Tribune Print Share Text

Expert tips to rightsize your collections

Created date

December 31st, 2008

Decisions, decisions.

What to do with all this stuff?

If you have a large collection of something that you know is not going to make the move to your new home, start by putting all of your collectibles in one place so you can see just how much you have.

Then try these tips for paring down:

Use the one-to-five ratio.

Go through a collection and for every five you keep, get rid of one. After you ve done it once, go back and do it again keep five items, get rid of one. You ll cull down the collection gradually.

Make a memory book.

Take a photo of items that have memories attached to them but which you don t want anymore. Keep the photo in a small memory book or decorative box.

Create family heirlooms.

Offer items to your children and grandchildren.

Sell on the Internet.

Use the Internet to sell some keepsakes; other collectors may be looking for what you have. Craigslist ( and eBay ( are great sites for sellers.

Donate items.

Donate books and magazines to places such as:

  • Schools and libraries
  • Early learning and after-school centers
  • Food banks, pantries, and kitchens
  • Homeless and domestic violence shelters
  • Disaster relief programs
  • Local literacy programs

Here are some ideas for how to present the things you ve opted to keep:

Put items on display shelves

For small collectibles like glass figurines, curio cabinets and display cases take up valuable floor space. Try hanging narrow display shelves in hallways or on the wall over furniture like desks and chests.

Display collectibles in narrow bookcases.

For books and large items, narrow (9") bookcases placed along the wall behind furniture work well.

If you are using a personal moving consultant, he or she will work with you to find a place for your collectibles either in or out of your apartment home. We understand your connection to your keepsakes and will help you find the right place for them.

Margaret Semezko is a personal moving consultant for Erickson Realty & Moving Services, a program available for people moving to any Erickson community across the country. Personal moving consultants provide trusted realty and moving resources, as well as expert advice and assistance with every aspect of people s move from selling their house to settling into their new apartment home.