Labeling a Collection

Whether you're just starting a collection or have one started that you expect to keep and build over many years to come, it can be useful and enriching to label it:

That can mean applying an inconspicuous removable sticker on each item, writing with a wax pencil on the bottom of porcelain or glass pieces, or hiding a hidden tag somewhere on each piece. Use the label to assign a number to each item in the collection.

Next, start a running log of each numbered item in the collection. This can be in a dedicated notebook if you want something physical to keep with the collection. Or it can be in a digital spreadsheet document for ease of use and space-free storage. Record for each numbered item things like:

  • Where item was purchased or who it was received from if it was a gift.
  • Date of purchase/receipt.
  • Cost of purchase.
  • Any interesting backstory you would like to record for posterity.

A log like this may seem unnecessary if your collection is currently small or if you're just getting started. But if it grows much larger or if you keep it for decades to come, that same log can become a real treasure!

Do you label any collections of your own? Any tips on how to label actual pieces or on important information to record?

MORE ON COLLECTION ORGANIZATION FROM APARTMENT THERAPY:

(Image: Instant Appraisal)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.