July 17, 2012

A few handy tips for packing and moving your Girl Guide collection


Cheerful July greetings, everyone! Can you believe that we're nearly a month into summer? While the weather this year has often been anything but ideal (think rain, rain and scads more rain!), we have been getting a few roasty-toasty days as of late, so hopefully when all is said and done, the Okanagan will bestow a beautiful summer on us this year.

Not too much is shaking on the patch front, as finding new swap partners continues to be elusive at times (though I did just do one small trade a few days ago). I've noticed that on eBay, too, for the most part GGC listings continue to be down, with one encountering far less A/D/Ds, proficiency badges, pins, and the like then we used to see a few years ago. I suspect that this is a trend that, by and large, is here to stay, but nevertheless, I remain diligent in my frequent eBay searches, and as always welcome your emails about swapping patches.

Having recently moved across the vastness that is Canada, hopping from Ontario back to my home province of B.C., I thought I'd take moment in the early morning hours here today and share some quick tips to keep in mind regarding how to pack up your Girl Guide/Girl Scout collection when moving.

First things first, ensure that you're collection is securely sealed in plastic bags and/or containers. Technically metal or any waterproof material would work, too, but plastic zip-lock bags are relatively inexpensive and weigh considerably less than metal boxes. You can sort/divide up your collection however you like, or if you keep everything swirled together, just place it into plastic bags/containers, squeezing out the air if applicable and checking that there are no holes in the plastic. This step is taken to ensure that, in the event that in the course of your move, the moving box or boxes with your collection in it got wet, you're far more likely to have your patches (et al) come out unscathed.

Ok, technically, there's a step you could take before you put your collection into plastic bags, and that would be to catalog it if you haven't already done so, or update your catalog if needed. You could do this with in Excel or Word document, on paper, or simply by taking photographs. This is important in case, goodness forbid, something (theft, fire damage, etc) was to occur to your collection during transportation (if you need to make an insurance claim with your movers or insurance company, the more documentation of your missing/damaged possessions you have, the better).

Girl Guides of Canada Guide writing a list, GGC clip art 
(Image via the GGC's clip art collection.)


On that note, while individual patches, badges, and the like are not usually overly valuable from a monetary standpoint (excluding certain very old and/or very hard to find ones, especially those prior to the 1930s), your collection as a whole may very well be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, so for that reason alone, you may want to look into purchasing insurance for your move (most reputable moving companies will offer you this service right from the get-go). Remember, as Guides, we're always keen on being well prepared! :)

When packing your Girl Guide/Girl Scout items into boxes (after you're put them in plastic), be sure to pad the bottom, top and sides of the box a little with paper (plain newsprint, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc) to help cushion the contents in case the box takes a tumble or has heavier boxes stacked on top of it.

If any of the items in your collection are especially delicate or even remotely fragile, you'll definitely want to wrap them individually before placing them into a larger bag/container with other items. Bubble wrap, newsprint, tissue paper, and fabric scraps/rags can all be used for this purpose.

Try not to over-pack your boxes in terms of weight, and be sure to securely close them with sturdy packing tape. Always place something between the contents of your box and the cardboard top flaps (such as a layer of bubble wrap), so that when the box is cut open, there's less risk that the knife blade will accidentally slice into your patches themselves (just imagine how gut wrenching it would be to have that happen!).

Clearly label the content of your boxes on the top and at at least one side (along with your name and, if know, the desired room in your new house where the boxes will be going) with permanent marker (such as Sharpies). If for any reason you can't write on the boxes themselves, use a large label or piece of masking tape and write the same information on that instead before attaching it to your boxes.

Once you've arrived at your new home and have unloaded all of the boxes from the truck, van, etc, if possible, take a few moments to ensure that you see that your Girl Guide/Girl Scout boxes have arrived safely and that none of them are missing. If anything appears to be missing or damaged, you'll want to file an insurance claim (assuming you got insurance before hand) immediately.

Hopefully though, such will not be the case and you'll soon be able to unpack your wonderful collection once more. If it's going to be a little while before that's possible however, definitely make sure that you do not leave your Girl Guide/Girl boxes anywhere with a high risk of water damage (either from flooding or weather), fire, or extreme weather conditions (severe humidity, for example, can quickly wreck havoc on fabric and paper items). A clean, dry, well ventilated storage room, basement, or bedroom would likely be a good spot to house your boxes until you're ready to unpack them.

Now that you're settled into your new home, have fun unpacking and rearranging (if needed) your patches. If you didn't do so prior to moving, consider using unpacking as a great time to create a catalog of everything in your collection. Doing so is an immensely handy way to quickly see at a glance just what you do, and do not have, so that you don't end up with any unintentional duplicates.

If you have other tips or stories pertaining to moving your Girl Guide/Girl Scout collection, I'd love to hear them, and hope that anyone facing an upcoming move has a pleasant, hassle-free experience.