How to Keep Sports Collectibles Safe While Moving

If you’re an avid sports fan, you probably like to show others how dedicated you are. Whether it’s the jersey framed on the wall from that memorable college matchup or a priceless foul ball you managed to fight a small crowd for at the World Series, there’s a good chance you take great pains to display and preserve your beloved memorabilia.

Seeing as these are some of your most cherished items, they require extra special care when moving. From life-size cut-outs of your favorite athletes to ticket stubs in a glass box, you’ll want to ensure that your memorabilia makes it into your new home safe and sound. By following a few easy steps, you can ensure that your sports collectibles are protected, whether you’re moving a block away or across the country.

Assess your collection.

The first step any sports memorabilia collector needs to take is assessing your collection. Once you have a good idea of just how much sports stuff you need to pack, getting your head (and arms) around what you need in terms of packing will be much easier. How many sports cards do you have? Are there tons of oddly shaped autographed balls? Are jerseys already in frames and hung on walls? How heavy is your collection? It may seem a bit tedious, but having a good grasp on exactly what you have and making a list will help when either you or the movers supply you with all the bubble wrap, moving blankets and boxes you may need.

Another helpful hint is to consider sorting through all of the sports stuff when and if you’re showing your home. You never know—you could have a fan of your archrival team coming through (a disturbing thought, to be sure). Seeing tons of collectibles rooting for the opposite team could turn off a potential buyer.

Pack and protect.

Different types of sports memorabilia will require different types of packing to protect them.

Jerseys — Jerseys can be a bit tricky to pack, because the first instinct is to just hang them with the rest of your clothes. While hanging them up is a good move and prevents wrinkles, throwing them in with the rest of your clothes unprotected isn’t the best idea. Place these special pieces into a garment bag (or garbage bag with the bottom tied, if you’re on a budget) and lay it flat in your car or in the moving truck. Don’t leave it or place it anywhere it could be damaged.

Balls — Be it a soccer ball, football, baseball, basketball or even a hockey puck, the odd shape of different balls presents a bit of a challenge when moving. If the ball is already in a glass or acrylic case to prevent fading and protect an autograph, simply wrap it in protective paper and/or material and store in a box. If it’s not in a protective case, wrap it in a few layers of tissue paper—never newsprint, as the colors may transfer onto the ball. Use packing tape to hold the paper in place, but be careful not to let the tape touch the actual ball. Another option is to use everyone’s favorite stress reliever, bubble wrap. Once the ball is wrapped in whichever material you’ve chosen, place it in an appropriately sized box. You can also pad the sides with more material or clothing to ensure the ball doesn’t roll around too much.

Cards and Ticket Stubs — The first step is getting rid of the shoe box. Though it may have served faithfully as the keeper of your prized Mickey Mantle card or the tickets from your first Jets game, you’re going to want to upgrade to a sports card holder that’ll better protect the cards. Once you’ve got your cards or tickets in a more protective space, wrap them in bubble wrap and place them in an appropriately sized moving box. It may also be a good idea to wrap them again in material to prevent too much shifting during the move.

Larger Items — For big items (like that life-size replica of A-Rod you keep in your man cave) call the moving company or truck rental facility. Chances are, they have specialized wraps, papers and plastics that’ll protect your collectible teammate and keep his face safe from scratches during a long move.

There’s nothing like a live sports event. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the World Series, a pre-season game at Giants stadium, or a college basketball game between bitter rivals, keeping mementos from these events is the perfect way to mark a momentous occasion. They represent fantastic and fun memories for any sports fan—and that’s always worth protecting.

About the Author

Adam Young, the founder and CEO of Event Tickets Center, enjoys collecting sports memorabilia to help him remember some of his favorite sporting events.

Categories Moving