Collections and collectibles are often personal items that can build up over time. Keeping them properly organized with a thoughtful decluttering strategy will go a long way toward helping you enjoy them without being labeled by others as being a “Hoarder.”
This includes things like stamp collections, coins, dolls, figurines, stuffed animals, coffee mugs, commemorative dishes, special glassware, antiques, knick-knacks, historical items, and family heirlooms, just to name a few. Getting it all in order and keeping it all properly organized starts with developing a sound strategy.
Eat The Elephant One Bite At A Time
If you sit down and stare at your collection or collections, getting them organized probably seems daunting. Trying to tackle it all at one time can feel suffocating. Instead, it’s best to try to proverbially “Eat The Elephant One Bite At A Time” by working at decluttering and reorganizing your collections in 15 to 30-minute sessions per day.
Deciding What To Keep, What To Let Go & What To Store Away
Let’s face it, chances are good that even your most prize collection has things in it that you rarely see, or use. As you come across it, you might even wonder if a particular item is worth keeping, donating, selling, or storing away in an out-of-the-way place. This is especially true for items that you don’t necessarily use, but still enjoy owning.
This is a more advanced version of the classic exercise of holding onto an item for a minute and deciding whether you want to get rid of it or keep it. Of course, this goes beyond simple emotional choices about how much you like or love the item. You might want to also take into account its value.
Could you sell a valuable collectible and use it to buy something you will more actively enjoy? Would someone else you know like to add the item to their collection? If you can’t think of quick and obvious answers to these questions, and it’s not something you would actively display, then it might be time to store it away for safekeeping or perhaps donate it to a charitable organization.
Accurately Assessing The Value Of Items In Your Collection
One of the things that will influence what you choose to display, what you choose to keep and what you choose to store away, and what you want to sell starts with accurately assessing the value of key items in your collection. This is exactly the sort of thing that people with classic “Hoarding Disorder” struggle with.
The source of that information depends on the collection itself. In the case of something like a stamp collection, there might be industry research periodicals that you can take your time looking up. In other cases, you might be able to find online resources for things like baseball cards, knick-knacks, or figurines.
When it comes to collecting antiques and historical items you might need to seek out an expert who can accurately assess the item. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of the history as well as how to assess the condition of the antique in question. Consulting with more than one can help you dial in the price, as well as make sure that someone isn’t telling you a low-ball price in hopes of taking advantage of your cherished items.
How To Display Favorite Collectibles?
Any avid collector is going to have items in their collection that they want to display with greater emphasis than some of the nuts and bolts items in their entourage. This might be a letter from a famous person or a certificate of authenticity that goes with an item. Perhaps it’s something that would do well inside a display case where it is safe from the ravages of dust buildup? If this sounds familiar, then you might want to consider some of the following display options.
A Heavy-Duty Frame
Frames are a great way to hold flat or just somewhat flat items. This includes things like a jersey from a famous athlete, newspapers from famous historical events, or documents showing an ancestor’s arrival in the New World.
There are even some display frames that are thick enough to act like shallow shelves with a clear enclosed glass face. You see this sometimes with baseball memorabilia where a famous player’s bat, glove, and jersey are all kept inside the same robust display frame.
One of the other great things about using a display frame like a shallow hangable display case is that you can better control the lighting that targets them. Overhead recessed lights with an adjustable cast, track lighting, sconce lighting, and directional LED lights are all great ways to highlight a robust display frame hanging from your wall.
A Display Or Trophy Case
If your collection has heavier, or bulkier items them frames and hanging shelves might not be the best, or safest option. For items like this, you might want to switch to using a standalone display case. This is a great way to have larger items on display, and behind glass where they can be safe from dust and unwanted touching.
A lot of display cases come with special lighting or can easily accept lighting options that can be adjusted to spotlight key items or prevent potentially ugly shadows. This also gives you a predefined space that limits just how many items in your collection that you want to display or keep on hand. This can be a great first step in whittling down items that could be sold or should be put away in out-of-the-way storage.
Use Available Space To Help Determine Your Priorities
Just what and how much you hold onto in your previously cluttered collection can be a real issue. Assigning yourself a dedicated space like a spare bedroom or a wardrobe closet will help set parameters on just how much you can hold onto and what you need to put into long-term storage, donate, or give away.
Assigning Storage For Sentimental Items
Let’s face it, as human beings, we are prone to holding onto sentimental items, old keepsakes, and family heirlooms that don’t have any real-world monetary value. It can be understandably difficult to get rid of these items. Though they might not deserve a place in a display case or frame.
If it truly is something you want to hold onto or intend to pass down, but you don’t necessarily want it getting in your way, you should consider storing it away securely. Heavy-duty stackable totes with reinforced corners can be a great option for keeping sentimental items out of the way, yet limiting their overall footprint in the primary living area of your home. You can then label the outside with a permanent marker for times when you or a family member might want to find them again.