Moving With Your Hobbies: How to Safely Carry Your Collection to Your New Home

Everyone knows that moving is the worst, but it gets that much more unbearable with every additional piece you need to carry, especially if they’re delicate or valuable.

Serious collectors or hobbyists face the most difficult moving situation. If you’ve ever spent hours examining the ink patterns and perforations on stamps, restoring an antique chair, or meticulously applying insignia and squadron numbers to 1/72 scale airplane, then you know just how important the tiniest details can be. After you’ve spent so much time and money building such a collection, the thought of placing it on a moving truck can be more than a little nerve-wracking.

Relocating your collections and constructions safely might take more some boxes and bubble wrap. Realistically, you’re going to need to carry out some careful organization and planning to make sure everything arrives intact. You’ll need to consider things like humidity, temperature, chemical interactions, and even think about who’ll be handling your piece – it might be easier to carry the DIY spirit all the way through your move, and just handle it all yourself. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide chockfull of resources to help you carry your collection to your specifications. Considering the tips below will not only help you transport your treasures successfully, but will ease the transition so that, in their new home, they will likely be better organized, more accessible, and easier to enjoy and share with others.

We wrote this piece thinking of hobbies including collections (stamps, coins, memorabilia, autographs) and models (building and collecting model planes, trains, cars, boats, fantasy characters (e.g. Warhammer), etc.).

Inventory Your Collection

If you don’t already have a detailed list of the items in your collection, now is a great time to start one! Beyond just tracking what you own, a catalog can help you preserve the history of how your collection was build, monitor its value, and prevent duplicate purchases.

If you ever want to have your collection appraised – whether for insurance, sales, or even inheritances – you’ll need to know exactly what you have.

Appraise Your Collection

Your appraisal strategy will vary depending on what you collect and why you’re getting it appraised. It might also depend on how volatile the market for your items is, and whether you already have experience selling. The value of pop-culture-related items can fluctuate wildly on auction sites like eBay, while others may have a fairly well-established, indexed value.

Insure Your Collection

You have two primary paths you can take with insuring your collection. One might be modifying your homeowners’ insurance policy (if you have one) to accommodate your pieces; the other involves taking out specialized insurance for your collectibles.

Path 1 – Modifying homeowners’ insurance

Path 2 – Taking out specialized insurance

Pack Your Collection

Your priority is to get your collection to your new home, safe and sound. Larger collections might value more from incorporating organization into the packing scheme, which also facilitates an easy assessment of condition when you reach your destination!

Transport/Ship Your Collection

Your transportation and shipping options will vary depending on the size of your load and how far you are traveling. Local moves will almost always be done by truck, but longer distances might involve air freight or shipping by sea, which can take months.

Consider the amount of time your collection will be in transit and what kind of conditions it will be exposed to. Will there be extreme cold, heat, or rapid changes in temperature? You might want to ship sensitive collectibles separately using climate-controlled transportation.

Remember, your collection is worth more than just money for you. Do not skimp out!

Additional Resources