Whether you collect antique coins or seashells, pretty much every collector will run into the same problem sooner or later —how can you best organize your collection? As those who have many collectable diecast vehicles can attest, it isn’t always easy to get all of these prized possessions on display at the same time. So how can you keep everything properly organized—including the items that will need to be kept (at least temporarily) in storage? Here are a few ways to stay on track.
1. Invest in Display Accessories
Your collection doesn’t deserve to sit in boxes gathering dust. Instead, you should invest some money (and time) into setting up display cases for your collections. Common display options include glass cabinets, shelves, or stands. Items like trading cards and coins should be kept in specialized albums where they will be shielded from potential hazards.
Choose a display location where you will be able to see and appreciate your collection. Well-lit areas are the best option for showcasing your possessions, but you should also be mindful of other decor in the surrounding area so the display doesn’t create a cluttered feeling.
2. Keep a Database
Regardless of whether you can display your entire collection or if certain items need to be kept in storage, keeping a database that tracks your items will be crucial. For one thing, it will allow you to know which items are currently on display and which are in storage. This way, you won’t have to worry about whether you’ve misplaced an item—nor will you run the risk of buying duplicates.
Keeping these records in a digital spreadsheet can also prove invaluable should you ever need to make an insurance claim. A written record will lend credence to your claim as you try to replace your valuables.
For both storage and database purposes, categorizing your items can make a big difference in keeping everything organized. For example, collectors of diecast cars could categorize their collections based on type of vehicle (cars vs. trucks) or even the era that the models represent (such as the 1950s or 2000s). Use categories that will be easy to remember so you know where to find individual items.
If you feel like you simply have too much to keep track of, it may be worth considering what is sometimes viewed as the collector’s worst nightmare—parting with some of your goods. Though it may seem hard, downsizing could prove an effective way of clearing out the clutter and helping you further refine your collection so it can achieve its full potential.