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Lots of collectors make use of curio cabinets and sideboards with a hutch to display and enjoy their collectibles, whether they’re vintage salt & pepper shakers, antique rag dolls or Fostoria glass. But if your shelves are looking overstuffed and your cabinet is getting cluttered, it might be time to curate your collection. Here are a few ways to do it.

  1. Get in the habit of rotating your display. Get two or more storage boxes and separate your collection seasonally, or by color, or even at random. Once or twice a year, or more frequently if you’re really ambitious, swap out the contents of one box for another. You might find that you enjoy your items more if you’re seeing them less often.
  2. Create small groupings of your collection in different areas of your home. Who says you have to keep all your vintage thimbles in one place? Spreading your collection around your home lets you integrate your pieces into your decor without one room looking like a curio shop.
  3. Put a few pieces in unexpected places. Try setting a signature piece in a bathroom, or grouping a tableware collection over the fireplace. Consider putting  pieces in shadowbox frames and hanging them on the wall. Dolls, flatware, jewelry and antique toys all look striking in deep shadowbox frames.
  4. Cull your less-favorite pieces and store them. This is an especially good idea if you have duplicates or near-duplicates of certain items. Tuck some away and forget about them until the day you decide to pass your collection along to a family member or find a buyer for it.
  5. Create a scrap book with photos and notes about where you found particular items or how they happened to come to you. Flipping through its pages every now and then will remind you not only of the items you’ve collected, but of the pleasure you’ve taken in collecting them. Plus, should you ever decide to sell your collection, you’ll retain a book filled with mementos that fits neatly on a shelf and almost never needs dusting.

What are some of the ways you curate your collectibles?