No matter how small-scale or massive, a book collection holds great value for its owner. It represents your personality, intellect and a good story. Some people enjoy admiring their books on the bookshelf now and then. Some keep them in cupboards, away from dust and prying eyes, while others scatter their books all over the house.
One common thing among book collectors and avid readers is storing books effectively and safely. You could be moving to a new home and temporarily renting a storage unit to store books, or maybe you are downsizing and have to adjust your collection to a smaller home.
Perhaps you need innovative ideas to display your beautiful hardcovers; we are here to guide you whatever the situation!
We have compiled creative, practical, fun ways to store books properly and fashionably. Our guide comprises ways to store books around the house, maintenance tips to keep them safe long-term, how to pack correctly for a storage unit, etc.
Fun and Practical Children’s Book Storage
Having children around the house means dealing with the mess on a daily basis. As a parent or caretaker, it’s very important you come up with creative and practical ways to store their belongings so clean-up time gets more manageable for you and the kids.
Similarly, it is essential to store children’s books in a way that provides easy access and quick clean-up for the kids. Sometimes all under a budget! You can invest in good quality large-sized plastic storage baskets. They are an excellent choice for long-term book storage, as they are sturdy and won’t trap moisture.
Another great option is to get a book trolley. There are many options in the market; some come in various colours, others have three or four compartments, and some are sturdy enough to hold an extensive collection of heavier books. They can be easily carried from one room to another. Also, they are pretty inexpensive.
Design A Literary Headboard
If you are one of those who keep their books in their bedroom, then we have an excellent book storage idea! You can create a headboard or baseboard with shelves for books. It’s a unique way to store books and quite practical if you like to read in bed or pull an all-nighter with your most anticipated read.
It’s an inexpensive DIY idea where all you have to do is replace your current headboard with a customised bookcase using a short and wide bookshelf of the same width as your bed. Place it on your bed’s foot or the head and fill it with your favourite books or the prettiest hardcovers.
If you can’t DIY it, get a professional to build it for you. Trust us; it will add uniqueness to your room, enhancing aesthetics and functionality. You can keep it as low or high as you want, depending on the size of your room and bed.
Get Creative With Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are stylish and practical. On top of that, they can be as cheap as you want. The number of shelves you add depends on the size of your book collection. Also, they allow you to display your book collection as creatively as possible. You can vary the sizes and experiment with shapes. The sky is the limit for being creative with floating shelves!
Simultaneously they will decorate your walls along with provide storage for your books. It’s a win-win situation! You can opt to make a honeycomb collage on your wall, adding character to your living space. Or you can incorporate style and individuality by adding colour to the shelves or patterns.
You can get readymade floating shelves from furniture stores and supermarkets or customise them, as mentioned above. Either way, there are multiple material options to choose from as well, like hardwood oak or maple. Other options are pine, poplar, alder, and hickory. You can choose whichever according to your budget and liking.
Rent a Storage Unit for Short or Long-Term Storage
If you need extra and safe space to store your books while in transit or if you are a student, storage units London by STORED is the most hassle-free option. It’s affordable, safe, and provides flexible packages and charges with no hidden fees or deposits. It’s the UK’s fastest-growing storage company for all the right reasons!
Your books storage collection will require extra prep to stay safe and damage-free to survive in a storage unit. Firstly, you should opt for a climate-controlled storage unit as it will keep moisture, mildew and other weatherly damages at bay. It perfectly regulates the unit’s temperature and humidity level, no matter how cold or hot it is outside.
Secondly, thoroughly clean your books before you pack them. You don’t want residue or dust particles to stay within the books and cause damage over time. Ensure hardcovers stand upright with spines against the sides of the container or carton, whichever you prefer.
For paperbacks, stack them flat. Lastly, wrap each book in acid-free packing paper to prevent yellowing.
Don’t Forget to Air Out Your Books
Storing your books most creatively or practically is insufficient to prolong their lives. Adding expensive shelves, splashing vibrant colours or accumulating the most beautiful covers isn’t all it takes to maintain a book collection. To keep your books in pristine condition for years, you must air them out as often as possible.
The proper way to store books involves eliminating the possibility of mould and mildew as much as possible. Thoroughly clean your books individually, wipe the dust off the shelves and air out all your older publications, especially the ones with yellowed pages. Let them sit out for a few minutes to allow air circulation to dry any problem areas.
Do not clean your books with a wet rag if you wish to keep your books clean for extended periods and avoid mould buildup. Always wipe them with a lint-free cloth called microfiber cloth. Microfiber is highly absorbent. It’s very effective for picking up and removing dust particles from any surface. It also has a long lifespan when properly used and maintained.
Store Your Most-Priced Books in Sleeves
If you own rare publications, we understand how heartbreaking it will be to see them get damaged. Hence, you should purchase specially made plastic book sleeves to store your rare books or books you are concerned about keeping safe from infestation.
Custom book covers are also available at most rare book stores. They are made to fit the specific volumes you own.
However, if you find your books are already infested with mites or other insects, then here’s how you can clean them. Firstly, place them either individually or collectively in plastic bags and put them in the freezer. Let them stay in the freezer for a few hours to kill the insects. Then clean the books thoroughly once you have gotten rid of the bugs.
If this trick doesn’t work, you can always visit professionals who clean and maintain rare antique books. You might find them expensive, but they are totally worth it! It’s not easy finding first editions or original books in pristine condition, so maintaining the ones you own is vital if you wish to keep them intact for years.
More on Storing Your Books in a Storage Unit
There are a few more things to consider if you want to store your books in a storage unit. Label all your boxes to make your storage experience more manageable and convenient. When packing, you need to categorise your books so the labels are clear and the boxes are easily distinguishable.
If you need to get more specific, make an inventory. Write down the title and author’s name of each book you put in the box, then tape that checklist to the outside of the box for easy access. Remember to keep an extra copy of each list so you know which package to look for when you need access to your books in the storage unit.
Lastly, it’s essential to consider which storage boxes you use to store your books. If you reside in Surrey or Brighton, you are in for some great news! Storage Surrey and Storage Brighton by STORED provides top-notch corrugated storage cartons and plastic containers that are perfect for storing books and other belongings. They also offer packing services at minimal rates!
Look Into Space Saving Bookshelves
Bookshelves can be made in spaces you might not consider feasible, but if the area is utilised smartly, they can come in handy and look great too. E.g. how we never think past shoe storage when it comes to hallways.
Bookshelves installed on your hallway walls will transform the impersonal space and give it character. You can customise the shelves and add a shoe cupboard too.
Better still, hallway shelves will not only free up space in other rooms of your house, but if you have an open living room, the hallway will look like an extension. It will make the area look pleasantly spacious! You can add wallpaper or a splash of colour to the opposite wall to add some quirk to the setting of your room.
Another idea for a space-saving bookshelf is to choose something that can multitask. A console table with shelves underneath can be used to store books and placed in the hallway or wherever you want. You can keep a basket, dish or bowl on the console and hold keys, sunglasses, gloves, scarves etc.
Even small improvements and adjustments can have a long-lasting effect in prolonging the life of your book collection. You don’t always have to go out of the way to protect your books; moving them away from direct sunlight will do more than expected.
Regularly clean them, move them out of mouldy spots and store them upright on the shelf to maintain their quality.
Figuring out how to properly store books in your home will let you make the most of your space and make it look organised and put together. It will also keep your books lasting for years to come! Our guide to storing books will allow you to display your books beautifully and keep them safe and protected.