The Collector Organization Method
Updated: Feb 10
Organizing for your lifestyle and personality is not an easy task, you have to be a bit more logical and 100% honest with your likes, dislikes, and habits.
I'm not here to judge, I'm here to help you become more organized and efficient in YOUR OWN WAY and in a way that you can MAINTAIN yourself.
Collectors are the hardest type to get organized because of your sentimental attachment to possessions. But hard is by no means impossible. You just need systems that play to your strengths and that highlights your most treasured possessions.
The key to getting and staying organized for COLLECTORS is to accept the process and visualize that LESS storage space = MORE living space = MORE space to make new memories.
If you don't identify with this organization type or method check out my other organization types here.
Here are a few tips and organizing aids to help you along the way!
Determine your Goals
What are you trying to get organized? Is it a decorative area now but you want to turn it into a functional area? Is it storage but you need more living space?
What is your vision for this space?
Set concrete goals, having a goal in mind will make it easier for you to declutter.
Start with the room or area you use least
For collectors, this is crucial, you have to start your decluttering and organizing journey with the room you care about less or the room you spend the least amount of time in. This will allow you to open yourself up to the process without feeling overwhelmed and actually see the end results of the process.
This will motivate you to keep going and to make the hard decisions when you move on to a tougher room.
Related: How to Speed Clean your Entire Home
Tackle your functional and day-to-day items first
When trying to declutter and organize tackle the items you're not emotionally invested in first.
Leave the harder sentimental items for last.
Invest in Item-Specific Storage Solutions
You care... deeply, maybe even a little too much about your possessions. You keep them clean and you make sure they go back in their appropriate case when you're done using them.
When trying to get organized lean into this good habit and opt for item-specific storage solutions or organizers that are meant for specific items instead of multi-purpose bins and containers.
A watch-specific jewelry box
A sunglasses-specific box
A tie-specific rack
A bracelet holder
A hat wall
A pasta-specific container
Putting things back in their specific categories comes more naturally to you than any other organization type. This will help you STAY organized AND this will curb your shopping habits.
It also helps you set limits for your possessions, if your watch-specific case is full and you want a new watch, then it's time to let go of an old one or maybe you don't really NEED a new watch.
You're also VISUAL so make sure your item-specific storage solutions allow you to SEE your items.
Buy for the space you have NOW
Buying today for the home you want in the future is NOT helping your wallet or your current home. Before you click buy now ask yourself "Where am I going to store this?"
Set up a TO-DO bin
Lord knows procrastination is your middle name when it comes to menial tasks. So in order to keep your place as clutter-free as possible place the items you need to sort through (mail, magazines, bills, papers) in a designated TO-DO bin.
Simple things that you know you don't need to get done right away like archiving documents or receipts, going through magazines, fixing something in the home, putting up a frame etc..
Once that TO-DO bin is full GET TO WORK.
The bin allows you to still procrastinate but only up to a certain point.
Transform your Treasures
The most important part of a Collector's journey to getting organized is what to do with their treasures. A treasure is anything you refuse to get rid of because it has sentimental value.
Good examples are:
Gifts from relatives
Your junior-league baseball cap
Child's old baby-shoes
Your old college jersey
An instrument you USED to play
Movie tickets or other items that commemorate special days
Old baseball cards
Jewelry from an old flame
As a Collector, nothing makes you happier than knowing your treasures are in your home, problem is, you likely don't know WHERE they are exactly and these treasures are probably taking up precious real estate in your home.
There is nothing wrong with keeping and wanting to cherish these items, but if you're throwing them in a box and shoving them in the basement never to be seen again... Are they really treasures?
As a Collector you should try transforming your treasures into things you are actually going to use or display, here are 5 examples of creative ways to turn your treasures into useful and functional items.
01. Display your treasured belongings in a Shadow Box
Showcase your old sporting equipment in a shadow-box turning your treasures into instant home decor.
A shadow box will also FORCE you to only keep the items that actually fit in it.
02. Create Individual Memory Boxes
A memory box, is a labeled box you use to store the mementos and sentimental items of ONE person or ONE event.
For example, you could have a memory box for your husband, one for your child, and one dedicated to your wedding.
By having organized memory boxes you will be less inclined to keep more items because you KNOW you already have a box of memories and you can easily find it and go through it with your loved ones when you need to.
03. Start Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking is a great way to incorporate old pictures and keepsakes. You can keep ticket stubs, old jewelry, coins, and other miscellaneous items neatly within a scrapbook. Having an organized library of scrapbooks will allow you to walk down memory lane while cutting down on the clutter.
04. Turn sentimental items into Christmas Ornaments
I do this a lot! I discovered a LONG time ago that decorating the Christmas tree was way more fun when you could hang memories instead of baubles. You can even make it look as Christmassy as you want. (A little glitter goes a long way).
05. Make a Quilt out of sentimental fabrics
College jerseys, old baby blankets, baby clothes, old wedding dress, old uniform etc.. Take a few squares of fabric from every sentimental item and turn it into a quilt. It will surely take up less space than keeping entire garments while allowing you to still keep the memory.
Do you need extra help designing a space that is truly efficient and works for you, Are you still struggling with downsizing and decluttering?
Contact me here for personalized product recommendations according to your space and measurements.