Clever Storage for Collectors

Collectors know better than most people that you can never have too much storage. The good news is that most of us have more storage than we realise. We just need to figure out ways to make the most of the space we have and learn some display tricks that create maximum impact.

Unbox it

If you’ve been collecting for any length of time, you probably have a whole range of items that fall within the same category. While keeping them in boxes and tubs is a good way to protect them from dust, dirt or breakages, having them packed away doesn’t let you enjoy them on a daily basis.

self storage - collection of old bottles

There is not much point spending time, effort and money on items that you love if you’re not going to get pleasure from them. Instead of putting things in boxes, open shelving works very well to display collections of all kinds. Here are some ideas:

  • Group items together in odd numbers (say three or five) and choose items of different sizes or heights. This display method works well for freestanding items such as ceramic ornaments, candles, silverware or models.
  • Mix and match categories that complement each other. If you collect vintage china, for instance, you could create themed display areas on shelves mixing in old books or vintage candlesticks.
  • Find creative ways to display unusual objects that won’t stand up on their own. You could, for instance, get your hands on a few pretty bottles with colours or shapes that complement each other, purely as a way to display a collection of attractive bottle stoppers.
  • There are similar ways to display all kinds of collections from a rainbow of nail polishes to a cascade of earrings. Finding complimentary items to hold or show off your main collection is the key idea. It’s far better to have the things you love out and on show rather than leaving them in your imagination.

Use All Your Wall Space

Whether you collect vintage fishing reels or musical instruments, they look better on the wall than they do in boxes under the bed. Individual items from some collections (fishing reels is a good example) may be interesting but not particularly attractive by themselves.

self storage - miniature vehicles

However, if you group them together on the wall in an interesting shape such as a simple circle or diamond, you create an eye-catching display that most people will find attractive even if they don’t love the individual items.

Similarly, old postcards and photographs may not look great hung up by themselves but pegged onto rows of craft wire attached to the wall they can become an attention-grabbing feature in any room of the house. The pegs let you mix and match, changing displays quickly and easily – every day if you want to.

When Only Boxes Will Do

Despite there being a multitude of display options, sometimes the very best storage solution is a box.

But don’t settle for the first box you can get your hands on. There are many more options than transparent plastic tubs. When you choose pretty boxes, such as painted ones or those covered in attractive fabric, they become items worthy of display in themselves. In these, you can house all kinds of small collections, from cosmetics to small items of hobby equipment.

self storage - old photos and photo frames

That said, the humble plastic tub also has its use. Many collectors these days are turning to self storage units as a way to preserve precious items they don’t currently have room for at home. Plastic tubs stack easily and are strong, so they’re ideal for use in storage units or storage lockers. It’s the perfect way to build up valuable large collections. Having items tucked away in self storage also means you can ring the changes at home without going to additional expense.

Collecting stuff is a pleasurable pastime or hobby whether you love tiny seashells or giant pieces of antique furniture. Clever storage is everything, at home or in local self storage facilities, and hopefully, you’ve now got a few ideas for how to make the most of your own collection.

Do you collect anything? How do you store or display your collection?

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Sarah loves creating beauty content but also writes about health & lifestyle. She has several chronic illnesses that impact her life in many ways. It's made her a big mental health advocate.