A huge part of collecting cards, for most collectors is also trading cards with other collectors. It is not necessary, but it adds to the fun. In today's high-tech world most trading now seems to be done through trading card forums, social media like Facebook and Twitter, and also through the Blogiverse. In some areas the LCS (Local Card Shop) might be another place for trading, many have some kind of activity night like a "pack war" night where collectors gather and open packs of cards. The collector who pulled the most hits gets some sort of cool door prize.
Another big part of collecting is having one's collection ORGANIZED in some logical fashion. Sadly I have been very delinquent in both these areas. More so with the unorganized part.
My organization of my collection has been off for several years, pushing at minimum 10 or more. I've been in my apartment for 9 years August 1st (today). Sometime before my move, at least a year possibly two or three earlier, I had started a re-organization effort but didn't ever finish it. Basically my card collection was about 90% organized and partly in binders partly in boxes. Some of the boxes were made for trading cards some not.
I had my Baseball cards organized by player's last name (from a previous reorganization using the standard organized by year, brand, card number). Team cards and team leader cards with multiple players under the team nickname. Multiple player cards of different teams I had under whatever the reason for the grouping was. If it was a picture of two Pitching Aces then the card was usually under whatever the title on the card was or "Pitchers - Aces", checklists were prominently in the "Cs" under "Checklist" Obviously. Adding cards was letter-by-letter and some letters I didn't have to shift over every update, but letters like "M" and "S" almost always had several additions and a lot of time spent shifting all the "S"s from sheet to sheet, card by card. My collection was so big I didn't have binders for the second half of the alphabet. I forget which letter my binders ended and the boxes began. Well I then decided to re-organize the Baseball to the way it used to be and my other sports cards were by year, brand, set, card number. Non-Sports was sorted by set name, card number. I had only gotten about half way done with that project when I gradually just stopped working on it and then a year or two later I had to move. The collection has been more like a hoard ever since. Often I have given up on ever getting organized again. (and not just with my trading cards)
Lack of organization of course has lead to unintentionally buying duplicates of cards all the time. Discovering website based collection tracking databases like Zistle and TradingCardDataBase have been extremely helpful in KNOWING what I have and in some cases what I need. It hasn't stopped the duplication completely but the times I keep current with updates to the collection at the website(s) the duplication is at least paused slightly. Buying duplicates from Sportlots doesn't seem to be affected by this factor though. When buying card lots from Sportlots or from Ebay one almost always has to buy duplicates to get some of the cards you actually want and think you need.
If that isn't bad enough I am delinquent on a several trades, going back two years now, possibly more. I recently made up one 2 year delinquent trade and the recipient seemed to like some of what I sent. I sent a huge lot of stuff. I helped them complete a few sets (thanks to Sportlots) one of which they apparently had been one card from finishing for quite a while. It feels good to do stuff like that. I try not to be like that (delinquent). I try to be a good trader and often try to overachieve by adding bonus stuff and a little bit more than expected when possible.
I'm also delinquent on making some care packages for a contest I had a few years ago. Don't hate me because I have perfected the skills of procrastination.
Slowly I am trying to makeup for those delinquencies. Often times I made a commitment without being 100% positive that I had what was supposed to be sent, or partly agreed and that partial agreement was interpreted as a "go ahead and send your part". I need to stop saying things like "I think I have such-and-such" or "I might have that somewhere". I need to check my stock/hoard FIRST then make a comment that is interpreted as a commitment.
I've blogged a few times about Organization or the lack there of: In A Bind(er), Organizing Some Random Thoughts, Random Card Thoughts. It saddens me a bit that I am STILL not organized, and far from being at the point of organization that I would like. That goes for everything in my life not just my trading card collection. I have some wonderfully organized ideas, but getting them done is the rub.
I belong to a football team traders group on one of the card forums. My claimed teams are my Homie Redskins and Rams as my secondary team.Years ago I was with the baseball group also and at one time was foolish enough to take over the management of both of them (at the same time). But I digress. Each month members send trade packages out to 3 or 4 members of the group. They set up trades within the forum's Trade Manager so they get trading credits. There is a sort of organized schedule and members of the group are divided into six sub-groups. Each month an assignment schedule is posted as to which sub-groups trade with each other. On occasion members trade within their own sub-group. So members who participate long enough will eventually have traded with each member and sent out each team at least once. Right now there are 7 unclaimed teams. There are 3 or 4 members who have a couple of teams, me included.
I keep my trade fodder for the group in a monster box sorted by team. I use those "card saver" plastic pockets (like ID card holders) as dividers with a simple label for file folders at the top with the team name written on the label. They aren't much good for any long-term protection of cards at all. This makes them useful for something.
Of course I have had to reinforce the labels with tape on the sides, because a few of them were popping off their card-savers. The teams unclaimed by the group are beginning to fill the box up. Instead of a temporary holding area for those teams it is becoming a permanent storage area. Eventually the overflow I will store somewhere else or try to trade elsewhere. It is helping me keep up with those trades at least. I also have a smallish lot of Houston Oilers I'd like to trade away. It was published as a CK42 Trading Post post on Sunday (the post before this one).
Another thing that helped me get a little more organized, especially with the Football team trading group, was a purchase of two sorting
I got the photo of the stack of sorting trays by doing a general search for the sorting trays. It was on a blog that I think is mainly about Magic The Gathering. It seemed to be somebodies business blog and they were talking about sorting sets and needing x number of trays to do the sorting per set. What?
Where does that leave me? Still unorganized and bemoaning the fact I guess.