I moved recently. It sucked. Moving always sucks.
This is my fifth move in 30 months, and I’ve not stayed in one dwelling for more than ten months at a time during that period. One would think I’ve gotten used to the constant packing, moving, unpacking, lather, rinse, repeat cycle of my life. Truthfully, it’s just as frustrating every time. Though moving generally sucks for everyone, I maintain that moving sucks more when you’re a nerd. Most people have normal things to move: DVDs & Blu-Rays, clothing, all sorts of kitchenware, a desktop computer. You either gather up a group of friends or hire movers to get your couches, beds, and big appliances through the door. However, it’s the nerdy stuff you love most that always causes the most headaches (and backaches).
Books are the worst.
Not actually the worst, but when you’re a bibliophile, a librarian, and a comic book collector (what? just me?) moving your books is a giant pain. If you ever tried to move a longbox of comics, you know precisely what I’m talking about. They’re awkward to carry, heavy, and don’t easily fit into the giant Tetris puzzle that is your U-Haul. The worst is when your friends say, “Jeesh, can’t you just sell these for like a million dollars?” No, I really can’t. 99% of comics have such low resale value that you’re almost better off giving them away. But you don’t want to give away certain runs because reasons. That autographed issue of Power Girl #7 holds a special place in your heart. So does that random issue of X-Force. And that entire run of Terminator vs Robocop. You see what I’m getting at.
You also must worry about your extensive graphic novel & prose collection. I once filled three, 6-ft tall bookshelves with books and graphic novels. Now I’m literally giving things away because it’s too much of a pain to keep hauling them around. I own trades and hardcovers that I bought years ago and literally never unwrapped them from the shrink wrap they came in.
“Dante, why don’t you just get rid of this?” I mean, I planned to read them someday. That counts, right?. That’s a point that people who don’t love books just don’t understand. Getting rid of books, even ones you haven’t read yet, feels like saying goodbye to a friend. A great deal of my self-identity is tied up in being a book person. Sure, a lighter load will be easier next time I move, but what about my bookshelves? They’re practically naked now.
Then, there are the games.
Boxes and boxes of games and all of the dice, sleeves, tubes, playmats, and miniatures that you need to play. How do you organize them? Do you even play it anymore? Is it fun? How easy is it to transport? How fragile is it? On a scale of 1 to Monopoly, how likely am I to end friendships over this game? And if you’re a Magic player, forget it. Someone recently asked me “Why do you keep this binder full of old cards? Can’t you sell them?” Somehow it’s easier to justify to non-gamers packing a copy of Monopoly than it is to pack a binder of the Rath Cycle.
I feel less connected to most games than I do to books, but still, games are big deal to me. I still packed boxes of them. One huge advantage of packing games is that when you pick up a box full of board games, you probably won’t get a herniated disc. I’m telling you, lifting boxes of books is a poor man’s powerlifting. Board games are a piece of cake. That still doesn’t make packing the box any easier. You have the long rectangles like Risk, the thick squares like Arkham Horror, the tiny fancy chocolates tin like Forbidden Island, and the deck boxes like Gloom. Even the best Rubik’s Cube genius takes a while to plan out shoving everything into an 18 cubic inch cardboard moving box.
And the gadgets. Oh goodness, the gadgets.
Go, go, gadget something. We nerdy types are more likely to be gadget-friendly. I’m by no means an expert, but I know my way around a computer. During this most recent move, I needed to figure out how to transport:
- 3 laptops, 2 of which are in various states of disrepair but still kinda work
- 1 desktop PC
- 2 monitors… maybe 3… I can’t remember, some number more than 1.
- A blu-ray player
- A first generation Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
- An Amazon Fire TV
- More HDMI, 30-pin, 3.5mm, main power supply, and USB cables than I care to remember
- More remote controls than I even knew existed. I swear they’re breeding when I’m at work.
The crazy thing is that my modest gathering of gadgets is positively miniscule compared to some of my friends. They boast great sound systems, server racks, and random hard disks/SSDs/video cards/memory strewn about their places. It is hard enough finding my car keys every morning, let alone packing up all the gadgets and the wire spaghetti monsters they’re attached to, transporting them somewhere new, then remembering which goes with what. And don’t forget the numerous joys of untangling wire in a box that literally shifted six inches yet the wires managed to fashion a Gordian knot.
Technology is great when it’s great. It’s never at its best during moving.
Moving sucks for everyone. Nerds just have a few extra challenges that make our moving days a tiny bit more frustrating. I’d love to hear what nerdy stuff you’ve had to move that made your life difficult while in transit. Let me know in the comments about your own moving experiences.
Dante is the resident comic book savant of The Geek Embassy. He’s been reading comics for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s a librarian he gets to advocate for comics in libraries and get paid for it. He’s also a tabletop gaming fan, especially those that involve cards, with favorites including Sentinels of the Multiverse, Magic: The Gathering, Bang!, Smash Up, Star Realms, and 7 Wonders. Dante is a library professional at Portland Community College in Hillsboro, OR.