We’re all guilty of it: busting open boxes of cards, pulling out the hits, and then setting the rest aside in a hidden corner or tucked away in a drawer. Eventually, those piles stack so high that you don’t even know where to start. In the spirit of, ”Get Organized Day,” it’s time to bust open those jumbled boxes full of cards and to give them a much needed change of scenery.
Whether you’re just starting your collection or have a room full of cards, there are a variety of methods to help organize your collection in a way that will make it accessible and keep it in pristine condition.
A few basic steps to get started in tidying up your collection are:
As Marie Kondo, organizing extraordinaire, states, “The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.”
Kondo is spot on in understanding that organizing can have a great impact on our enjoyment with our card collection. During the clean-up process, we are reminded of why we become collectors in the first place and can find some hidden treasures along the way. It’s fun to go through cards you haven’t touched in a while because often you will find players who were commons at the time who have emerged and become stars! Besides, who doesn’t want to show off such an impressive collection to friends and family?
All the “OG” collectors and card fanatics are well versed in the multitude of benefits that results from scrupulous attention to card cataloguing. Being able to easily find a particular card is beneficial when going to player signings, card shows and, if the opportunity arises, trading or selling the card. No one can deny the feeling of pride that goes along with showing others how much work and dedication went into your collection. Also, how are people supposed to be jealous of all your huge hits and rare pulls if they are banished to a box in the garage or under a bed?
Take a quick look at our Twitter feed to see some outstanding collections in terms of both quality and organization:
Jay Jokisch posted pictures of his immaculately organized Premier Mega Patch Card Collection. His cards are organized in binders and a glass case display, and his individual cards are in protective sleeves neatly placed on his wall. He clearly loves collecting and is determined to keep his collection pristine.
“The room itself is an eye opener for sure and people are often thrown off by its size and how the cards are displayed. At the moment, I have about 700 cards on display with most of these cards being short-printed (numbered to 15 or lower) and 55 are 1-of-1 cards. I have dozens of binders holding all of the sets I have organized and logged. I estimate by the time I am done sorting and logging all of my sets, there will be over 200 binders! And yes, there is an expansion plan in place for the room. I recently got approval from my wife!”
Michael Stepper is one of our favorite collectors to follow on Twitter. He has an incredible collection of Upper Deck Sweet Spot Baseball cards:
To say he’s got his collection organized is an understatement. Everything is labeled and he can find what he needs whenever he wants:
We love how a collector named Joey stores his Goodwin Champions Museum Collection cards like they are on display in an actual museum. They look terrific stored this way!
Another Twitter user @Sneak_a_Head, shared his more traditionally organized card collection from his youth:
Even in his younger years, he recognized the benefits of putting his cards in binders and protective cases. Had he not carefully stored his cards, his collection would have been damaged by dust, scrapes and handling. Card collections can last for generations which only increases the importance of proper storage and care.
Whether you’re a new collector just getting introduced to card organization and care, or a lifetime fan with spreadsheets, bookshelves of labeled binders, and display walls, the advantages of proper care can’t be denied. If you haven’t been cataloging your collection but want an easy way to start, here is a link to a simple excel sheet that will help you get on your way! Here is an example of what a filled out table would look like in this template:
A few things to note when organizing your collection:
Weather: We’ve seen more than our fair storms and floods destroy incredible collections over the years. Don’t let that happen to you. Do not store cards and collectibles in basements or on the ground in garages, instead get them up high, especially the premium cards.
Fading Signatures: Fans love displaying their collectibles in well lit areas, but if the items are getting direct sunlight or light from bulbs, the signatures can fade. If you are displaying your signed collectibles, do not put them in direct light and make sure they are in UV protective holders.
Theft: It is fun to show off, your collectibles, but the more people that know about them creates concerns about theft. Install cameras if you are going to have a display like Jay Jokisch, put great cards in a safe, and make sure your collectibles are covered on your home insurance!
Extreme Temperatures: Trading cards and collectibles do not respond well to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can adversely affect your collectibles in a variety of way, but probably the greatest threat to collectibles is humidity. Do your best to keep your collectibles stored in a cool, dry area to insure they will last the test of time.
Donate Old Cards: As you do your Spring Cleaning, consider donating your collection or at least part of it. A donation of sports cards can be an incredible tax deduction and it also helps cultivate the next generation of collectors. One of our favorite trading card charities right now is Kidority Kards. Check out their website at www.Kidority.com!
Check YouTube: There are a bevy of videos on YouTube that talk about how to best store your trading cards. These videos from collectors are awesome to check out.
If you have a collection you want to show off, please post it to our Twitter @UpperDeckSports, and @UpperDeckHockey. We love to see all the varieties of ways our fans collect, and we are always looking for inspiration to share with our fans around the world!