected from a range of environmental hazards when in storage. Below are some book storage tips that will help your library survive its time in storage.
Before you put your books into storage, it is vital that you check each book individually for signs of damp. Moist and wrinkled pages or a musty odour are classic signs of damp. Books that are damp can become mildewed when stored, and this can damage or destroy the book. If you discover signs of damp, you should air the books out by leaving them open in a room that is warm and dry.
Once your books are dry, you should wrap each book in bubblewrap. Do not use newspaper to pad or wrap the books. Newspaper is acidic and will cause damage and fading if it comes into contact with a book for any length of time. You should instead use non-acidic archival paper.
When storing books, you should use a a plastic airtight box. Avoid using cardboard boxes to store books, as they easily allow the entry of damaging moisture and water. Avoid packing your books too tightly, as this can cause books to bend out of shape due to the pressure. You should pack the heavier books at the bottom of a box and lighter ones at the top. Lie the books flat in the box to avoid damage to their spines. To ensure that you can safely lift the boxes, during the packing of each box, you should pause at regular intervals and test the weight of the container.
You should visit the storage unit to inspect the area where the books will be stored. The environment inside the unit should be cool and dry. Check for any signs of leaks or moisture in the storage unit, as this is the biggest threat to your books. If your books are particularly valuable, it may be best to use a climate controlled storage unit.
Consider Other Items
When putting your books into storage, you should carefully consider what other items are being stored in the same unit. You should make sure that any items such as paints and other fluids are kept away from your books, as if they leak this could lead to major damage.
Before putting anything into storage, you should always contact a self storage professional to seek advice.