5 Ways to Organize Your Valuable Collections Without Getting Overwhelmed



Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective

As a collector, you’re proud of the valuable pieces you’ve unearthed and gathered. Whether you’ve hunted down stamps, books, clothing, coins or photographs, you’ve invested time, energy and money into them, and they’re worth displaying.

But as the years have passed, you’ve accumulated many pieces, and now, your collection is disorganized and cluttered. How can you effectively gather everything to be able to get it under control? It might not be as daunting as you expect.

Sit down with your collection and use these five ways to organize your valuable and prized items.

1. Pick a Display Method

Before you start sorting through the collection, glass-displaydetermine the level of visibility you want. If you have old and rare books, for example, do you want to display them on wooden shelves, or would they be better off in something like a glass display case? Deciding on a presentation in advance can create a smoother process.

Each type of collectible item has particular display options. For instance, you can exhibit fragile stamps in stock books, albums or plastic mounts, while trading cards might go in binders or boxes. Figure out if you’d rather look from a distance at your items or carefully handle them to help you determine the best display method.

2. Separate by Category

When you begin sifting through your valuables, consider your organizational strategy. What categories best separate your items? Categorizing pieces by the year they were made is helpful, but alphabetical sequence can work well for something like vinyl records.

Group items by color, material, grade, genre, sale price, model or size. You can establish sections based on personal significance or nostalgia, but pick categories that are sure to make locating an item simple. Place clear labels on the categories, too — you’ll make it easier to find what you’re looking for and help friends and family make sense of your collection when you share it with them.

3. Catalog as You Go

As you evaluate and organize your collection, construct a record of the items you have. If you’re planning on selling valuable collectibles, your taxes or your heirs’ can be affected based on your records. Proactively prepare for this by cataloging the collection.

You can document the items with a written record. Alternatively, you can use a spreadsheet to input the information on your valuables. Now, there are smartphone apps for cataloging assets to keep the task simple and accessible. For insurance purposes, these apps are also useful.

4. Research the Right Conditions for Storing Your Collection

Use an acid-free photograph box to safely store valuable items.

Use an acid-free photograph box to safely store valuable items.

Many items, older ones in particular, can be damaged if they aren’t kept in the correct environment. Extreme temperatures are just one example of the conditions that can cause your collection to deteriorate — think stamps or photographs. Another potential threat is humidity. For coins, humidity is a substantial detriment to the metal. The coins can corrode when exposed to water vapor in the air. Other harmful environmental factors include acidic materials and pollution.

Protect your collection from improper handling, too. Your hands have oils, acids and dirt on them, and direct contact can produce premature wear and tear on valuables. Old photographs are especially susceptible to overhandling, so hold them by the edges.

The right lights also play a role in how well your collectible items hold up. Go for secure, dimly lit places, because direct light can cause fading, too.

5. Add Protective Accessories

Protective accessories can shield your collection from environmental threats and reduce the rate of decay.

You might place your sports cards or comic books in acid-free protective sleeves, for instances. Additionally, plastic bags and dividers can serve as functional protection for collectibles, keeping them protected from moisture, light and excessive handling. Plastic cases can hold items like coins, too.

No matter what, though, be sure to have a pair of gloves handy, so you can avoid transferring the oils from your hands to your collectibles.

Effortlessly Manage Your Collection

With a stress-free strategy, you can tidy up and display your valuable collection. Organizing your items doesn’t have to be overwhelming and frustrating.

After you’ve sorted through your valuables, you can confidently share your pieces with others. Achieve order with a helpful system, a thorough record and the right conditions.

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