Moving is never an easy feat, but it becomes significantly more complicated when a collection is involved. Whether it's made up of stamps, action figures, or rare books, your collection is important to you, and so is getting it safely into your new home. From prep work to moving day, this list of tips from our real estate agents covers everything you need to know to successfully move your beloved treasures.
6 Tips for Your Next Move
- Know the Value of Your Collection First
It's easy for things to get lost in the shuffle during the moving process, and with so many demands competing for your attention, you may not notice until it's too late.
Before anything gets packed up, inventory your entire collection. Make a list of every single item you own, preferably organized into categories to keep the ledger readable. If some items are particularly valuable, consider having them professionally appraised and listing their value alongside their entry.
In addition to helping you keep track of everything as you move things from place to place, this is also a good opportunity for you to review and downsize your collection. Do you really need every single item, or could you part with a few? Selling or giving away a few will cut down on the amount of stuff you have to move.
- Get Insurance
If you do have a few highly valuable items in your collection, you'll want to get them insured before you move them. You'll probably need appraisal figures for an insurance company to offer you a policy, so if you've already gotten those, you're one step ahead. Make sure everything about your policy is finalized before you allow anyone else to touch your items.
This may not be necessary for collections that only have personal value, like your childhood rock collection. It also might not be worth it for items that are only worth a few hundred dollars. When you have items worth several thousand, though, the cost of the policy is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it will give you.
- Invest in Extra Supplies
Moving delicate items safely always takes more supplies than you think you'll need. Before you start packing, get some extra boxes, tape, padding, and markers for labeling. Having extra supplies on hand will allow you to pack everything as carefully as possible, minimizing the chance that anything will get damaged during your move.
You shouldn't run out of these items while packing, but if you do, don't hesitate to go out and get more. Trying to save on an extra box or roll of bubble wrap is not wise when it could cost you some of your most prized possessions.
- Pack by Weight and Size
Some collections are relatively uniform but may include items that are much larger or heavier than the rest of the set. You can't pack these items arbitrarily – if you do, you will not only risk them getting damaged but also make it more likely that someone on your moving team will get injured.
Instead, follow the general packing rule: heavy items go in small boxes, and light items go in big ones. Don't worry if these leaves you with some boxes that don't look like they belong with the rest of the set. As long as you level everything properly, you should have no trouble putting the whole collection back together at your final destination.
- Watch Out for Environmental Conditions
Rough handling isn't the only moving-related threat to collection items. Heat, cold, humidity, and other environmental factors can all cause significant damage to delicate collection items. This happens more quickly than you'd expect, too: just a few hours out in the snow or the summer heat could ruin items like books or collectible cards.
To avoid this, identify which items are most vulnerable to this kind of damage and prioritize them during the move. You'll also want to develop a backup plan in case of delays. Bring some extra blankets, plastic wrap, or garbage bags to control the temperature and humidity as needed and keep your collection safe.
- Talk to Your Movers
Whether you're using a professional moving company or relying on friends, someone is probably helping you move. Those people need to know how you expect them to handle the boxes that contain your collection.
To make sure there is absolutely no confusion, be sure to mark these boxes with very clear and obvious labels. Consider using something flashy like-colored packing tape to back those labels up. The more obvious it is that a box contains something that must be handled with care, the harder it is for anyone to claim they didn't know any better if something happens.
Moving a collection may not be easy, but with the right precautions, it's far from impossible. If you've been thinking about starting a new life in a new home, don't let your collection tie you down. Whether you're looking to buy a new home or sell your old one, contact us today for expert help in navigating today's complex real estate market.