Useful advice on how to store varsity and school books over the holidays.

storing books

The end of the year is approaching quickly. Whether you’ll be vacating your room in res or packing away your school supplies and textbooks for next year, it pays to store them correctly. Here’s how.


Clean your books properly

Before you start packing your books away, make sure they’re clean and dirt free. Dust, food residue and other grime can stain and damage books permanently.


Remove dust by gently shaking paperbacks or fanning out the pages of hard-cover books. Then use a feather duster or soft, dry cloth to remove dust. Never use a chemically treated dusting cloth, which could damage the paper.


Books with a paper or matte-finished covers should be wiped with a dry cloth only. But you can use a glass-cleaning solution to clean a glossy cover. Just make sure you spray the solution onto a cloth, and not directly onto the cover of the book.


To remove greasy marks, place a paper towel over the stained page, then close the book and place a heavy weight on top of it for a few days. The paper towel will hopefully absorb the oil from the stain.


If you have books with a musty odour, it’s important to deodorise them before storing them, or the smell (and mould spores) may transfer to other books. Treat musty books by placing them in a paper bag with dry baking soda. Leave the books in the bag for a few days, and then shake of the baking soda.


If you notice mildew on any of the pages of your books, sprinkle with corn starch (maizena) and leave for 24 hours, before dusting off.


Choose the right container

It’s important to use the right kind of container. Cardboard boxes should be acid-free and lignin-free. Plastic containers should be made from either polyester, polypropylene or polyethylene – all of which are safe for storing books.


If you’re using old cardboard boxes, make sure that they’re clean, dry and can be properly sealed. Avoid boxes that have been used to store food. Lingering odours and food residue can attract insects and rodents.


Protect your books

Before packing books into a box or container, it’s ideal to wrap them in bubble wrap or acid-free, non-bleached paper towels.


When placing books in a storage container, either lay them flat or stand then upright, with the edges of the paper facing upward to prevent warping and bending.


Place the heaviest books at the bottom. Store books that are similar in size together, and pack paperbacks tightly so that they don’t shift around. When you’ve done, seal the boxes with acid-free packing tape.


Protect from environmental extremes

To protect your books, store them in a pest-free environment where they won’t be exposed to direct sun, damp or extreme temperature fluctuations.


Fluctuations in humidity can cause books to expand and contract. Also, high humidity encourages the growth of mould, while extremely low humidity can cause the paper to become brittle.


Keep your books in great condition with XtraSpace

XtraSpace is the perfect option for storing your books over the holidays. Store with us and your books will be safe and snug, and you won’t have to worry about finding a place to store them while you enjoy your holiday!


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