Being a collector can bring you great joy. Some people collect objects to preserve history or as a way to hold onto cherished memories or embrace nostalgia. Others want to be surrounded by things they love or want the bragging rights. Whatever your reason for collecting, it becomes a little more challenging when you live in a small space. You can still be a collector if you're downsizing to a smaller home. These ideas can help.
If you're thinking of starting a new collection, pick your latest obsession wisely. Stick with smaller objects if you can find something little that you like. You can put more items on display without taking up a lot of space. If you're thinking of collecting larger items, consider how things need to be displayed. Something you can hang on the wall is usually easier to fit into a smaller space than something that needs to sit on the floor.
The cost of the collectibles can also be a factor. If you collect expensive items, you probably won't buy as many of them, so you'll have a smaller collection. People who collect inexpensive items might be more likely to build a larger collection because the items are more affordable.
If you already have a large collection and you're downsizing to a smaller space, it might be time to downsize your collection. It's easy to collect large numbers of items just because they fit your collection. However, you might not truly love everything you have.
Use these steps to thin down your collection:
What should you do with the items you want to part with? If they're valuable, consider selling them. Offer family heirlooms to loved ones so they stay in the family. Other items can be donated. If you don't want to display an item but also don't want to get rid of it, you can put it in storage for now.
If you don't want to part with anything in your collection, consider a rotation for what goes on display. Choose a few favorites that you put out first. Pack everything else into storage bins, which you can tuck away in a closet or under your bed. Every few weeks or months, swap out the collectibles you have on display. This keeps the display fresh and gives everything in your collection a chance to shine without making your small space look cluttered.
In a small home, floor space is limited. Getting lots of cabinets and shelving units to display your items takes up that valuable space and can make your home feel smaller. When possible, display your collection on your walls. This option isn't limited to traditional artwork. You can mount lots of things on your walls, including a collection of old brooms, hats, baskets, wooden utensils and plates. Place the items in a creative arrangement in one area to create a gallery wall of your items.
For smaller items, a display container can keep the items together and make an attractive display. Try large glass apothecary jars for small items like buttons, marbles or toy cars. Decorative trays can work well for some items, like old spice jars or bottles of perfume. Place the display containers on a table or shelf to keep your collection out in the open.
When you live in a small home, you might not have an area large enough to keep your entire collection together. Instead, break it up and place little pieces of your collection throughout your home. While it might look impressive as one massive display, it can look just as good sprinkled around your home. Group two or three items from your collection in each area or however it looks good to break it up.
If you don't have enough room to show off your collection in your small home, consider taking photos that you can display instead. Frame the photos and make a display on your wall of the images. You can also make a photo book that you put on your coffee table so you can share your collection with visitors. The actual items can go in storage, or you can part with them if you can't keep them in your smaller home.
Collections often go on shelves or in cabinets, but you don't have to stick with tradition. Look for little areas in your home where you can place collectibles. Examples include the tops of kitchen cabinets and windowsills. You might place some of your collection in the bathroom for a unique display — just make sure the items won't be damaged by moisture. Tucking your items into little places adds cheerful touches throughout your home and makes good use of the space.
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