The Waving Flag: Moving House

Friday 2 September 2022

Moving House

My wife and I have been trying to move house for almost all of this year, but the whole process in England is a nightmare.  As I write, we're still not certain our purchase will ever happen.

One of the by-products is that we have spent, and continue to spend, considerable amounts of time looking at our possessions and thinking “do we need this?” and “how are we going to move that?”.

Now add in the factor that this is a very troubling set of questions for a wargamer, and you should be able to imagine how stressful the entire process is.

Army Storage
In the last year, I managed to acquire two Bisley cabinets: one with 15 drawers & another with only 10 drawers.  Eventually, these will house all my 15 mm armies bar the elephants which are too tall for the drawers.

Prior to using these I had most my armies in 10 (yes ten) metal toolboxes which I had magnetised (old school I know) with the overspill in cardboard boxes.

Of course, once I had my first cabinet I immediately started to fill it, resulting in an empty toolbox or two.

We then decided to move house and I realised that the toolboxes would be ideal for transporting armies when we move, whilst the Bisley cabinet would be anything but.

Bisley cabinets are far too heavy to move when full of precious toy soldiers, and their height means they are likely to topple over unless firmly secured during transportation.  With this in mind, I didn't fancy risking all my painted armies to the removal people.  Therefore, I've decided I'll move each drawer myself; a few at a time.  So in solving one problem I'd created a bigger one.

Once I realised that the Bisley cabinet would be awkward to move, I stopped filling the drawers, leaving the remaining armies in their toolboxes.  My armies are now spread over a few toolboxes and one of the Bisley cabinets, while the second Bisley cabinet sits empty in the garage awaiting our move.

It's so frustrating having an ideal storage solution and not been able to use it.

Sorting Through The Armies
My wife has always wanted me to reduce the number of toolboxes as they are dust traps.  So far I have emptied four toolboxes in to my first Bisley cabinet and the “empties” sold, for a nominal fee, to a friend with a fifth to go after we move.

Whilst I still had a few empty toolboxes, I took the opportunity to transfer the armies between toolboxes, reorganising and “weeding” them in the process.  I was also able to tackle the overspill and the cardboard boxes are no more.

The end result is that everything I have painted in the last thirty years has now been examined, sometimes for the first time in years, and its long term fate decided.

The Big Sell Off
To be fair, the recent sort out was the culmination of a process that has been underway for three or four years.

My switching from DBMM to FOG and finally to ADLG has resulted in lots of surplus figures.  The army size reduced significantly with each change of rules.  Also, I had a lot of surplus figures from my first DBMM armies because, when I had a regular job, I used to paint every option in the list: the follies of youth.

In the past I've sold many surplus figures via eBay and quite a few to a friend in the USA. This year the pattern was much the same with large parcels going to the USA and all my eBay lots selling promptly and sometimes for decent prices.

I raised a few hundreds of pounds and don't have to worry about my hobby spending for a while.

Sorting The Lead Pile
To cap it all, I decide to sort through my lead pile, which was spread throughout the house in at least three locations, and sell any surplus figures.  Seeing it all in one place was a surprise as I didn't think I had that much!

The sell off also went well, raising a little more money.  To finish where I started, the slimmed down lead pile now resides in a large plastic “under the bed” box, which will be really easy to move if we ever manage to move house.


TamsinP said...

Fingers crossed on your purchase and move!

When I eventually get out of London and have a bit more space my plan is to transfer all my figures (apart from the ones in foam trays) into Bisley drawer units. That's going to be a while off though.

Vexillia said...

Bisley's can be expensive but I managed to get both of mine for a total of £10 (and a lot of elbow grease to clean them). My advice would be to get them when you see a bargain. Don't wait until you've moved.

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