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Moving house with large number of books

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Moving house with large number of books

Old 31st Oct 2021, 15:38
  #41 (permalink)  
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Location: UK
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Originally Posted by Bull at a Gate View Post
Moved house about 8 years ago. Carefully packed circa 1,000 books. Carefully unpacked them and placed them on new shelves. Have not opened a single one of them since. So my advice? Save money, time and shelf space by throwing most of them out - it will save your children doing it when you are gone.
My wife thought this was a good suggestion, however there is lots of room where we are going and at present I will be taking them all.
Thanks for all the other ideas. I think the box size I mentioned seems reasonable (18x12x12) and this takes about 30lb weight of books.
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 15:40
  #42 (permalink)  
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V3m is right about heavy lifting. Lots of advice by Mr Google on how to bend over.............
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 16:30
  #43 (permalink)  
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Box Wine Cases

I buy my favorite daily plonk by the case when it goes on sale. The cases hold 4 x 4 litre boxes ≈ 16 kg. Books are lighter.

They're also a handy size for cheap filing cabinets.
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 16:38
  #44 (permalink)  
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750, pah! We just moved from the US to France with about 3000. They were packed in the movers' "small boxes" which were about 30 x 30 x 40 cm. If you are using a professional moving firm, get them to supply the boxes. Depending on the books they can be a bit heavy but quite manageable as long as you don't have to cart them up and down stairs.

The biggest problem was getting them to the right place in the new abode. They were in about 4 different places before, and split to 4 different places here, but not quite the same way. I let the movers pack most of them, which was probably a mistake - they jumbled them up to an amazing degree. The seven volume maintenance manual for my Olivetti Divisumma, all together on the same shelf naturally, ended up split between six different boxes. It's odd, but if your books fitted on N shelves before, they will now take about 1.2N. I don't understand, but there it is.

The first time I ever moved house I packed books into teachests, which still existed in 1981. I had no idea how heavy they were! That was a huge mistake though luckily then I had a lot fewer of them.

As for the sceptics about 3000 books - it's easy. Just read a load of fiction, and get interested in lots of subjects over the years and buys lots of books about them. I think of non-fiction, my railway books probably win, followed by languages. But aviation, electronics and computer science all score pretty high too. Of our 3000 books, probably 95% of them have been read from cover to cover, not to mention the other 1000 or so that are still in storage from our move TO the US, 20 years ago.
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 11:40
  #45 (permalink)  
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My weapon of choice for these occasions is banana boxes. These are made from very sturdy carboard and will support a full load of books with ease, although previous advice about not loading them up completely still applies of course (if you need to move them all yourself). I have a lot of books still stored in these boxes and have gone through the hassle of listing all the titles in an Excel sheet, including the box numbers. That way I didn't have to dig through all of them to find that particular title. A few years later I converted that list into a version that I uploaded into BookCrawler, an app that lives on my phone and MacBook. By using a custom field in this database for the box number or location I can keep track of where my books are and which ones I own.
Only just over 700 titles in my list so far... need to put more effort into this or so it seems
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 12:43
  #46 (permalink)  
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We used the Dewey Decimal system for Non Fiction - easy since a fair part of the stack were ex-library. Fiction was by alphabetical author (with but sub divided by genre where poss, e.g. SF) Books in foreign languages were separate, Special shelving for outsize. My favourite was the Rubber Book, a.k.a. the Rubber Bible. A mighty tome printed in fine print on bible paper. The secrets of life, the universe and everything were found between its covers.
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 13:08
  #47 (permalink)  
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A few thoughts from personal experience.

Key is to keep your back vertical and don't lean over while handling a load. So do the crouching and lifting with your legs only; keeping your back vertical. Trust me, if you compromise your back you could have problems for life.

I would keep boxes less than 30kg or so. Apart from you lifting them, if a heavy box is placed on top of other boxes, it might crush boxes below.

Cheap cardboard boxes are a false economy. Get strong multi-walled specialist moving boxes - thinner cheap ones will crush in the lorry. For books, you can use thinner walled boxes, since the books themselves will support external loads, if they are packed accordingly.

Removals men will pack very quickly, but you won't know where anything is, and stuff can easily get damaged. Yes, in theory they will compensate you, but a PITA to go through all that, and you will have to unpack all the boxes within a few days to check. I start packing about a month before moving, so it is all calm and controlled, and logged with digital photos.

I agree to sell anything you don't use, but I like to keep my favourite books, reference books, dictionaries etc. Kindle or tablet reading just doesn't do it for me. There is something about handling the pages and knowing how far through the book you are by the relative thickness of each side. And if you want to check back to a previous part of the text, this is easier with an actual book, by flipping rapidly through the pages.

Using a phone or digital camera to itemise the contents of all the boxes as they are packed gives more detail and a lot less work than writing it all down longhand. You might have stacks of boxes in the garage or spare room(s) for months while redecorating or having carpets fitted etc, so this will save hours if you need to find something in a box in the meantime. (I just zoom in to read the titles).

Last edited by Uplinker; 1st Nov 2021 at 13:18.
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 13:46
  #48 (permalink)  
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not to mention the other 1000 or so that are still in storage from our move TO the US, 20 years ago.
May I humbly suggest that, after 20 years they have proved to be superfluous.

I got rid of my 1969-73 Physics degree notes and books when I went into the loft, opened a notebook - and couldn't understand a word of the Quantum Physics notes! (I had moved on to RADAR by then)
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 15:06
  #49 (permalink)  
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Something I found useful during my last move was some of those small plastic 'crates',some have 'handles',some do not.ISTR that one of ours is ex GPO (or just 'Post Office' ? cannae remember).
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 15:20
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
The 1826 three-floor house I rent with narrow stairways was a nightmare for moving my book collection to the top deck. I re-evaluated my needs and decided to get rid of some of the aircraft literature on eBay. A job lot of around 200 books received only one offer (half the advertised 150 price, which I ignored). When I get around to it I'll sell them individually. I'll probably relent and sell some rare manuals as well before I croak and an opportunistic house-clearance outfit pays peanuts for them.
Several years ago I was in a second-hand bookshop and they were closing to do all sales online. They told me for every 1000 books advertised they would get about one inquiry a day.
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 15:40
  #51 (permalink)  
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May I humbly suggest that, after 20 years they have proved to be superfluous.
Without question. It's all paperback fiction anyway. But they're still tgehre, and I guess will have to be dealt with at some time.

As far as selling books - before our move we did manage to sell a couple of dozen through Amazon, in fact there were only a couple that we advertised that DIDN'T sell. But it only works for books with quite a high value - say $30 or more. Otherwise by the time you pay Amazon's fee, postage, etc, what you make barely covers the cost of fuel to get to the post office.

I did give several cartons of books to the English Library in Nice - after the move. Though they were painful to deal with and next time the dumpster will get the benefit.
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 20:15
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2021
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I can't say that I've ever moved that many books, but I've had to relocate a few bookcases worth before. I think you're on the right track as far as packing them up yourself (in small boxes - sounds like you've got the size about right). Definitely makes it easier for the movers and reduces the amount of time you'll have to pay them for the labor. BTW not sure if you've moved yet or not, but look into 3 Movers if you haven't decided on which moving company to use, especially if you've got furniture and other things that are going with you. When I used them, they were much cheaper than the other options I was considering and it's not like there's much chance of damage if they're packed correctly (the furniture all arrived fine too).
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 07:24
  #53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by radar101 View Post
May I humbly suggest that, after 20 years they have proved to be superfluous.

I got rid of my 1969-73 Physics degree notes and books when I went into the loft, opened a notebook - and couldn't understand a word of the Quantum Physics notes! (I had moved on to RADAR by then)
15 years after retirement I still had all my notes and assignments from courses I'd done, packed up in two huge cartons. Should have thrown them out, but they had sentimental value.
At a former colleague's retirement do, I was chatting to the chairman of our professional association, who said that they would be of historical interest, and the association would like them if I didn't want them. This seemed like a great idea, so they arranged to collect them. I was happy that I'd got rid of them, but they were not dumped somewhere.
A year or so later, I received a phone call. Would I be home to receive them back? They had scanned them all, and realised they were important to me, so were sending them back.
I should throw them out, but they have sentimental value.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 09:02
  #54 (permalink)  
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I have moved to NZ & back with books 3 times.
Recommend to get moving boxes with hand holds
or cut them yourself.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 09:10
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Be ruthless. Unless it's a book with sentimental value or something you need for reference, off to the charity shop. I moved house years ago and have still not un packed the card board boxes full of books sitting in the garage. I need to have a sort out.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 16:02
  #56 (permalink)  
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As mentioned before, be very generous with the packing tape. I moved a long distance to go to grad school, and two boxes full of textbooks split open during transit (the US Post Office.). Instead of repacking what I shipped, they sent a random assortment of other people’s lost good. Baby clothes, old newspapers, a map of the world during WWII…

Expensive to replace at a time when I didn’t have much money.

For a large collection, label the boxes clearly with the contents, be it a range of letters if alphabetically organize, or by subject (but avoid terms like “rare and valuable books), or a numeric scheme keyed to a master list that you keep separate (and make sure you have backup copies.)

In addition, there is a volunteer network called “Little Free Library” where people build little after prof cupboards in public areas where people can drop off and pick up used books for free. Simpler than a library as there is no late fee nor requirement that you return what you take. You can look it up online to get a map of local locations.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 21:11
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
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It depends what they are.
Senimental value or reference volumes - keep, other stuff can go.
My family has a tradition of writing greetings inside books given as gifts on the blank page usually included at the front or back.
They never get chucked away.
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