I already work from home most days. I am an area manager for a self storage company so when I'm not in the field traveling up and down I-85 in NC and SC for work, I'm at home. I should be used to the time trapped in my house. It's been 4 days since schools were closed so my wife (who's a teacher) has been at home with me and my two girls. 4 days and it feels like a millenium already.
I keep seeing different posts online and in social media about what people are doing with their "free time" since being at home. Well for me my job continues so I don't have that much down time. My wife has had to essentially home school our kids and let's just say they treat her differently than they would treat their teachers at school. Yeah, it's a been a lot of fun.
Normally I take my laptop down to the dining room table and work. This is where I also usually rip packs, sort cards, catalog cards, however as a result of the wife & kids being home I've had to go back to my office to work. This is where some of my time is being spent...cleaning up my desk of all the random stacks of cards and other various clutter that has built up.
Yesterday I took care of the card stacks on the left side of the desk. Today I tackle the right side of the desk. Underneath that stack in the upper right corner is an old flat bed scanner. I bought this specifically for cards and for blogging...but I never use it. Between my work printer/scanner and using my iPhone (CamScanner is a great app!) I think it's time to get rid of the scanner and the rest of the clutter that has built up.
Previously I had bought a new Billy Bookcase from IKEA and made binders with spine inserts for various sets I'm building. I love the look, however I've amassed several tall stacks of cards on the 2nd and 3rd shelves that need to go into said binders. That will be a project for another day, but it's keeping me busy none the less.
I'd like to continue making binders, but with most of the stores closing I may have to put that on the backburner. I'm tempted to place a big order on Amazon for 9 pocket pages just in case non-essential businesses are closed like I keep hearing about.
This is the scene in my office just off to the left behind me. Toys. Lots of them. All need to be opened. Most of you know I also have a long running toy blog and because of this I'm always slow to open new purchases as I always intend of photographing the toys before I open them. This obviously has created a huge backlog and this is holding up other progress. I'm trying to chip away at this stack of toys as time allows. I may just have to forego including some items on the toy blog just so I can make this stack smaller.
Above is my original monster box I have filled with cards just waiting to be traded. Yeah, you remember that thing that us card collectors used to do? I'm not trying to crap on anyone who sells cards, but there was a time when cards that weren't inserted into your bicycle spokes were traded amongst your friends. I still remember a time when I was young and still new to collecting that a friend of mine tried to trade me a Fleer card of Bo Diaz for a Darryl Strawberry. I had no idea who Bo Diaz was, but my friend assured me it was an even trade because he was dead and his card will be worth money!
Trading cards are called trading cards for that reason...they were meant to be traded. I'm not sure at what point in time (some) collectors lost sight of this. Was it when inserts started to be randomly inserted into packs? Or was it the game-used craze? Now it seems to be autographs. Let's face it, the landscape of collecting trading cards in general has changed drastically since the junk wax period I grew up in. While I like a shiny Refractor or Prizm card as much as the next fellow, I find myself going back to the wax lately. This whole Coronavirus pandemic has just reinforced this feeling. I've even gone back to hosting my "affordable group breaks" by buying junk wax and selling teams for a buck each. I'm also picking up old wax boxes for myself with the intention of building some of the sets that got me into collecting in the first place...namely 1990 and 1991 Topps. Heck, I may even build 1991 Fleer if this quarantine continues long enough!
While I don't have as much activity here on the blog as I used to have, I still love striking trades with other collectors. I still get trades from the lists I have posted here on the blog. Some trades from via Twitter where I've tried to remain active (@flywheels), but the majority of my trades now come from the website The Trading Card Database. I really wish I had signed up to participate in this great site years ago because since I joined last year I find myself completing more and more trades. I haven't looked in a price guide in years and I'm glad I haven't. I enjoy collecting cards for more than the financial return they may bring. I enjoy the memories junk wax brings. I enjoy collecting my favorite team and players as it helps bring me closer to the game I've always enjoyed.
Bottom line is there is no wrong way to collect. For me set building is something I've really enjoyed participating in since I rejoined the hobby 10 years ago. This outbreak and quarantine may make it a little harder to acquire new product and or supplies, but as I've outlined above I have plenty of things associated with this hobby to keep me occupied for quite awhile. I hope others are able to slow down a bit and enjoy the things that we may take for granted as well. Take care and be safe everyone!