Moving is hard for everyone, but if you’re part of the subset of self-proclaimed geeks, it can be even more difficult than usual. Your collection of highly detailed action figures, cabinet of retro video game systems, and swath of tabletop RPG boxes all need to be treated differently — but all with a level of care. We’ll go over some easy ways for you to reduce stress while packing all of your geeky items. We promise by the end of this post you’ll level up your packing/organization stats at least once.
Determine What’s Going to Be The Worst – And Pack it First
There are a lot of things in the various all encompassing term of “geek fandom” that can be difficult to move, but some items are more difficult than others. Packing your 4,000+ LEGO Death Star, for example, is a lot harder to pack than a bunch of tabletop games in boxes. Decide what you have that is the most delicate so you can pack those first and to the best of your ability so you don’t spend the entire time worrying about how it will be packed or how it will survive. Worst is first! Everything else will be easy sailing.
Decide What is Fragile and Prized, and What Isn’t
Obviously, with any move, items that are more sentimentally important you’ll want to be more careful with. If you have an action figure you’ve had since you were five, chances are you’ll want to make sure that figurine doesn’t get lost in the mix or damaged. But not everything is a “prized possession”, and some items can be more durable than others. For example, throwing Pop Vinyls in a box together will likely be OK – most Pop Vinyls don’t have little details or accessories that can get broken or lost. Throwing a bunch of complex McFarlane figurines in a box together might not be such a great idea, much in the same way that throwing a bunch of Monster High dolls into a box together might not be the best, as items can break, bend, or get tangled (especially in the hair!). Lesser important items that are more durable can go in a box together, while more important items that may be more fragile should probably be wrapped individually.
What goes where?
Most moves are organized by room, but most geeks have a place where their geekiness spills out into all facets of their home. If you have a dedicated space, such as a room for retro 8-bit gaming consoles, that’s great, make sure to label your boxes as such. If you’re like the rest of us, you may want certain items in your bedroom, and others in your living room, so make sure to pack them with those items if you can. This will help unpacking go faster, rather than packing them with their like-items. Many people like to unpack a room at a time, so having to search for items inside other boxes, or unpack everything at once can be daunting. If your 1/16th ratio statuette of Harley Quinn and Pusheen pillow go in the bedroom, pack them with your bedroom items!
Regular Rules Apply!
Don’t forget that just because you’re a geek doesn’t change the nature of some items. If you have an amazing glass framed poster of Drew Struzan’s Blade Runner art hanging on your wall, pack it the same way that mom would pack her family photos, or how someone may ship it. Your LARP jewelry can be wrapped and taken care of in the same way as standard jewelry, and your zombie cookie jar can be packed with care in the same way standard dishware would be.
Specific Geeky Item Packing Tips
A good idea for packing LEGO sets is to put the entire set in one (well-taped) box or a plastic bin, that way if anything falls off or comes loose, it’s easy to find and you know what LEGO set it goes to.
If you don’t have a case for these to travel safely, you can use something like a pelican case or even a rifle case to safely carry these items. The idea of putting something in a pelican case (or similar) is that the items are pressed between two pieces of foam, keeping them snug so they don’t bang around. Similarly, if you have packing foam or leftover foam somewhere, you can make your own “case” by sandwiching foam between cardboard and using packing tape to hold them shut over your items. This is great for moving and shipping fragile items so they don’t slide around!
If you don’t plan to immediately unpack and display vinyl dolls and some may stay in storage for a while, it’s important that you pack them properly. Vinyl dolls, especially those with soft vinyl heads like Monster High, Ever After High, or Barbie, are prone to staining from certain dyes. Serious doll collectors know this and are aware that even clothing that is packaged with the doll may even sometimes stain the soft or hard plastic on the doll. This also applies to items touching the doll. For example, if you have a dark blue towel wrapped around the doll, it’s possible the dye from the towel can actually seep into the plastic. Generally wrapping in tissue paper (undyed) and white towels or blankets are OK, though serious collectors may invest in some special boxes for storage. Remember to keep them out of direct sunlight, and don’t store them anywhere that’s too humid where they could grow mold, like a basement or bathroom.
We have a whole article on how to best pack up a pinball machine! Make sure to check out the best way to wrap and move a pinball machine.
Do you have any tips or tricks for packing your geeky items? Share with us in the comments below!