Collecting Tips 101 – Collection Storage


Creating a collection takes a lot of time and effort.  Whether it’s a collection of comic books or a set of antique coins, a collector can spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to build their collection.  So why is it after all that time and effort the collection ends up gathering dust in some forgotten spot like a basement or attic?

The answer is simple….no storage space.

When I was a child, I would spend countless hours sorting my comic book collection.  I had catalogued each and every comic book by title and sequence, keeping them orderly in my storage box.  I placed my collection under my bed so it was close by and easily accessible.  That way each time I would add to my collection, I would save time as I tediously recorded and interfiled it.  However after some time, the collection grew to be so large that I no longer had any storage space available.  As a result, I had to move it elsewhere.

This is a common problem for collectors.  We run out of space to store our collection.  And no matter how passionate we are about our collectables; depending on the situation, the availability of space will take precedence over our love for the collection.

This is why whatever the collection, collectors will need to make several decisions as to the care and storage of their collection.  This is why understanding what the ideal environment for their collection is critical, especially if it is going to be stored long term.

Finding the Right Environment

Generally speaking, you’ll want to store your collectibles at room temperature (or slightly cooler) with low humidity levels.  This is because too much humidity can really damage your collection irregardless of the type of collection.

In my experience there are four specific questions you will want to ask yourself to determine the ideal environment for your collection:

  • What am I storing?  – The reason you are asking this question is because the durability of the collection is important.  Are you storing comic books?  If you are then these are paper products and you definitely don’t want these items to get wet or infested with bugs.  If your collections is say coins, then keeping them safe is your bigger concern instead of weather.

  • How long will it be stored? – Are you going to visit your collection daily or are you putting it away for a long time? You need to know this because anything can happen the longer an item is unattended.  I remember the story of my friend that put his Action figures in the basement.  He put it in there for safe keeping because he had completed all the characters in the toy line.  When he went to pull them out seven years later, the items were water damaged due to flooding that occurred in the basement.  He never considered that something could happen to them in the basement over a long period of time.
  • What is the Quantity stored? – How big is your collection will determine the amount of storage space you will need.  Storing comics takes alot of space, but storing rings does not.

  • Do I need additional protection? In addition to the ideal environment, should you purchase protective casing to protect your collectibles?  That depends entirely on you.  What is you purpose for storing these items?  Is it sentimental or is it an investment.  Only you can decide that.  Naturally if you are storing your collection as an investment – then it is a smart move to get additional protection for your items.  This is because you want to be sure that the collectable’s value will still be worth the same (if not more) and the same condition when you remove it from storage.