How To Properly Put Books Into Storage

Books can be one of your most valuable possessions, and they can also be a key part of your interior design. Nothing is more sophisticated than a floor to ceiling bookcase filled with volumes of literary works. However, books do take up a massive amount of space, which can quickly become impractical depending on the size of your collection. You may want to consider placing your books into a storage unit to gain back some shelf space within your home, without having to give away any of your treasured volumes. However, you need to take the correct steps to protect your books from damage to ensure that they do not grow mold or otherwise degrade while sitting idle.


It's a good idea to clean off your books to make mold growth and staining less likely, but you can't use any sort of moisture when doing so. Instead, use a paintbrush to remove grime from the covers and dust jackets. For books that are already stained or have suffered from mildew damage in the past, you'll likely want to throw them out – storing them with other books can allow for that growth to spread.


You should always pack your books in cardboard boxes, which are more breathable than plastic ones and won't trap moisture against the surface of your book covers. Stack them vertically, not horizontally, and leave a little bit of wiggle room between the books to ensure that they do not squish each other and or deform the box. You may want to fill in any empty space with packing paper to prevent shifting – but make sure that you use acid-free paper, available at most storage and moving supply stores, which will not stain your books.

Proper Storage

Make sure that you store your boxes of books off of the ground, since moisture can seep up through the concrete depending on the local weather conditions. Invest in a shelving unit, or use pallets to give a few inches of clearance between your boxes and the floor. Also be sure to avoid stacking your boxes of books as much as possible, as this will ensure that there is very little squishing or other physical damage to your volumes.

Climate Controlled Storage Units

Finally, the last thing that you should consider when placing your books into a storage unit is spending a little bit extra per month to get a climate controlled unit. These units will filter out humidity from the interior of your self storage unit which could cause damage to the paper of your books.