Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Art and Science of Moving Books (Also, BOOKSHELF PICTURES!)

I am officially back from my unofficial hiatus due to moving. Thank you for all your kind comments that you left on my last post.

This past month, my sister and I moved out of our parents house. As we both love read and both work at libraries, we had a lot of books. You know what's not fun? Moving books. You know what is fun? Setting up new bookshelves. So this post will have a bit of both.

On Moving Books: 
As you know, books can really heavy really fast. The classic way to move books is in small, sturdy boxes. This method is fine, but I feel like we stumbled upon a much, much better way to move books. It all started when we realized that we didn't have any boxes, and were too lazy to track some down, so we started packing stuff into re-usable bags. They say laziness leads to innovation. The reusable bags turned out to be a great solution for us because you can carry a bag in each hand, which is way more books than one box. Since we were moving in the same city we would fill up all of our bags, empty them at the apartment and then fill them up again. We probably filled up about thirty bags, overall.
Some of the bags we used to move books. 

Tips for Using Reusable Bags for Moving:

  • Get the sturdy bags that can hold two piles beside each other in the bag
  • Periodically test the weight of the bag as you're filling it. Stop before it gets too heavy. 
  • Mix light books (e.g. paperbacks) and heavy books (e.g. hardcovers) in bags for maximum fill-age 
  • Tie the handles together once you've filled a bag, so they don't spill during transportation
  • If it's raining use a regular plastic bag to cover the books that could be exposed
On Setting up Bookshelves:
Between my sister and I, we had seven bookshelves. By the end of the move, we had 6.5 bookshelves. I'm not going to give any tips on moving bookshelves because we clearly are not experts. During our move we had a bookshelf snap in half. It was getting old and it was just a cheap Canadian Tire shelf that I built incorrectly in the first place. Ahem. Luckily, it split at a natural joint in the shelf, so it's now been made into a half bookshelf. A blessing in disguise really, because we now use it as a place to throw our keys/mail/other junk on when we come in our door. 

Moral of the story: Build things properly and be careful when you move them. 

Now, let's look at how we set everything up!

We decided to put the majority of our fiction in our dining area. Then we added a little gallery wall and a few other decorations, and of course our dining set that I painted. 

We originally were going to have all of our books in this area, but we though that it looked a little crowded. Here's a picture of how it was going to look: 
We nixed this idea because of how unbalanced it looked from the other part of the room with the bookshelves sticking out from the wall. This plan also required us to buy another skinny bookshelf to fill in the gap on the back wall. I glad that we changed to what we have now, because it feels a bit more modern and way more open (also, we didn't have to buy ANOTHER piece of furniture for the apartment). 

So where did the other 1.5 bookshelves end up? Right here:

This is along the wall in the our living room. To the right of the picture is our bedrooms and our front door; to the left is our kitchen and behind is the actual living area. We decided to incorporate my sister's desk into the setup, because it blended in so well. It was narrow enough that it didn't stick way out from the shelves and the colour matched perfectly! We added a few prints over the desk and a mirror over the half shelf and now it's all balanced out. No one would ever know that the shelf was supposed to be the same height as the other, haha. 

I had to include this picture that I took at night, because I love how cozy it looks with the lamp on the desk like that. And finally, a few other detail pictures:
My sister and I are so grateful to be in a position where we could move out of our parents house, and we're really enjoying our new space. If you have any ideas tips (or horror stories) on moving books, you should definetly leave them in the comments. Let me know what you think of our new digs! Also, how was the end of your Summer? I was away for that last month, so I'm anxious to get caught up with everything. 

Reading: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Listening: The Lumineers
Watching: Scandal season 2


  1. Your house!! It's so ridiculously pretty!
    My summer was pretty good. Honestly now that school is up and running once again I haven't thought of it. XP It consisted of lots of writing, a little traveling, some art-making... the usual. :)
    Jeneca @ @ Jeniqua Writes

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear that your summer was so enjoyable and productive! Good luck with the new school year!


    Congrats on your move, and thanks for sharing your awesome new setup with us! My likes.

    1. Haha, thanks for the kind words! We're really enjoying this setup, so it's nice to be validated!

      I might have to do more like this in the future!

  3. SUNNY THESE ARE SO BEAUTIFUL I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!! (Can you like, come and maybe like decorate my room or something?)

    And thanks for the tips! I'm dreading the day when I have to pack everything up (because "everything" is a lot) but your tips are awesome!

    1. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to pack everything up until I had to do it. It's good to be thinking about it ahead of time so you can prepare for it:)

      Thank you for your kind words! I can't come and decorate your room, haha, but maybe I'll do more posts along this line!

  4. We moved and unboxed and reboxed too since we moved across town. If we have to move across the country though, moving my library will get interesting. Love your bookshelves and tote idea :)

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad that we moved in town. I have no idea how we'd move across the country. Hope you never have to do that!

  5. Wow everything looks so nice! When I moved into my current house all of my books were in boxes. Fortunately I have a built in bookshelf for my room so my books had an immediate home. ^ ^

    1. Thanks! Your built in bookshelf sounds lovely. I wish that I had that. Someday I hope!

  6. Don't make me jealous of your beautiful bookshelves! Ugh, no wonder you have so many books. Wow... imagine working in the library!

    I want to get work experience in the library so yeah...

    1. Working in a library is great! I've definitely had different reading habits since working there, which leads to different taste in buying books (read: buying more books).

      Good luck with the library! It always helps to volunteer first:)

  7. Beautiful! I love shelfies, your dining room looks gorgeous (and I love seeing the Harry series there in its lovely bright colours!). I hope you're enjoying the new flat :) <3

  8. This is charming! Officially jealous of your cozy, polished, adultish ways.

    Gillian // Young Yankee Lady

  9. I love your tips for book-moving. I'll be sure to remember reusable bags whenever I move out. Also, your new book shelf layout looks amazing. And the one with the desk is so cozy. Decorating rooms is so much fun, I hope you are enjoying your new apartment! ^^

    1. Hey Sunny, haven't heard from you in a while. Just hoping you're okay and that you've settled into your new home. Looking forward to new posts in the future.
      Merry Christmas! ^^

    2. Hi Marian,
      Thanks for the concern! Your comment has prompted me to write a blog post that I've been meaning to write awhile now.

      Again, I really appreciate your concern. We are settling into our new home well:)

  10. I want to get a new shelf for my apartment :) it is on my soon-to-get list.

    I hope you have a good Halloween :)


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