Thursday, July 15, 2010

Re-Arranging The Shelves

I've added a few new robots to my collection lately, and frankly, the cases are starting to feel a bit cluttered. Time for some re-arranging!

I enjoy figuring out new ways to display my toys. It's a chance to interact with the collection, to pull down all the robots and really get a feel for them after what's often been quite a long time. When I've finished, the collection feels brand new; I get overly comfortable seeing the toys in the same place day in and day out, and sometimes they end up becoming background noise. By shaking things up, I really find myself focusing on these toys in a brand new way.

I didn't get too fancy in how I approached the new set up. In the past, I've grouped things by look or color or action. This time, I just went with aesthetics. If a clump of toys looks good together, they stay together. (Full disclosure: Some of my shelves remain untouched; they looked good before and I still think they look good now.)

What about you guys? How often do you re-arrange your collections? Is it a fun process? A painful one? What sort of criteria do you use when deciding how to arrange your stuff? Leave any thoughts in the comments section.


  1. At one point, I had most of my collection displayed across 6 sets of shelves. And at one point, I had so much of it, there was little chance to change it lol.

    Because my collection was of so many different things, I found clumping by color worked best. All the greens on one shelf, all the blues on another.

    It's both a fun and a painful process to rearrange, if like me, you do not have closed/glass display areas. The dusting part can be a challenge.

    The fun part is, taking the time to check out each item, and remembering why you got it, and how much you enjoy it.

    Also, I agree, changing the display helps you notice what you have. If it stays the same, it starts to become so familiar to the eye, you stop noticing individual things and just see the whole collection as one "thing". Make sense?

    We collect for the joy of it. For the way having these things makes us feel. The feelings they evoke when we look at them. So rearranging always has it's rewards. =)

  2. I often tweak my space gun display whenever a new addition arrives. Lately,however, I've been "doubling up" (two guns, sometimes even three to a shelf) in my cabinets, as each shelf is only 12" x 7"and my collection has grown to over 100 pieces. Even with six cabinets and countless shelves I am running out of space. The trick for me is to make the entire collection ascetically pleasing that it works as one large piece of art when viewed from a slight distance, all the while making sure each item has enough breathing room around it for it to be appreciated up close. I set a rule when I became serious about accumulating space guns, and that being no "Crush Collecting." I will not acquire a new item if I can't display it properly. This sometimes means I will "retire" or sell an item so a new gun can go into the cabinets. Displaying my collection is a fun challenge and as much a part of the enjoyment I derive from collecting. -Ogdorg.

  3. Today I was going to just dust my shelves but after reading your article I thought it probably wouldn't be too bad to re-arrange things as well. Basically since my shelves are on the wall behind the PC I went with what did I want at eye height and figured everything else wouldn't fit in on the upper shelves. I have to say it made the dusting a lot less onerous. So I can say I re-arrange when ever I dust. Because of the set up I definitely incline towards what do I want to see when I'm sitting at the PC. Not sure what I'll aim for when I get the other shelves in the lounge room.

  4. I am trying to re organize my collection right now, but mine is not as focused so I try to group by property (Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, etc.) I like the idea of by color though that could be interesting. My goal is to maybe reduce my collection to some key pieces and focus it a little more than I have in the past.

    I like the idea that your anonymous commenter had of " I will not acquire a new item if I can't display it properly." I might have to adopt this concept of collecting.

    I can't wait to see pictures of your new arrangement, I always loved the way your collection filled up the background of your photos, I often wonder what other treasures were waiting in the wings to be spotlighted.

  5. @chunky_B
    You're the first person to comment on my using the toy shelves as a background. The whole reason I did so was to provide some hints at what might pop up down the road. And the reason I never showed full, clear photos of the cases was because I didn't want to reveal anything before its time.

    But I'm getting kind of tired of using it as a background, and taking photographs in my toy room is, frankly, a complete pain in the butt. There's not a lot of room in there to spread out with lights and such. Hence the (possible) move to some new shooting locales.

    As for whether or not I'll post a photo of the new arrangement -- well, a clear photo -- only time will tell.


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