How To: Prepare Your Comic Books for Donation

Whether you’ve been reading comics for a short time or forever, you can start to accumulate a nice little collection which grows larger with every week or month. The problem is that after a while it can be difficult to keep track of, which can be a chaotic and time consuming if you’re looking to reread your favorite issues. To avoid this from happening it’s time to organize you comic book collection!

If your collection has gotten out of hand and you need to make more room for more, consider donating comic books to charity! Giving Center, will accept your comic book donation, and not only bring joy to others, but also provide you with a tax deduction for your charitable donation! 

How can I prepare my comic book collection for donation?

I’ve recently organized my own collection, with more than 2500+ comics in total, making all the mistakes so you don’t have to. Below is what I’ve taken away from the experience and the steps which will turn your collection from chaos into order.

STEP 1: Have Your Storage Solutions Ready

Before you start organizing your collection you need to have you storage solutions sorted. This means making sure you have the boxes, or what every method you will be storing them, ready. If you’re bagging and boarding your comics make sure you’ve done that before you start organizing.

Keep in mind that the boards will account for space too. For larger collections, that can be space you don’t realize you need to account for until it has been done.

STEP 2: Figure Out Your Organizing System

Once your storage solutions are all sorted out you need to come up with a plan as to how you are going to organize everything. Essentially, you need a plan for the following:

  • How you will group your comics.
  • The specific order you will be putting them in.

How you do this is totally up to you and will all depend on the size of your collection, the contents of it and how anal you might be. Here’s a few potential ideas if you’re not quite sure:

  • Alphabetically
  • Grouped by publisher
  • Grouped by creator (writer or artist)
  • Grouped by character
  • Based on a specific reading order
  • Year of Release
  • Issue number

For example, my organizational strategy is done by the publisher and then alphabetically by comic book series and issue number.

For me, it’s the easiest way to find things. Although, I do remember many years ago, when I had a fraction of the comics I have today, my collection was ordered in a broad reading order. That did get a bit convoluted as my collection grew and my tastes broadened, so it’s definitely not for everyone.

Alan Lakein famously said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” While he was referring to the world of business it also applies to organizing your comic book collection.

Ultimately, it’s up to you on the ordering system you choose. Just make sure that you predefine on how you’ll do it. It will make everything much easier when it comes to actually organizing your comics.

STEP 3: Get To Work

You’ve got your storage solutions ready. You’ve also got a plan as to how you want to organize your comics. It’s finally time to get to work!

Clear a space a large space, so you can spread out, and put your boxes on one side and comics on the other. A lounge room is a good place, but I guess it could be anywhere in your house which has sufficient space and you don’t mind there being a temporary mess.

Once you’ve done that you can start going through your comics, grouping them as per your organizing system. Once you’ve got a handful of small groups start placing them in your boxes in the position you think they might go.

Follow the above process over and over again until it’s done.

If you’re using some kind of alphabetical ordering system you don’t need to start with A. Organizing from A-Z can make the process longer. You start handling the same comics over and over again.

Start grouping based on what you see most regularly. For instance, if you see a lot of comics starting with M start with those. It doesn’t matter if they’re not in the right order to start with as you’ll find that you’ll have to move parts of it around as the boxes fill up.

Speaking of the boxes, it’s best to only fill them up to 80%. This will allow space for future issues to fit in without having to do too much transferring from one box to another down the track.

The organizing process is also a good time to do a cull of the comics you don’t want any more. You know, the ones that you’ll never read again or maybe even hated. You’re seeing all of your comics throughout the process, so it’s the perfect time to track them down and remove them before they take up space. By doing a cull will allow for space for future, and more enjoyable, comics!

Organizing comics can also be a long and repetitive process so I suggest putting on a TV show, movie or music in the background. It makes organizing less of a chore!

STEP 4: Label

Once you’ve organized all your of comics it’s time to do some labelling! If you have a large or a steadily growing collection then this step is a must if you want to find anything. The last thing you want to do is have everything organized then have no idea where anything is!

There are two forms of labelling I have adopted:

  1. Label the boxes outside
  2. Label comics inside

Label The Boxes Outside

It might sound self-explanatory but this is simply labelling the outside of the box. This is so you know what’s inside. As you can see, I’ve used a post-it note but can use masking tape or any form of custom labelling you like.

I opted for post-it notes because the contents of the box will change over time and it’s easy enough to edit or remove.

As for what’s written on your labels will depend on the contents of the box and the organizing system you’ve implemented. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s obvious what’s in there. Not just for you but for others too.

This could be by listing the publisher, the alphabetic range of the comics stored in there or even a list of the comic series present if there’s only a handful of comic series in there.

Label Comics Inside

Okay, now that you’ve labelled the outside it’s time to open up the box and label some of the inside. The purpose of this is to clearly indicate what’s inside the box – very handy if there are lots of different comic series present.

My method of doing this is getting a post-it note, turning it upside-down and writing the name of a comic book series on it. After that, you can stick this at the start of a run of that comic book with the name slightly sticking up. The fluorescent yellow, or whichever color you’ve opted for, should stand out and work as a helpful flag.

Another option would be to use dividers. You can either make your own or they’re also available to purchase. Your local comic book store may stock them or you can find them online.

OPTIONAL: Catalogue Your Collection

Once you’ve done your labelling you’re pretty much done, but if you want to be even more organized there’s one final step you can do – catalogue your collection.

There’s plenty of ways this can be done by using an Excel spreadsheet to using purpose-built software. If you’re not great with Excel a comic cataloguing software or app is the way to go. Some of the more popular or helpful ones include:

  • Collectionary
  • Collectorz: Comic Collector
  • Comic Book Realm

This optional step can be done during step 3 or right at the end, it’s totally up to you.

FINAL TIP: Keep It Going

Now that you’ve got a system in place and have done all the heavy lifting of organizing your comics I have one final tip – keep it going.

With more comic books entering your collection it’s really tempting to just chuck them in the first available box, ruining all your hard work. If you keep your collection organized every time new comics enter your collection it won’t fall into chaos.

Go forth and organize your collection! Divide your comics into what you want to keep and then separate what you want to donate!

For more information on how you can donate your comic book donation, or anything at all including: donate a boat, donate a vehicle, donate collectibles, donate real estate, donate computers, or anything else give us a call at 888-228-7320 or visit us online at: www.givingcenter.org for more information!

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