Thursday, July 5, 2012

Moving Your Doll Collection, Part 1

Anyone about to move a doll collection? I mean a move within a city - lucky for my budget and sanity, not as distant a move as CorsetKitten's. I will still be in Philly; just at a new place. Last time I moved, all of my doll stuff was received. Think I was lucky? Well, an IKEA Detolf shelf unit, still in its original box, was crushed. I did not find this out until after the cunning movers left. (Oh, but I do remember their company name. I will NEVER use them again.) So I checked online to see what suggestions are available. Here are the links I found on moving a doll collection:

About's CollectDolls tips

Laura Du Toit's tips

Helen B. Wharton's tips

Denise Van Patten's site has the most comprehensive information. The others have tips as well. But I thought: what about my specific situation? I am moving hundreds of playscale dolls and action figures, boxes of clothes, and boxes of furniture, playsets, and books. In the humid summer time ... what steps do I need to take for the best outcome? Best outcome being me and all my stuff arriving at the same place and each item whole as can be. (Unlike that Detolf shelf unit ... grrr ....)

So here are some notes and ideas that I am considering.

Part 1: Assessment
What am I keeping? What can I sell, donate, or trade before? What types of things am I packing? NRFB, reboxed, loose dolls, action figures, and accessories - some breakable, others more forgiving. What is the best way to pull these items together so that I can a.) check that I have everything I took with me and b.) so that I can quickly set things up in my new home?

Part 2: Scheduling and Packing
Break down packaging by need: what should and could be packed up first? Books and magazines? Similar paperwork - brochures, booklets, newsletters, etc? Boxed dolls and action figures? Reboxed DAFs? Can loose DAFs "ride" with boxed ones? Label as I go along. Note who is with whom. Create a master list noting which DAFs are in which boxes.

Part 3: Move Day
Review boxes going out. Check that I account for what goes when and that I *know* where a given box is at any time.

Part 4: Checking All's There
Review boxes at new place. All accounted for? Separate by item type - dolls, action figures, furniture, vehicles, etc.

I will write about specific actions as I do them. And I'll share packing tricks and photos as I go along. If anyone has any tips to pass on, please share.


Georgia Girl said...

D7ana, I helped a dear friend pack up her doll collection to move across three states. She numbered each box. I wrote down every doll or doll item that went into each box. She was able to keep great inventory of everything due to the fact that the boxes were all numbered and it was written down exactly what went in each box. It may be time consuming, but well worth it. I hope it goes well for you.

limbe dolls said...

Wow! That's a big undertaking! I hope that your new space will provide a comfortable home for all your 1:6 scale folks.

miladyblue said...

One thing I did recently, while moving my Tonners was to go to liquor stores and get empty booze boxes - they have nice cardboard dividers and you can put a doll in each section, maybe with an accessory or two. You can also look up box companies and see if you can get cartons like this.

Another thing is, my mom discovered a place where they sold boxes for moving that were "mistakes" made by local box manufacturers. That is, the boxes themselves were fine, but for some reason, they were imperfect, such as the things being assembled with the name of the product or company on the inside of the box instead of the outside. It's a win-win, because the box makers get back some of the money they lost with these errors, and we got boxes for moving for a decent price.

Barbiecafe said...

Hi Dana,
Moving is usually not a so good experience, specially when you have items that you do need some extra care. Not everyone will have the same patience and love to handle your collection as yourself, so, if you can, do it yourself (trying to figure something out before you go and get there as you have been doing is a great plan)
Hope everything goes well, let us know how it worked.
Good luck with the move and hope they love their new home as much you will :-)
Keep in touch!

Alrunia said...

I didn't move per se, but I had my flat completely renovated, change of furniture etc and so I did have to pack everything up. It was a huge task but not so much difficult as time consuming and tedious. But I have to say I LOVED the opportunity to dig deep and figure out just what exactly I own, where it is, sort it and arrange it better, and get rid of tons of stuff that I didn't need. That goes for doll collection as well as everything else.
This isn't that helpful but I hope your move goes well and without any plastic casualties. :)

Carrickters said...

Sounds like you've got a big job ahead of you. In some ways, the distance you move doesn't matter, you still have to carefully box everything and keep good records of what was in each box. I look forward to your insights about the process.

Vanessa said...

Good luck with the move! I hope it's a successful one. Great information on moving a doll collection. I did it 11 yrs ago. We had movers. I can't really remember anything beyond that.
You are such a wealth of information. Thanks.

Muff said...

I won't be moving anytime soon but I'll definitely be interested in your progress.

I already take photos of everything I buy for insurance purposes, so if something got lost I'm covered. I do know that I probably wouldn't be overly cautious in packing my dolls simply because they are all inexpensive. If I had the super expensive or fragile ones I'd be wrapping them in tissue and bubble wrap.

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: You have a lot of work. I changed my home when I was getting all the mini dolls and furniture in rigid boxes that are not crushed. Label each box and also closed tightly with packing tape. At the end almost everything came from the collection intact. Keep in touch

D7ana said...

Hi Vicky, Paulette, Allison, Barbiecafe, Alrunia, Carrickters, Vanessa, Muff, and Marta! Thanks for your sympathy, your suggestions, and your comments.

I'll be the one packing my DAFs - you'd be amazed how many weirdos resent DAFs - one taxi driver was overtly hostile about my transporting DAFs in his cab. Professional movers would not have that attitude - of course - but whatever they got paid would mean less for me so ... not going to use them. I mean for DAF packing but for DAF moving - oh, yes. I won't pretend to have the strength of Hercules.

Roville said...

Oh… groan… nightmares of preparing for my move come back (an international move!). However, I can report that packing carefully and labeling, and doing it all well ahead of time, made it doable. It was also an excellent time to donate a lot of items and rid myself of the “buried” feeling. Your viewers seem to have covered the most important packing tips, but one thing you might consider for your peace of mind is if you have anything that is especially valuable to you, hand carry it. For instance, I lugged with me my AF repaints and all my re-ment (which I love crazily) and a few other items that would have caused me despair to have lost. Bit of a hassle, but it kept me at peace. Good luck with your move, and focus on the positive – an opportunity to purge and to set up afresh in your new place. Wish I was there to assist you.

D7ana said...

Hi Ro and thanks for the additional tips. They are all helpful. Sometimes I look at my wonderful, very much loved collection and I want to wonder how they all got here, lol. So in addition to sales, I'll have to do some giveaways.

So far, my moves have been local - in the city. So the movers have hauled my big Rubbermaid or Sterilite boxes from house to house. More delicate items or things that are especially precious, I have moved by bus or by taxi. (I mean, I take those things and carry them to the new place myself.)

I've been meaning to reduce my collection anyway. Not so much to lighten the load as to expand so that I have more variety and fewer duplicates.

It is fun to see what I have. It would be fun to your company in the unpacking - evil grin in place. Thanks for the thought.