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Packing Tips – How to Pack a Book Box

When packing for your household move, it is important to properly pack and protect your small items to ensure they arrive at your new location safe and sound. Each box type is designed to be used for different household items, but unless you’ve been packing for awhile, it might be difficult to decide what items should go in what box. Fortunately, we are here to help. If you missed it, you might want to take a minute to review our General Packing Advice post first.

Let’s focus on packing the book box. This is one of the most common moving box sizes, and can be used for a wide variety of items. The book box is 1.5 cubic feet and measures 17’’x12 3/8’’x 12 3/8’’. This box is the smallest of the standard-sized boxes, and because of that it is the ideal choice for packing heavy items and small items. You do not have to worry about the weight of these boxes – the box will typically fill up before you can make it too heavy.

When packing this box, or any box for that matter, you will want to place some crumpled packing paper at the bottom of the box before starting. Carefully load items inside, and fill any extra space at the top of the box with more crumpled paper before closing. The boxes should always have a firm top once closed. If the top feels like it might give way when you push down on it, reopen the box and add more paper.

Items to Pack:

Books, files, CDs, DVDs, canned goods, silverware, tools, spices, desk supplies, small picture frames, photographs, non-hazardous liquids or cleaners, and small lampshades should all be packed into book boxes.


  • Pack books, files, or DVDs vertically, with the spine pointed downwards. This will help protect the object during travel and allows you to fit the most into the box.
  • Wrap fragile items like picture frames in packing paper before placing in the box to protect them from neighboring items.
  • When packing liquids, always tape the lids shut. Draw arrows pointed upwards on the outside of the carton and label the box ‘liquids’. This will let the mover’s know not to tip this box at all. Taping can prevent leakage that could damage other items you are moving.
  • Group small loose items together before putting them in the box to keep things organized. Things like pens, pencils, or paperclips should be placed in a plastic bag or wrapped in packing paper to keep them from spilling throughout the box.
  • When packing kitchen knives, place the knife in a guard first whenever possible. If you do not have them, wrap them in packing paper. Be sure to write ‘SHARP’ on the outside of the paper so you remember it is a knife when you are unpacking.
  • Any lampshade small enough to fit inside of a book box should be packed in this box. Never put more than one lampshade in a box. Surround the lampshade with crumpled packing paper to protect it. Write ‘Top Load’ on the outside of the box, so the movers know not to stack anything on the lampshade boxes.

Follow these packing tips and you will have mastered how to pack a book box. For more general packing information, as well as packing advice for other box types, be sure to check out the other articles in our packing series.

If you ever decide that you need any movers to assist you with the packing or moving, feel free to reach out to our team at Corrigan Moving Systems. We would happy to assist you with your move in any way.  We have moving companies located in Cleveland OH, Toledo OH, Rochester NY, Chicago IL, and across Michigan. Our experienced long distance movers also can handle moves anywhere in the country, or even internationally.

Photo Credit:  Quinn Dombrowski

29 Responses to “Packing Tips – How to Pack a Book Box”

garybirtles14January 28th, 2015 at 10:22 am

I’m currently in the middle of moving and I’ve been having trouble with packing up all of our books. My wife is a book collector and I haven’t been able to find an effective way to pack them. I either make the box to heavy or I can’t hardly fit anything in the box to begin with. It is a constant puzzle with every box. I’ll have to try some of these tips out. <a href=’’ ></a&gt;

sfreddson2156February 9th, 2015 at 5:42 pm

These are some great tips! I never would have thought to pack lampshades separate. I guess it makes sense because you want to avoid damage and cramming somewhat defeats the purpose. I like your idea of writing “top load” on certain boxes too—I always forget to label. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

CaseyJones1February 17th, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Great advice on packing!  We have some movers coming to pick up our stuff next week.  We have been struggling getting everything in the boxes.  Great point about putting little things together in bags before putting them in a box.  That would really help a lot to keep things organized and be able to fit the maximum amount of things in the box.

LaceyRockwell1February 19th, 2015 at 10:27 am

I am in the process of moving, and it has been so crazy. I thought books would be the easiest thing to pack, but I was very wrong. I just imagined them all fitting in the box perfectly, but I was wrong. They are all different sizes, and I am not sure how to get them to fit in the box the best way possible. I liked your idea of putting them spine down, to save space.

robbhardy3March 18th, 2015 at 11:31 pm

I never thought of the idea of always taping the lids shut on liquids. I can see how this is beneficial and can in the end save a lot of trouble. It is no fun to get to a new place and find out your belongings are covered in a liquid.

tedsmith575April 3rd, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I agree that it is really important to pack correctly. You don’t want to put too many heavy things in one box. That will make the box impossible to lift. It is best to evenly distribute heavy and light materials in the boxes. That is what I do when I move.

kelseyhigginsApril 9th, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Thank you for the great tips! Packing up and moving can seem like a such a daunting task! I love your tip about packing books and movies vertically with their spines facing down. Every time I have moved in the past, I have packed my books with their spines facing upward. I have had several books get damaged during moves and I wonder if changing their orientation would have better protected them.

correysmith321April 23rd, 2015 at 8:57 pm

Packing has been something that I myself have been learning to do. It seems like it would take skills to have a packaging work done right. Ever since moving from our last home me and wife have been trying to learn exactly what tools and skills we would need to our packaging.

emilysmith47876April 27th, 2015 at 11:34 am

Thank you so much for the tips on how to pack a box full of books! I appreciate the tip not to use a large box. Using a large box just means that if you pack it full of books, the box will be extremely heavy. I learned that the hard way. Hopefully I will remember not to do that the next time I move.

HollieTruesdaleApril 29th, 2015 at 8:39 pm

This is a very useful article for me to run across right now. I’m in the process of moving and definitely don’t want my book boxes to be too heavy to lift. I have a ton of books and while it might seem like a hassle to have to pack multiple boxes with them, your back will thank you! I liked your tip about making sure the spine is facing down with CDs and DVDs. I might have to repack a few of my boxes now, just in case.

LaceyRockwell1May 4th, 2015 at 12:24 pm

I have moved a few times in my life, but never too far. Well, that is about to change. My husband just got a new job, and we will be moving across the country. Packing is a lot more difficult than I expected! This was a great article for me to find. For example, I will be sure to pack my books spine down, so they don’t get damaged.

SkyJensenMay 18th, 2015 at 9:30 pm

These are some really helpful tips for someone who hasn’t moved to much. I had no idea that it was a good idea to add the crumpled paper to boxes. I never really thought about how it’s important that your boxes are firm when moving. It seems like if you use the paper your boxes won’t collapse when moving.

DanielaAdamsAugust 21st, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for the helpful tips! I have to move next week to a new apartment, and there is a lot of packing for me to do in the next few days. I especially liked your advice about putting crumpled packing paper in boxes. I’ve never done it before, and I remember last time I was moving, one of the boxes just collapsed because it wasn’t packed tightly and the box on top of it was too heavy. I am definitely going to pack it more firmly this time.

IanJohansonOctober 13th, 2015 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the advice about packing books. I recently moved and was genuinely concerned about my books. I packed them however they fit and yes, the spines on most of them were up. I will try to remember to pack them spines down from now on.

Nauman AhmadOctober 17th, 2015 at 12:13 pm

If you have done packing the
right way, the whole moving process will go very smoothly. Even if you have
hired a to help you
out with the move, you should take care of the packing on your own. This way
the process of unpacking will not be hectic as you will aware of where you
placed each item.

yashd6400December 4th, 2015 at 6:53 am

Packing is one the toughest step. It it is done properly, then it will done your half of work while moving. These tips are really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

AndreBeluchiMarch 7th, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Tips on how to pack a book box sounds like something for me to learn about. It would be what I can do for now because my move is coming up. My plan is to still find a removalist to come help me out with the move.

CFRRinkensMarch 22nd, 2016 at 5:08 pm

It is amazing how much one can fit into a small box when properly stored. Not only does it make it easier to move all the boxes around, it saves you time and money shipping. I like your specific moving website niche, and is great for people shipping household good like books! If anyone needs any help with freight forwarding for shipping domestically, or internationally check out