I have two things in common with a lot of people right now. I love video games, and enjoy collecting them. My current tally says I’m around 500 physical games. I am also preparing to move several hours away from my dinky little town to a new, less dinky little town. While I’m thrilled to experience a new town (and enjoy some fresh game hunting grounds), there is a rather large obstacle in my way. How in the world am I going to get my collection to my new place without hurting my games, and more importantly, hurting myself?
For months, I have been planning and plotting on ways to answer these questions without spending an exorbitant amount of money or driving my significant other crazy. I can only hope that by sharing my craziness, I can help someone out there deal with their own imminent move.
When it came to the games, I had a couple of problems with my initial packing method from a few years ago. I thought I was a brilliant Tetris bred genius when I managed to fit a majority of my stuff into two large, plastic bins.
Everything fit snuggly, and I was quite smug about the results. That is, until I had to haul each container upstairs. I realized that I was an idiot. At roughly 60 pounds each, I was immediately regretting my decision.
I vowed for this coming move that I would never do something so foolish again, and my mission was to keep each box under 30 pounds. However, I had a tough time finding boxes that would be small enough, but still actually be useful. For whatever reason, I could only find boxes that were gigantic, didn’t have tops, were awkwardly shaped, or previously held things that were… gross. So, I improvised! I’d like to introduce The Bundle!
Underwhelming, I know, but just hear me out. I found these long, but narrow boxes at Sam’s Club. They were meant to hold much heavier bags of sugar, and therefore, are quite sturdy. The corrugation is thick, and the walls are just tall enough to hold a large chunk of games without awkward spaces. Some even had extra room for unusually shaped limited edition boxes. The only downside? None of them have lids, or flaps to become a top.
My (not so) brilliant fix to this was to get a thick, brown paper, use my excessive years of doing origami to wrap everything and then tape it into the box, using it as an armor and a folding guide. The folds on top would create a protective layer, but would still sit low enough to let the boxes sit on each other, and not the games themselves.
Allow me now to show you the exact process I went through.
Step 1. Find materials
I had to visit Sam’s a number of times to find enough boxes. I made sure to buy something first, and then scampered around, hunting for empty and near-empty boxes to swipe.
Make sure you find a box tall enough to have your game sit below the lip. You want the box to take most, if not all, of the weight.
I also gathered a few supplies necessary for the bundling process. The brown paper is a drop cloth found in the painting supply section of a home improvement store. I really wanted a malleable, but sturdy paper. I also needed scissors, packing tape, filler paper (newspaper does the trick), and a marker for writing on the boxes and paper.
Step 2. Do a dry run
I found it was much easier to plan and arrange all of the games before I put in the paper. This allows me to see what fits and what doesn’t. Not everything would fit perfectly every time, so I used balled up newspaper to fill in the holes.
Step 3. Measure the paper
I use the word “measure” lightly. I honestly have no idea how long these papers were each time, but I estimate there was at least a foot and a half to two feet of paper on each side of the box, not including what would eventually line the bottom. After I cut the paper, I made sure to center the box underneath, crease the paper on the edges for guides, and started cutting the flaps.
Step 4. Flap cuts
The creases I made helped me decide where to cut.
Step 5. Fold the paper
The creases also determine where to fold the flaps. I found that folding a little bit within the creases helped with the next step.
Step 6. Insert
This is quite possibly the hardest part of all of this. Pull all of the folded flaps into each other, and stuff into the box. If things go well, it should look like a giant paper bag sitting in a box. That’s essentially what’s going on.
Step 7. Refill the box
I put the stuff back in the way I had it from the dry run. The thickness of the paper does make it a little snug, but it should fit nicely.
Step 8. Fold the flaps down
Think of this as the same as wrapping a box. Well, this is how I wrap a box. I tuck the short sides down, and then fold the triangles or trapezoids down.
Step 9. Tape without reservations
Don’t hold back. I certainly don’t.
Step 10. Label the box
I like to use a nondescript naming method, paired with a neurotic manifest of each box. I like to write everything down during the dry run step. I told you, madness.
Ta-da! Rinse and repeat, over twenty times in my case. My only caveat is to ensure your boxes aren’t too long for the paper. You need the flaps to overlap a little.
I have found this method to work for DVD cases, game cases, books, and cooperative little boxes. So far, moving these little bundles around are substantially easier than the giant containers. At their heaviest, I have yet to surpass twenty pounds, and has made keeping track of everything a simple task. A bit of work, yes, but it certainly works with what I have.