When I married my husband, he came complete with a lifetime’s collection
of Hess trucks (ToyDirectory),
which found a home on the shelves that topped the kitchen cabinets. And
I brought enough books to open my own library. So I wasn’t surprised when
my children showed a tendency to collect things. One of anything seemed
incomplete to my daughters. “One would be lonely,” they would explain
sadly. “He needs a family.” So we assembled dinosaur families, horse families
and whale families.
In the beginning we had two boxes: one for things small enough to be
eaten by the vacuum and one for everything else. After constantly discovering
hundreds of tiny items dumped on the living room floor during the search
for one toy, I realized every collection needed its own space. Plastic
boxes seemed to be the ideal solution. They come in every size, are stackable
and have lids that make the perfect playing space.
Unfortunately, not every collection can be relegated to its own box in
the playroom. Some, like the ceramic angels, demanded to be displayed.
So my husband was enlisted to create out-of-reach shelves.
Our life was further complicated when our daughters wanted to both display
and play with certain collections. There was no universal answer. Each
collection needed a unique storage/display solution. The Groovy
lounge on a large doll bed while the Beanie Babies(ToyShow)
are suspended from the ceiling in three plastic baskets intended to hold
fruit in the kitchen.
As my children get older, new collections cause new headaches. The current
favorite is “squooshed” pennies bearing imprints of tourist attractions
and vacation spots we visit. At 51 cents each, the pennies are an economically
sound souvenir choice but display-wise, they are a nightmare. Eventually,
I found plastic sleeves designed to hold photographic slides. Each tiny
compartment is perfect for displaying the squooshed pennies.
For now, the collections are under control, but I’m still on the lookout
for the next box, bag or container. Who knows what they’ll decide to collect
next? Now if I could only convince them to keep the collections in their
boxes…but that’s another story.