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a3quit4s
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My wife and I are giving some thought to moving back to NY which is about a 4-5 hour drive from our current home in MD. My collection is mostly loose cartridge based as most of you know and I have a bunch of consoles in boxes and that sort of thing. I’m fairly certain my collection is around a little bit less than 3,000 at this point and was hoping to gather some tips and useful information regarding moving a collection of this size from others that have done it. 
 

Im thinking of moving the game collection on my own in one shot by renting a small uhaul or the like. I’m not to keen on trusting someone to move it honestly. I doubt I’ll want to offload any of it, even the stuff I don’t play has value to me.

Tips, tricks, and general banter welcome. 

Edited by a3quit4s
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I agree with your instinct to do it yourself, without external hands on anything.  When my parents moved our family as a kid, we lost literally half of everything we owned due to the moving company (for whatever reason) changing trucks halfway there, and not having quite a lot of stuff make it.  There are a lot of childhood toys that I have very vague memories of, to the point where I'm unsure if it was really a thing or not, that didn't make it, and only getting confirmation of that when talking to my brother or another older relative to get confirmation about them.

As for packing, I guess it really depends on how much stuff you've got to move.  I know you gave a general ballpark number, but I have no idea of what quantities of each system you collect for, etc., so I'll do my best.  My big passion is for the NES, so in the past, I just used big Rubbermaid (or whoever) tubs to row and layer as many carts in as possible, then cap off, stack, and move.  If you go that route, you end up with reusable tubs at the end of your journey should you have a place to shelve and display everything, or a reasonably air/weather/condensation tight container to keep things in that stacks well and won't collapse easily or over time the way cardboard boxes all, eventually, will.

If buying big plastic tubs isn't your deal, check out the back/side of any local liquor and/or grocery stores in your area to scout out boxes.  Where we live, the liquor stores are the best place to go get boxes, as they're nearly always high quality (meant to safely contain and ship lquid filled glass, in most cases), and the owner just sets them out off to the side of her business for anyone to take, pre-empting curious non-customers from entering to inquire about any extra, unneeded boxes being available.  If you might need something larger, go talk to the folks in the appliance department of any place that sells them (formerly Sears, currently Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc.), as they usually only fold them up and put them into a cardboard-only dumpster, leaving many immediately available if you're willing to reach in and grab them.  Most such places will either let you know when their next shipment is or, in the cases of the nicest people, take down your name and number to reach out to you when a fresh box is next available.

One other thing to add regarding this part of your move.  To some degree it's probably just me being paranoid, but I'd avoid actively talking to anybody about doing this, chatting up old games (or your collection specifically) with the movers, etc., until your whole move is completed and you and/or your wife are solidly at your new home where your collection is.  It's not an ultra common thing, but I've heard more than one story about folks staying behind at their old place and sending the movers on to the new one to drop stuff off, only to discover unscrupulous movers (or people they know) have looted stuff out of the unattended new home.  If you're going to be using movers to help pack, or even just move your stuff, better to just let them think you guys are shipping over regular, boring stuff versus anything that might pique any unscrupulous interest.

Good luck!

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I had this same issue last year, a larger collection to move but not as far. Luckily had lots of time as there was a 6 month overlap between buying the new house and selling the old.

The wife and I packed and moved all the collectible or very fragile stuff and let the pros handle furniture and most other household goods, though we did dish packing and the like. Was hard work but saved a couple grand on moving costs and the peace of mind was important.

Local big liquor store (Total Wine, BevMo, etc) was a good sorce for free boxes and we also got a bunch from other folk who had recently moved. Check Craigslist or Facebook.

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Do you have any family or friends to where you are moving? I moved a similar distance a number or years back and was able to make a few trips in the months leading up to the move and stored a few boxes each time. If not, I would recommend renting a small uhaul truck/trailer and taking the bulk of your stuff and other valuables since it's not that far of a drive. At the very least, pack up the best stuff you have into a couple boxes if out opt out of renting a moving vehicle. If everything is well packed and organized, you should be good with a moving company. The ones I've dealt with always do a inventory check to make sure that all the boxes/items are off the truck.

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1 hour ago, Andy_Bogomil said:

Do you have any family or friends to where you are moving? I moved a similar distance a number or years back and was able to make a few trips in the months leading up to the move and stored a few boxes each time. If not, I would recommend renting a small uhaul truck/trailer and taking the bulk of your stuff and other valuables since it's not that far of a drive. At the very least, pack up the best stuff you have into a couple boxes if out opt out of renting a moving vehicle. If everything is well packed and organized, you should be good with a moving company. The ones I've dealt with always do a inventory check to make sure that all the boxes/items are off the truck.

I think this is what I’ll end up doing. Just get a uhaul and pack it all up myself and take it up to the new place once we close on the new place. We will likely do rent back once we sell our current house for 2 months so I should have a few weeks where we have both houses. 

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If you keep a list or spreadsheet of your games, I would try to box them up alphabetically.  Label your boxes with some kind of code (A1, A2, etc) and keep a separate document on your computer that lists what's in each box.  For example,

A1 = Abadox - Gyromite

A2 = Gyruss - Life Force

If you buy boxes that are all identical, you'll soon know how many carts of each type will fit in one box.  It will be easier then to account for everything when you unpack.  Of course, using the code on the box (A1, A2... or Kitchen 1, Kitchen 2...) is just good practice so movers won't be tempted to open or steal your precious tapes.

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I just did this over the weekend. I rented a U-Haul truck and had one friend help me, all 2000 games were already boxed up in similar sized boxes and stacked in one room in 3-high stacks to avoid any extra weight on the bottom boxes. All boxed games are in acrylic (the flimsy thin ones) box protectors. We moved the entire collection along with all of the bookshelves in 2 truck loads over 2 days and just dumped everything onto the basement floor of the new house.

We would have hired movers but with everything needing to stay 3-high and with the specific bottom boxes staying on bottom, there's no way movers would have done that. I feel much better having moved it all myself and knowing it's all still there.

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I personally recommend the large heavy duty bins for packing. You can keep them quite safe in there. A u haul is good, but make sure you have some blankets in between the packages so that they have some cushion. Make sure to have everything secure so it doesn’t shift in transport. I packed mine pretty snug to prevent movement of items.

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I did a huge move (2,000+ games) last year and I actually let the movers take my stuff. However, I carefully packed it all myself into heavy duty storage bins from Home Depot. The HDX bins are relatively rectangular and flat on the bottom, so they're good for video games. For the high value, fragile NES collection, I used Really Useful Boxes. They are strong and stackable and I went with multiple small boxes to avoid crushing.

I made sure to spread the weight evenly and protect everything with tons of bubble wrap. It wasn't cheap and it was a ton of work, but every single item arrived safely. And now I have those storage bins for future moves or projects. I did sneak a few high value bins into my personal vehicle, but that was a very small percentage of my stuff. See pics below.

Bins.jpg.ef62a6a67aa51412f8836a17db35dd76.jpg

IMG_20200702_020023.jpg.211a3ba684344c1ee340d85d0398fec5.jpg

IMG_20200702_020014.jpg.dd521712c748d7cb052872789616103f.jpg

Edited by DoctorEncore
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11 hours ago, DoctorEncore said:

I did a huge move (2,000+ games) last year and I actually let the movers take my stuff. However, I carefully packed it all myself into heavy duty storage bins from Home Depot. The HDX bins are relatively rectangular and flat on the bottom, so they're good for video games. For the high value, fragile NES collection, I used Really Useful Boxes. They are strong and stackable and I went with multiple small boxes to avoid crushing.

I made sure to spread the weight evenly and protect everything with tons of bubble wrap. It wasn't cheap and it was a ton of work, but every single item arrived safely. And now I have those storage bins for future moves or projects. I did sneak a few high value bins into my personal vehicle, but that was a very small percentage of my stuff. See pics below.

Bins.jpg.ef62a6a67aa51412f8836a17db35dd76.jpg

IMG_20200702_020023.jpg.211a3ba684344c1ee340d85d0398fec5.jpg

IMG_20200702_020014.jpg.dd521712c748d7cb052872789616103f.jpg

Yep, these are exactly the type of bins I was talking about.

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Unrelated to your games- if you have shit you haven't touched in a few years, now is the time to get rid of it.

I have totes of stuff that have remained largely untouched since I moved 13 years ago; before the next move that stuff is either getting sold or tossed.

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4 hours ago, captmorgandrinker said:

Unrelated to your games- if you have shit you haven't touched in a few years, now is the time to get rid of it.

I have totes of stuff that have remained largely untouched since I moved 13 years ago; before the next move that stuff is either getting sold or tossed.

I’m debating this with my ps3 and Xbox 360 stuff but I dunno I think it’s worth moving it. I honestly don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling it really and it adds to the overall personality of the collection. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 10:25 AM, captmorgandrinker said:

Unrelated to your games- if you have shit you haven't touched in a few years, now is the time to get rid of it.

I have totes of stuff that have remained largely untouched since I moved 13 years ago; before the next move that stuff is either getting sold or tossed.

This my strategy for all non-video game items. I downsize every time I move. My most recent move will hopefully be my last, so now I actually have to go through my old shit on a regular basis.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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  • 3 weeks later...

I wanted to bump this and ask an add on question which may not be specifically to people that have moved -

If you’ve had to keep your games in a storage unit at some point or another did you go for a climate controlled unit or did you keep them outdoors? I’m not much worried about the heat but the humidity - in MD we had stretches where the humidity was up near 80-90 percent on a regular basis this year. I don’t remember it being that bad in NY but I’ll still have my games in storage in late July early august and am worried about labels peeling and whatnot. 
 

Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, a3quit4s said:

I wanted to bump this and ask an add on question which may not be specifically to people that have moved -

If you’ve had to keep your games in a storage unit at some point or another did you go for a climate controlled unit or did you keep them outdoors? I’m not much worried about the heat but the humidity - in MD we had stretches where the humidity was up near 80-90 percent on a regular basis this year. I don’t remember it being that bad in NY but I’ll still have my games in storage in late July early august and am worried about labels peeling and whatnot. 
 

Thoughts?

Obviously it depends on the cost, but if it were me, I would go with climate controlled.  Around here, there are lots of places with very reasonably priced climate controlled rooms, but they are often smaller than the traditional storage units.  It might be cost effective to rent one large non-climate controlled unit (garage sized) for furniture and other big items, and one smaller climate controlled unit (closet sized) for electronics and other sensitive things.  

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2 hours ago, a3quit4s said:

I wanted to bump this and ask an add on question which may not be specifically to people that have moved -

If you’ve had to keep your games in a storage unit at some point or another did you go for a climate controlled unit or did you keep them outdoors? I’m not much worried about the heat but the humidity - in MD we had stretches where the humidity was up near 80-90 percent on a regular basis this year. I don’t remember it being that bad in NY but I’ll still have my games in storage in late July early august and am worried about labels peeling and whatnot. 
 

Thoughts?

Climate controlled for sure. I wouldn't trust my CIB games to the weather. If your talking about a bunch of loose discs, then it's probably fine to skimp, but for CIB stuff, the paper is the valuable part.

Also, wtf is wrong with me for spending thousands of dollars on non-unique paper?

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50 minutes ago, DoctorEncore said:

Climate controlled for sure. I wouldn't trust my CIB games to the weather. If your talking about a bunch of loose discs, then it's probably fine to skimp, but for CIB stuff, the paper is the valuable part.

Also, wtf is wrong with me for spending thousands of dollars on non-unique paper?

I don’t have many CIB games just concerned about loose NES/SNES/N64/etc and labels coming off or messing with the PCBs 

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29 minutes ago, a3quit4s said:

I don’t have many CIB games just concerned about loose NES/SNES/N64/etc and labels coming off or messing with the PCBs 

Personally, I would go with climate control for carts. I don't think it's worth the risk of potentially exposing the labels to the moisture and humidity that standard storage involves. 

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Member · Posted

I agree with you on moving it yourself.  Rent a truck (if they will all fit in the back) or the smallest (legit) utility vehicle and just drive it yourself.

However, I do recommend you pay movers to pack and move your stuff, but I also recommend you have them do it in one day and let them know you're following them.  For context, go to YouTube and search for the SuperDerek channel.  Jeeeeeeez, that guy documented his experience with moving from Seattle, back to the mid-west (Kansas, IIRC) and it was teeeeeeeerible.  To make matters worse for him, the company was based out of Florida and apparently trashy moving companies all base out of that state because there are basically zero-laws protecting the consumer.  Watching his saga unfold is a good cautionary tale on what NOT to do.

Regardless, I have had tremendous success hiring local movers and "helping" them pack the truck, following them, and then helping them unpack.  I wouldn't do it any other way.  Having such a setup would also prevent all of the issues Derek had in the saga mentioned above, though I know that's bit hard to do if you're moving a few thousand miles across country.

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So I did end up getting two of those HDX 27 gallon tough totes to test out. I fit pretty much my entire loose set of N64 carts in one tote save for maybe 6 games I have in the box(all games on shitty shelf fit in the tote). I had room for more but it’s pretty heavy right now and didn’t want to overload it. The shitty shelf has been dismantled and tossed away. RIP shitty shelf. 

C3599504-6256-48C5-8C45-7C39F69D6302.jpeg

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Shitty shelf looks like it could hold a fuck ton of weight and didn't stick out too far.  I could never get away with having games stacked around a light switched.  The better half would most definitely not approve.  Kinda looking forward to moving in to a new house in the future so I can further expand my collection as right now it's a bit cramped and very little space to try and add more storage.

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  • 3 months later...

How it started vs how it’s going lol1BE44A3C-8FC9-4961-8AAD-860BF69C1846.jpeg.10657267708613149ceabb2484055237.jpeg

image.thumb.jpg.1d80f87605d17e296ed2406d48029001.jpg
 

I’ve gotta run to Home Depot to pick up maybe 4 more of the 27 gallon HDX tough totes. I recommend these all day for moving games. They fit like 250-300 NES games and can stack about 900 lbs of distributed weight on top of them. My entire loose NES fit in these 4 and the 4th only has about 75 NES games in it the rest is SNES and Genesis

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