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Aug 16, 2023

I'm Moving House: What Shall I Do With My Unwanted Books?

I'm Moving House: What Shall I Do With My Unwanted Books?

At the beginning of lockdown in March this year people were urged not to move home, so house sales worth £82 billion were put on hold and renters were urged not to move while being awarded rent breaks.

Fast forward two months and we’re allowed to view properties and move as we see fit, albeit with social distancing measures put in place on all procedures associated with the move.

If you’re moving house - whether you’re buying or renting - you may come across issues with decluttering your home and removing or transporting your books, as refuse sites are only accepting necessary appointments. You should check with your local council who’ll be able to give you more information.

Why is it a Bad Idea to Move So Many Books?

Why is it a Bad Idea to Move So Many Books?

If you have a lot of books, there’s the practical issue of moving all of them, books are heavy and take up a lot of removal space if you have a large collection. You could reserve that extra space for essential items.

Consider these four factors:

  1. Transportation costs- is packing all your books going to increase transportation costs? And is it worth increasing them?
  2. Packing costs - do you have the packing equipment you need to pack all of your books, or do you need to buy more?
  3. Packing time - do you have time to pack all of your books?
  4. Storage space - does your new house contain enough storage space to house your book collection?

Think about which books have sentimental value, which books you’re yet to read and which books you’ll read again. If the book doesn’t fit into any of these categories it’s probably time to let go. 

If you’re holding onto a book purely for its value, you could cash in and it’ll help to fund your move.

Here are some tips on what to do with your books when you move house:

1. Use We Buy Books to Sell Your Books for Cash

Use We Buy Books to Sell Your Books for Cash

If you aren’t going to use your books and you want to get rid of them, the bin is the last place you want to put them. Dumping them isn’t good for the environment and it’s better to keep knowledge and entertainment circulating. 

You’ll be disposing of the books you don’t want and receiving money to do it, money that could help with your move. You’ll also be sending your books to an ethical and environmentally-friendly business, which is much better than throwing them away.

All you have to do is input the book's ISBN number into our online calculator, or if you have a smartphone you can use your camera to scan them in the We Buy Books App (which is much quicker).

After you scanned all your items, all you need to do is request FREE postage and packaging and send the books to us when you receive it. When we receive the books, we’ll check them and pay you the next day. It’s that simple!

I used this service to help my mum move house. She had a huge collection of books which needed clearing. We just scanned them all and any which had value we sent and anything else she didn't want went to charity. Easy collection through Hermes and quick to process. I would definitely recommend to anyone who didn't want to go through the hassle of selling through other methods.

- We Buy Books Google Review

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2. Give Them to Family & Friends

Give Them to Family & Friends

You won’t be able to do this with all of your books as different people have different tastes and interests, but if you do pick up a book and think one of your friends or family might enjoy it, why not pass it on?

You know your book will be in good hands, and you get to make someone feel good by giving them something of value. If you’re moving far away, you could give them the book as a leaving gift; it gives them something to remember you by until they see you again.

You could create a list of the books you want to give away and share them in a group chat or with individual people.

If you’re having a leaving party, you could set up a ‘free to a good home table’ and let people take the books as they wish.

3. Donate Your Books to Charity

Donate Your Books to Charity

If you can’t sell your books and your friends and family aren’t interested in what you read, you could send them out into the world in the hope that someone does!

While charities are usually accepting of gifts and donations, some shops may not be accepting goods due to overwhelm from people decluttering during lockdown.

Also, it’s sad to see some people leaving their unwanted goods outside charity shops only for everything to become wet or blow around causing litter issues. Ensure you can take your books before you drop them off.

You don’t have to use charity shops, you could try some of the following alternatives:

  • Libraries - we’ve all used a library to read a book at some point, why not give back?
  • Schools - if you have plenty of kids books you could give them to your local school.
  • Nursing homes - nursing homes are always looking for ways to keep residents entertained.
  • Prisons - many prisoners need help improving their literacy skills, and books help them feel connected to the outside world.

4. If You Can’t Keep Books Circulating, Contact a Recycling Centre

If You Can’t Keep Books Circulating, Contact a Recycling Centre

If there’s no way you can sell or give away your books, contact your local council or recycling centre and ask if they can do anything to help recycle your books. Don’t throw them in your recycling bin; they need a specialist recycler to look at them to judge whether they’re recyclable. While this may be time-consuming, especially when you’re moving house, it’s the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of your books.

Here is the government advice on how to move home and what guidelines to follow. Stay safe and happy house-moving!

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