How to Move With Fewer Books (Even If You Love Them)

How to Move With Fewer Books (Even If You Love Them)

Jan 19, 2024

If you love books you know they become part of your family – And you never leave family behind. But books also add up to LOTS of weight and LOTS of extra costs when it is time to move. If you are planning to relocate and want to cut down on your moving expenses, you may just have to cut down on the number of books that come with you. Sound like an impossible choice to make? Follow the old adage of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

Reduce the number of books you own

This is the tough part – Choosing to keep some of your beloved literary treasures and choosing to let some go. It might never be easy, but here are some tips to guide your decisions:

Copy recipes instead of keeping the whole cookbook

Because, let’s face it, no one uses all the recipes in a cookbook, and many recipes you may want later are online. Just add your favorites to your recipe box and let the cookbook go to a different home. 

Break up series

You don’t have to keep a whole series unless you truly enjoyed the entire thing. If you found one or two books entertaining, you can bring those with you and rehome the rest. 

Only keep books you will read again

Even the most exquisitely written book will do you little good in your new home if you don’t ever read it again. When choosing which books to pack, try to ask yourself “Will I use this book again?” If the answer is YES then it is worth the effort to move. If the answer is NO then you may want to get rid of it. 

Think about old textbooks

These fall under the “Will I read them again” rule of thumb. If they are a reminder of your happy college days and nothing else, maybe you can find other ways of treasuring your college days. But, if you still refer to those textbooks, then you should hang onto them. 

Get digital versions of (some) books

It’s true – There is nothing quite like a book you can hold in your hands. But, with e-readers and tablets so readily available, you can choose to get digital versions of some of your favorite books. It’s a lot lighter than a box of books and is much less likely to get damaged or lost! 

young multicultiral volunteers giving cardboard boxes to smiling man and woman

Reuse the books you won’t take with you

Just because you can’t take a book with you doesn’t mean it has to go in the trash. There are MANY ways to reuse the books you don’t want anymore. Here are a few ideas.

Donate the books

Many people would love to have more books but cannot afford to pay for them. You can bring them literary happiness in the form of your old books. You can donate in many ways. Here are a few ideas to make the process fun and rewarding: 

  • Set up a neighborhood book swap
  • Donate to your local library
  • Bring them to places like thrift stores, homeless shelters, and nursing homes
  • Give them away to friends and family

You may not be able to donate just any book. After all, you wouldn’t want to receive a book with a tattered cover or an outdated encyclopedia, would you? Try to make sure the books you donate fit these requirements: 

  • They are in good condition
  • They are relevant 
  • They are undamaged

You should also always call the place you hope to donate to and make sure that your books meet their requirements. 

Sell the books

Moving is expensive. You can earn a little money toward your costs by selling some of your unwanted books. While you won’t get top dollar for used books, you can get a little bit of money (or store credit) to help make your life a little easier. 

  • Exchange at a used bookstore for store credit
  • Bring to a consignment store to sell
  • Set up an account on eBay or Amazon or Facebook to sell your books
  • Add them to a yard sale
Book recycling. Tie the book with a string.

Recycle the books you have no use for

So you went through your books, decided which ones to keep, and donated or sold the others. Now you may find yourself with a small stack of books that just aren’t in good enough condition to sell, are too outdated to donate, and definitely don’t belong on the moving truck. You still shouldn’t throw them away! 

If a book is suitable for no other purpose, you can put it in the recycle bin. Since books are made of paper, you should have no problem setting the books you don’t want out on the curb with the rest of your recyclable. Even though those books’ useful life is done, they will still be disposed of in a way that is sustainable. 

Don’t let mountains of books complicate your move. You CAN cut back (We promise). Follow these tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle your books so you can enjoy a streamlined move. And don’t forget – Atlas Allied is always here to support your moving journey with services for all your needs. 

Learn more in this blog!

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