As a collector, one of the most daunting undertakings you can face is relocating your precious accumulation of cardboard and memorabilia treasures to a new address. While some of what is detailed below might seem rudimentary, it's often the simple and obvious details that make the difference between a successful move and a painful headache.
Preparing Your Move
1. Put Your Collection Away
It is important to remove all displayed cards, signed balls and other easily carried pieces before listing your home. Often, during house showings, potential buyers will not always be in the presence of the realtor. Eliminating any temptation to steal is essential. Depending on the amount of storage space available on your property, you may need to house these items, at least temporarily, offsite in a storage unit.
2. De-clutter Your Collection
Chances are you have boxes of commons worth almost nothing. You could sell them as a bulk lot at a garage sale. Donating them to a charity, hospital or Goodwill can get you a receipt for your taxes. The downsizing is quite liberating as lugging 5,000-count boxes of junk wax from place to place gets old in a hurry.
3. Put all Certificates of Authenticity in an Envelope
Having all your COAs together will help keep things organized and lessen the chance of one getting lost or destroyed.
4. Take Pictures
Take pictures of every wall and display with the camera on your phone. This will allow for easy set-up when it comes time to reassemble your man cave.
Selecting a Storage Facility
Things to consider when picking a place to hold your things while you move:
- Close proximity to home.
- Indoor and climate controlled.
- 24-hour access.
- Look for move-in specials, like getting a free first month.
1. Box sizes and their uses:
- Small: Cards, display stands, flats
- Medium: Signed balls, small art pieces, loose figures
- Large: McFarlane figures, Starting Lineups, large items
- Mirror Boxes: A specialty box ideal for framed pieces
- Original Packaging: Use any you might still have
- Lidded Bankers Boxes: Great for last-minute items and things you might need when unpacking, such as display stands, top loaders, snap tights and wall hangers
2. Packing supplies:
- Small bubble wrap for signed baseballs in ball cubes
- Large bubble wrap for heavier items
- Packing peanuts for McFarlanes and SLU's
- Packing paper in all boxes for filler to avoid crushing
- Markers to label each box with location to be placed in new house and contents of box for quick identification
- High-quality tape for packing. Don't use the stuff you use to ship things through the mail. Tape box bottoms side seams
- Pack any shelving used in your man cave last
Once everything is properly packaged and temporarily staged prior to your move date, you'll have to decide who is going to be responsible for relocating your collection: you or your contracted moving company. You may want to consider handling the move yourself. It takes a lot more work but brings greater piece of mind. In addition, while all household contents are insured by your moving company, the value is calculated on a dollar per weight basis and not collectible or replacement value. So if the load shifts and crushes a box or, God forbid, the driver is involved in an accident that results in more severe damage, you will only be compensated a small fraction of your collection's value.
As mentioned above, pack any and all shelving last. Once the moving date arrives, there will be a spread of time between the load date and the delivery date. This will allow you time to set up shelving in your collection's new home while you are waiting for the rest of your belongings.
Sounds simple enough right?
- Refer to the pictures you took on your phone.
- Draw a layout of your new man cave with furniture placement once it arrives.
- Reposition shelving.
- Carefully unwrap each item. You may think you know what's inside a box, but a safe rule of thumb is to assume that everything is breakable and handle with care.
- Don't feel the need to get it all done in one day. As collectors, we are often consumed with acquiring the next item in a seemingly never-ending pursuit for completion. When we do this we aren't living in the present and we deprive ourselves from appreciating all we have accomplished with our collections.
The packing and unpacking of your collection will give you a fresh perspective of what you do have and help you appreciate your collection even more. It's the preparation, planning, and care you take in getting from point A to point B that will make this challenge a success or failure.
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