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“Densifying” a Book Box With Fragile Items

Posted in: I'm a Mover, Pro Packing Guides

Photo of a Book Box

This post is part of our “How do I pack a ____” series – a set of posts written for our helpers by move expert Kevin Kato, focused on furthering their packing skills. As a customer, you’ll probably benefit by knowing how our helpers do things and pick up some money saving secrets on how to pack yourself.

Picture This…

This month we touch on the book box. The heavy, dense, bottom-load book box. The last place we want to put anything breakable or even crackable.

And we are going to take that book box and pack a few breakable, crackable items in it.

Book Box Almost Full

Why? To show how flipping good we are at packing stuff, of course. But also because it can be pretty tough at times to find the right amount of the right sizes of books to pack a tight book box. Knowing how and when to safely slip in those small shelf items can save both space and time on a pack job.

In our real-life example we see a nicely-packed book box – neat and tight and sturdy and about two-thirds full. Now what to do with that remaining space?

packing tip bookcase photo

We have a short stack of books of varying sizes, most of which would probably fit but from the looks of the kid’s desk we’re going to need another book box anyway. And isn’t that space just right for the picture frames from the top of that bookcase? We can wrap them and stick them in vertically, filling up the width of space almost perfectly while not standing as tall as the neat, tight stack of books next to them – books that will bear the weight of whatever is put on top of our book box.

Mostly Packed Book Box

Note the pads of drawing paper we also stuck in there, up against the wall of our carton. This amounts to just a little more protection from lateral pressure, from other cartons or someone’s errant boot. We also took the kid’s pencils and pens, wrapped them in a small paper bundle and nestled them in there to eliminate the wiggle room between the picture frames and the books.

Kids Desk

We still have some room in there next to those frames, though. So we go back to the kid’s desk and find a couple of items – a trophy and a couple more, smaller picture frames – that we can wrap and stick in there where they will have the same protections as our first picture frames.

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We finish off with a few larger book and book-ish items (namely those brown photo albums which, you may notice, were in there longways – till we turned them to provide cover for our picture frames while allowing us to put some large books next to those albums, completing the final layer).

Bed Sheet in a Book Box

For good measure, we roll up a bed sheet from the kid’s closet to ‘densify’ our cartoon without putting those pictures and the kid’s prize soccer trophy in jeopardy.

Now do we want to show how flipping good we are at packing by jumping up and down on our finished book box? Certainly not. But that box will certainly hold up at the bottom of a properly-loaded truck.

In a perfect world – that is, on a perfect pack job – the books on our bookcase would fit seamlessly into one book box. In an imperfect world – that is, on every pack job – we do what we can to do the best flipping job possible with the items in front of us.

Creating strong book cartons that contain more than just books is just one more way.


  1. KJenuis

    Great Info for the freshman packer. The best practice (listed above) is to ALWAYS make sure books reach the top of carton. If a book box reads “Books” it will be stacked.

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