Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated June 16, 2020)
Just about everyone in the world has some type of a collection. Whether you collect baseball cards, comic books, or stamps, at one point in time or another you are going to want to organize things. There are many possible reasons for organizing your collection—everything from having an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of items to being able to easily store and once again find a part or portion of your collection. The question that faces you is how you are going to organize your treasures.
There are as many different ways to organize your collection of whatever as there are of things to collect. For example, one way to organize a shell, rock or pressed flower collection is to arrange them around a variety of themes such as colors, interesting shapes, or geographic origin. If you are planning on arranging such a collection for the purpose of displaying, you need to keep in mind that just such a conglomeration of small objects has a tendency to disappear against a bland white background. In such circumstances it is often a good idea to use display or exhibition shelves made of dark-colored wood to show of your precious things. Another option, perhaps a little more inexpensive, would be to line those shelves with dark paper or cloth before laying out the shells or the like.
If your collection is made up of something that can be a little more voluminous, such as movies, albums, or books, or even more space consuming like wine, paintings, or other artwork, then there are other methods at your disposal for organization. One of the most tried and true would be the use of the good old fashioned Dewey Decimal System that libraries the world over make use of. Obviously this method would be best used on something that is more data centric, like your multimedia collection (books, music, video, etc.). If this is the method that you decide to use, then you can get lessons from any library on how to set it up in your home.
Another method that you can use for organizing your collection is through the use of a barcode scanner. You have seen these things at every store in the country, and as such you probably have a fairly accurate working knowledge of what this system can and cannot do. What you may not have realized, though, is that you can purchase a system for your own home use. All that you really need for this system to work is a home computer and a barcode scanner kit. You can purchase these kits at most office supply stores. They allow you to completely catalogue and organize your collection, and when you look up on the computer the information about your collection, can tell you where a specific item is located. Finally, as an added bonus with this type of system, many home insurance agencies may give you a rate break because of this information.
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