Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Frustrations of Moving with Comics

I just moved into my new place. It's a nice, smallish, manageable house with a good yard for the dogs, and my lady picked some superb paint colors for every room, so props to her and yay for us both. This move is our second in six months, our fifth in five years, and something like eighth or ninth overall for me personally. I don't know where that puts me as far as average total moves for someone my age, but I do know that these days, more than ever before, moving my comicbooks is a hassle.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, they're heavy. Each sardine-packed longbox is several pounds, and the longest of them are kinda-sorta awkward to pick up and carry. They have handles, yes, but even so, I don't like having my arms spaced that way. Also, the boxes don't fit with other, more typical cardboard boxes. Packing a car or moving truck is often very Tetris-esque, and my comic boxes are the shitty pieces, the weirdly-shaped ones that always leave at least one square unfilled. This time, I ended up just bringing them all in my car at once, but that was pretty much one whole trip's worth of cargo, because there are a lot of them and they all take up a decent chunk of space.

Then I get to my new place, any new place, and immediately have to figure out where to store my comics once they're unloaded. Usually there's already a spot in mind, but the question then becomes, "will they really fit there?" In my house now, I barely squeezed everything into one of the closets, a deep but narrow space with some shelves that will someday be for clothes or linens or something like that, probably, and then the comics currently living there will need a new home. Eventually, they will either way, because even though I got them to fit in the closet, it's in such a way that they're barely accessible. Getting into the back of any box requires removing it from the space completely or at the very least moving several other boxes off of it, and that's just not something I want to do for the next X years of living here.

So someday soonish, I'm hoping to rethink the way I store my comics. Maybe get rid of boxes entirely in favor of shelving or drawers or something like that, something I can put together with instructions and/or human help that will fit neatly against a wall and give me easy, comfortable access to my whole collection. That's a dream to be hashed out in the future, though. For now, they just need to be out of the way of the rest of the move.

Because that's the other things about moving with comics: they can't always, or even ever, take top priority. We need a bed and dishes more than my comicbooks, because as much as I love reading the things, I love sleeping and eating more. That means that when deciding the order in which things both arrive at a new home and get unpacked there, the comics often come toward the end of the list. That wasn't as much of an issue in this most recent case, because everything got loaded and unloaded pretty rapidly, but the comics are now residing in an impermanent spot within the house, waiting for me to have time to figure out what the hell to do with them in the long term.

I've written before about how much I love single issues, and how I prefer owning physical comics instead of digital copies, and all the other things about comicbook collection that make moving even more complicated than it already always is. So I bring this all upon myself because of how I choose to indulge my hobby. And I'm not the first person to write about the challenge of moving, storing, or organizing their collection, comicbooks or otherwise. I may not even have added much to the conversation. But hey, this move has been pretty much my entire life for the past few days, so I'm talking about it.

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