How to pack collectibles for transport

Everyone has a hobby. They can be more or less passionate about it, true, but each one of us has something they like spending time on. For some it’s sports, for others it could be film, video games or music. We’re certainly guilty of spending more than reasonable amounts out of our paycheck at vinyl records and Steam sales. Similar to that some people like collecting items. From figurines to rare postcards, collectibles come in all shapes and sizes. That’s precisely why it can be tricky to pack collectibles for transport. Knowing this we came up with a guide to help you out. Enjoy!

Evaluate your collectibles

Being your hobby, the collectibles you collect will have a high personal value to you. Add to that the potentially high monetary value they might hold and suddenly it’s clear why they can’t just be secured in any old box in a moving truck. Naturally, professional movers could be trusted with such items, but even with the best of movers, accidents can happen. That’s why it might not be a bad idea to bring your collection with you in the vehicle you’re using to travel to your moving destination. After all the same tip goes for all valuables. If you’re not sure about the value of your items, do hire a professional appraiser. It is an extra cost, but at least you will know exactly what you’re moving and its worth. The same info will come in handy if you chose an insurance option for the move.

A different approach for different types of collectibles

It’s not easy coming up with a set of guidelines for all collectibles. After all packing the figurines is not at all that similar to packing baseball cards. While writing this guide we thought about this and decided it would be best to separate the collectibles into general categories, to give you a more tailored set of tips.

Paper collectibles

Stamps, postcards, photos, baseball cards, trading cards. These all fall into this category. When you ponder on how to pack collectibles for transport, you might realize these are the easier ones to move. But they are not devoid of all complications. First of all, you must make sure you protect them against any kind of moisture. Similarly, since they are not rigid, you must make sure nothing bends them in the moving process. To deal with the first issue you can wrap them. You can either use glassine paper, specialized albums or card sleeves. It all depends on the type of paper collectible you’re packing.

Postal stamps
Paper collectibles are the easiest to pack, but they too need care!

Avoid using newspapers for wrapping as they can leave an imprint. Also, use nitrile gloves or cloth gloves to keep oils from your fingers from touching the collectibles. To deal with the possibility of bending, you can place your collectibles in a hard box or an album with hardcovers. Additionally, make sure they rest comfortably in the box you packed them in, without too much leeway for shuffling.

Coins and currency

Similar to the previous category, coins and currency fall in the easier-to-pack category. Coins and such currency are more sturdy, while bills are thin and easier to pack. However, their value is more easily recognized. Depending on their amount and type, you may want to use a strongbox and bring them along with you or even hire a professional currency transfer service. You can treat bills like any other packing collectible. You should handle the coins with gloves too Pack them either individually in albums, small boxes and the like or wrap stacks of them up collectively in acid-free packing paper and secure them in a box. Just remember to lease as little wiggle room as you can, so they don’t get damaged brushing up against each other.

Figurines, china, glass, and ceramics

Now we come to the more difficult category of the list. Senior movers, that have experience in this field, report that these items are some of the toughest to move due to their fragile nature. Some are so frail that even a bit of vibration from the moving truck can damage them if not secured properly. That’s why it very important to pay attention to packing these items properly when you decide to pack collectibles for transport. First of all, try to disassemble any parts that you can without damaging the collectible itself. Chances are if there is a loose part, it can come off and get damaged during transport.

A fine china set
When you pack collectibles for transport pay extra care to breakables.

Then wrap all the parts individually in bubble wrap and tape it up. Just make sure you don’t tape over the surface of the item itself as it may damage the item. Next, you will want to find a good box or crate and fill it with packing peanuts or crumpled paper. Leave as little wiggle room as possible, to stop the items from shuffling around and potentially damaging each other during the move. Additionally, you can pad inside the walls of the box or the crate itself with cloth or blankets for extra protection. This is especially important when it comes to breakables like china and glassware.

Antiques and unique items

It is especially hard to pack collectibles for transport if they are antiques or uniques. Due to their one of a kind nature, they usually have very high value. Therefore you should really consider having a professional service pack them for you. However, if you feel adventurous, the good people from Smithsonian Museum Institute of Conservation have prepared a whole list of pages explaining how to take professional care of these items. While you can find the specifics there, there here is also a general 3-layer protection list to help you pack collectibles for transport, whatever kind of antique or unique they might be.


  • First layer: wrapping – use protective wrappings like bubble wrap or non-acidic paper to protect against dust, dirt, and elements.
  • Second layer: shock protection – use blankets, Styrofoam or larger bubble wrap to protect the items from shock, vibrations or unlucky impacts that may occur during the move.
  • Third layer: outer shell – when it comes to packing high valuables like antiques and uniques, ordinary moving boxes may not cut it. It’s best to acquire strong wooden crates to avoid any dangers on the move.


Just remember to secure everything from shuffling about and add extra protection to all corners and glass components as there are the most fragile.

Create an inventory before you pack collectibles for transport

Another smart thing to do before you pack collectibles for transport is to make an inventory list of them. Especially if they include expensive art pieces. It will help you keep track of exactly where you packed what. Also after you unpack, you can look through your inventory list to check everything is in order.

Person writing down a list. If you pack collectibles for transport yourself, having a list is a major help.
Creating an inventory will help you keep track.

Getting ready to pack collectibles for transport

After all this, you are ready to pack collectibles for transport. Just take it easy, follow these guidelines and keep your wits about you. We know you’re packing your precious collection. But we also know you can do it, and once the move is done you will enjoy it in your new home even more!

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