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4 Factors to Consider When Displaying your Treasures

What are you collecting now? What did you collect when you were a child? As a mom? As a dad? When I was in grade school my best friend and I collected and played with animal erasers. We called them “our family.” We would divide them up and then play our games. I don’t remember the game I just remember playing it every time we were together. And I must admit that I still have them. I wonder if my best friend has kept them too. I can’t explain why I still have them, I’m an adult. It isn’t rational. But I can’t let them go!

Our possessions sometimes control our emotions. We attach by sight, sound, smell, or feel. We attach to things and people that way too. As a professional organizer I have displayed my various collectibles throughout the year. In fact, I have gone through my photo albums, family history, foreign coins,and books to decide how to display them in one way or another. It has been fun and exhausting deciding how to exhibit them. What have I collected? Tiles & coins from Europe and Mexico, postcards, T-Shirts, Jersey (kid’s teams) magnets & patches from U.S travels, and various family history artifacts (photos, letters, related history books, wedding announcements.)

I have collected, stored and displayed some of these artifacts and now what do I do with them? What do I keep? My 6 x 6 tiles from other countries are beautiful. I always said, “One day, I’ll display them so everyone can see them.” The problem was I didn’t know where or how to display them. In addition, I have 10 x 10 tiles of my 3 kids’ feet when they were toddlers. These I put on wooden easels and placed them on the bookshelf. The years go by and I still have my Spanish tiles in the box. And I’m tired of my kids’ feet!

It was this year during the Rona that I finally decided how to display my tiles. My son put them on our backyard stone wall in a pattern and I put the tiles of feet in my garden. Done. They are not hidden in a closet perfectly packed nor displayed in the same way for the past 10 years. Once again, my collections bring a smile to my face.

That is what it is about, a smile, a memory, a pause as you walk by your collection. Here’s a way you can do just that. Organize your collectibles using these 4 factors:

  1. The Dust Factor

  2. The Display Factor

  3. The Lighting Factor

  4. The Content Factor

The Dust factor: What will reduce cleaning and dusting?

Many times, our collections become disorganized, crowded, and dusty. We collect them to be displayed not to be another chore! After a while you stop walking by and ignore the entire collection. Various objects in collections can be fragile, breakable, and awkwardly placed. Then the dust comes and comes. Do you remove it all and dust? As it gets more crowded the less we dust. Now what?

The dust factor dictates the best way to display your treasures. Dusting is a tedious and unrelenting chore. An enclosed case of any kind can reduce cleaning and dusting. If our collectibles are organized, clean, and chore free it will bring that smile back to your face! Many display cases, shadow boxes, glass top coffee tables can house collections concisely and dust free.

The Display Factor: How to display efficiently. There is an abundance of stores that specialize in glass cases, shadow boxes, glass boxes, enclosed glass top coffee table, antique case, or shot glass display cases. The shot glass display case is perfect for items that are small or delicate. Scour garage sales for vintage display cases. Choose a section of your collection of the same color and hang in a display case of a contrasting color. Use a fishbowl for action figures. Slim wall shelves for vinyl records, dinosaurs, or a book collection. If the collectibles are crowded and cluttered, you will continue to walk by without a glance. A wood storage display case with drawers to interact with the collection.

Remove the bags of memorable t-shirts or ties collecting dust and space in your closets and convert them into something else that takes up less space: t-shirt or tie quilt, then hang it up!

Do you collect pins? Make a banner of strong material and hang it. Another way to add light is to use the small circle motion lights for stairs.

The Lighting Factor: Lighted or not lighted that is the question. There are enclosed bookshelves or display cases that can be wired for light. This could be for an extensive or delicate collection. The added touch of lights increases the elegance factor.

The Content Factor: How much of your collection to exhibit? Consider dividing your figurines into seasons and rotate the exhibit throughout the year. Put part of the collection in storage and place featured items out for display. Next, change the location and design of display. Try placing your collection in an off room or a hard to decorate space Use a vertical rack for hats or scarves. Paint a peg board and then hang vintage tools or kitchen gadgets on it. Perhaps put a complete collection away and bring out a collection that you couldn’t decide on how to display.

Now that we’ve strolled down memorabilia lane let’s review what we’ve learned. Our collectibles mean something to us. Let’s share and display them proudly. There are new and innovative ways to share our passions. The SK Simple Solutions is a personal organizing company, so I advise that if you have begun to collect something new then consider giving up another past collection. Realistically will it really be worth that million you hoped for?

If it’s been in your attic for the past 20 years either display it or give it away! Perhaps someone else can find joy in your treasures. If it is a stuffed animal collection, pillows, table runners, vintage hand tools perhaps you can find a hospital, shelter, VFW, or senior center that would appreciate it and place it in a featured space. So, keep collecting and doing it responsibly as to not cause extra chores, dust, or dread. Our treasures define our passions and history. Let your passions come alive in memorable displays!

SK Out! Have a great week! Be Happy!


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