Sunday, July 21, 2024

Cross-Country Moves for Super Fans: Transporting Your Collectibles Safely

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This is a guest article by writer Amanda Winstead

Whether you collect vinyl records, Power Rangers action figures, comic books, or anything in between, one thing is for sure: you treasure your collection. That’s why it can often be daunting to consider relocating all of those items, especially if you’re moving across the country. 

It may be a big task, but it’s easier if you have a plan. This guide will provide tips for properly securing and packing your collectibles so they can get to your new home in the same pristine condition as they are now.

Have A Plan For The Move

Most people have a collection of some kind, which could be anything from bottle caps to video games. Sometimes, you can add a collection on top of a collection. For instance, further collection items for gamers might include old-school controllers or video game-themed furniture. Collecting is a fulfilling pastime, and it’s also great for your mental health because it gives you a purpose and boosts life satisfaction. With that in mind, the last thing you want is to cause yourself stress during a long-distance relocation. So, you need a plan.

A cross-country move requires a good strategy, and it starts with choosing a moving date. Select a date far enough in the future so that you have time to gather the boxes and materials necessary to pack your collectibles and get them to your new home by the time you arrive. Before you move, take the opportunity to declutter and go through the collectibles that you may no longer want. You can donate or sell them to earn more funds for your move. 

When you start boxing your items, label each box with a packing list of what’s inside. That way, you can account for everything when you reach your destination. This step will also help you to know which items to unpack first when you arrive, as well as which boxes should be marked as fragile. 

Considerations If You’re Buying A Home

It’s important to know where you’re going to be living, especially because you need to ensure that your collectibles will be safe once you get there. Try to visit the new property before you move, especially once your house is under contract. While you’re there, have a home inspection performed to ensure that the house is in good repair. Have them check for mold and poorly sealed windows so your collectibles aren’t destroyed down the line. 

Also, arrange to have your utilities turned on, especially the heat or air conditioning. Many collectibles, especially sports memorabilia and cards, should be kept in temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of 45-55%. Research the best conditions for your collectibles and ensure that your HVAC system can accommodate them. 

Finally, look into purchasing home insurance. Speak to an insurance agent, research the different options, and choose a plan that covers the cost of your belongings. If you’re unsure of the worth of your treasures, have them appraised by a professional appraiser. Then, find insurance that will cover the stated value that you provide in the case of an unexpected emergency. 

Best Practices For Backing Collectibles

Before you start filing boxes, research how to pack and ship your particular collectibles. 

Sports Collectibles

If you collect jerseys and hats, you’ll want to keep them safe. Put jerseys in garment bags. Try to avoid putting everything in generic plastic or garbage bags as the hanger and other items can poke through and allow dust and dirt to get in. When shipping hats, the key is to preserve the shape, which you can do by stuffing the inside with acid-free tissue paper.  The same rules apply to shipping costumes. For any garments, avoid using metal hangers that can rust over time or poke through the bag. 

Acid-free shipping paper is a key component when you wrap any collectibles. It’s necessary because acid can stain your belongings. When you’re looking for tissue paper, most brands will be clearly labeled as acid-free. 

When shipping baseballs, wrap them in acid-free tissue paper and bubble wrap, then place the balls in a box so they can’t get dented during the trip.

Action Figures

Fans of action figures will want to take extra care when shipping their valuables. Find a box with enough space to cover the figures in bubble wrap to prevent damage. Once you put a few figures in a box, you can add air pillows or packing peanuts for additional protection. 

Using strong shipping tape is essential, especially when you have fragile figurines. Shipping tape will stay in place even during warm temperatures, so you’ll be okay during a long drive. If some items are extra fragile, you might consider bringing that box with you instead of putting it in the back of a moving truck. 

Comics And Books

When shipping your comic book collection, you’ll need stiff cardboard sheets, which you can purchase in bulk on Amazon, and storage bags with sealing tops so the comic doesn’t slip out. Place each comic separately in a bag with the cardboard sheet so it doesn’t bend or fold. For extra protection, place masking tape over the sealed top. Put the sealed comics in a box. Adding bubble wrap in the box for extra protection can’t hurt.

Caution is also necessary when shipping rare books. Wrap them in acid-free shipping paper. Do not use newspapers because the ink can rub off and ruin the book cover. Wrap paper several times around the width and length of each book to protect it from all angles. Put the books in a new box without holes that can allow moisture inside. Then, tape over all seams to keep the books dry.

Keeping The Collectibles Safe In the New Home

Once you arrive at your new home, find ways to store and show off your collectibles safely. Consider placing action figures in plastic cases on shelves so that they’re protected, and you and your guests can admire them at any time. Frame jerseys and other sports memorabilia and hang them on a wall to keep them safe and off the ground so you have more floor space.

There are also many creative storage ideas for your comics and rare books. Install floating shelves in the kitchen, living room, den, and other places in your home where you may have the inclination to read. If you’re short on space, consider adding floor-to-ceiling shelves in hallways. Also, if you have it, use the room under the stairs to add deep bookshelves to keep the books you don’t read as often.

You’ve worked long and hard to create your impressive collection, so take the time to transport these goodies safely during your cross-country move. Do it right, and you will impress other collectors in your new town.

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