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Collecting on small space - what I did to improve my moodCollecting on small space - what I did to improve my moodDiary

TuxmichlTuxmichl3 månader sedan
Hello again,

this time no review. It's just me babbling about my experiences about collecting stuff without having much space. Each time I see one of these "here is my collection" pictures with a lot of space and beautiful arrangements I get a bit envious and wish I could do the same. But fact is, I can't. However, in the last few days I realized that I am actually quite happy with my current setup. That was not always the case. In the last months I made some changes which really improved my mood regarding the no-space issue and thought I share my way. Maybe it's helpful for other small place collectors as well.

First off, here is my messy little collection (I had to play tetris with the furniture after I moved, that’s why it looks so random).

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975304231_91b71c7c7e_h.jpg

Tip 1: Don't forget your other stuff

If you are collecting figurines you are probably also collecting a lot of other stuff. My other sins are board games, mangas and tabletop miniatures. It's an obvious tip, but optimizing the storage of your other stuff means you have more space for your precious figures (who would have thought that!).
Okay, I write that down rather quick because it's really obvious, but it took me way too long to actually do it. Don't make the same mistake!

As a collector I like to see my stuff. But do I really need to see my board games? Do I need to see books which I wont read again in the next 1-2 years? No I don't.
I spent almost one day reorganizing everything. Really everything. I categorized them into different priorities:

1. fragile stuff I really want to see
2. stuff I really want to see
3. fragile stuff
4. stuff I want to have in reach
5. stuff I should know where it is
6. stuff I don't care about were it is
7. stuff I don't really need to keep actually
8. stuff I can't remember having it

And then go through it from bottom to top and start with filling the worst visible/reachable places.

7. and. 8.: Sell it. Really, sell it. Or throw it away. You don't need that stuff.
6.: if you have external storage like an attic, garage or whatever, put it there. Otherwise put it in the worst spots at your place.
4. and 5.: Well, I guess you know how it goes on. Book already read? Put it behind others. A game you play once a year? Doesn't matter if it is badly reachable.
3.: The annoying stuff which blocks potential figure display spots. Try to negate the fragile attribute, e.g. put in in sturdy boxes and store it like the other stuff.
1. + 2.: Congratulations, every free spot can now be spoiled with stuff you want to see. Or even better, maybe you have space for new furniture? (later point)

I feel a bit silly for talking about so basic stuff but just as reference:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975305096_d247e849df_h.jpg

See all the figures there? Before my cleanup there were none. Everything was filled with boxes (of figures), board games and other stuff. Reorganizing everything was so effective I even have 2 cells on the bottom shelf free for the next stuff I don't need to have in reach.
This brings me to the next point.

Tip 2: Make every furniture count

When you have no space you can’t restrict yourself even more with ineffective furniture. Two examples:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49974784923_013998d665_h.jpg

That was my first showcase. At the time I thought "I am only going to buy 1-2 figures". Ha! Failed big time...
As my collection got bigger I thought about getting more of these small showcases because of money reasons. But these things are really bad for displaying multiple figures and most of all: THE WASTE SO MUCH SPACE!!

It's a cube of 33cm in each dimension. That is a lot of space. As a reference, I can store almost 100 manga in such a cube (European format). But multiple figures look awful. Why? Because you can't arrange them much. If you want to use the whole space you need to go for two rows of two figures each. But that makes the back line hardly visible. In addition the space above is wasted. 1/8 scale figures will typically have 10 cm free space above them. Such showcases have only one use case: Fucking huge figures as ultimate Madoka. I only put her there because that was the only place she fit in. If you don't want to use it in such a way, don't get them. Aim for a few bigger showcases instead of multiple small ones.

The next example:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975568432_c65538671d_h.jpg

An old fashioned wooden showcase. I got it very cheap from an acquaintance and it was for a long time my main storage. Back then I was glad to get it. It's sturdy and I can put things on top and below it. That makes it perfect for small spaces? Almost. The big problem is the frame. At the first glance it does not look like an issue, but I really learned to hate it. The frame covers up so much of the figures. Take a look:

Holo visible.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975567642_57d89bfc09_h.jpg

Holo gone.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49974784763_744542eaf7_h.jpg

Just a slight change of view and roughly a third of the shelf is not visible. It's not just Holo, it's the complete right side. The corners are especially bad. If you don't stand directly in front of it you can't see it. Belief me, I tried. Another angle:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975304331_21da802816_h.jpg

The place next to the mermaid is not visible. If I would move her a bit to the left there would easily be enough space for 2 figures. This problem is affecting every row of the shelf. That means 6-10 less figures in total! (depending on how deep you want to go) I highly advise against such a frame.

Another problem of solid wood furniture is this: As soon as you stand the back rows get easily hidden. It's only the 3rd row of the shelf but it is already only usable at 50% capacity. Side note: Keep in mind that the middle shelf is mostly fixed and can't be adjusted. Raising it would solve this issue a bit, but I can't.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975567542_432e94e65c_h.jpg

That's a problem that affects every showcase that reaches the bottom, but it is lessened by using glass showcases. As much as I like the look of glass showcases that go down to the floor they have two significant disadvantages:

- They waste a lot of space
- The stuff on the bottom has bad visible (not as bad as wooden stuff, but still)

The premium spots are from eye level (sitting) and above. Putting figures below is wasting space (remember, don't forget you other stuff!). For me it was mostly "I have this shelf, so I am using it", but for future apartments I will keep this approach: Put heavy shelves on the bottom and fill it up with your other stuff. Place your goodies on top of it. The downside, you can't use most of the standard showcases out there, because they are made for placement on the floor. But there is a solution, namely...

Tip 3: Make your own showcase

Now the fun begins. This gave me the biggest boost for my collection. Finding the right showcase for your situation is hard. They are either very expensive or don't have the dimensions you want. Finding a perfect shelf on the other hand is a lot easier. The first showcase I made myself is the brown one.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49974784833_f9239544e8_h.jpg

I already owned the shelf and wanted to use it for display. The idea was simple. Put acrylic glass in front of it, done. I searched a bit online and it was quite easy to find a service which offered pre-cut and drilled panes. You can even choose material which filters UV light, but I can't tell you how good it works. It's super easy, but a few things you should keep in mind:
- don't make the holes too close to the edge to minimize risk of breaking it. I let the glass standing over the edge of the shelf a bit to make it extra secure (only needed for thin frames)
- make the hole big enough for the screws you want to use. Seriously. I screwed this up for the second showcase I made big time and had to use leftover hooks from my first attempt. Which is bad because...
- hooks are actually a bad idea. The hole sneeds some distance to the edge and exactly that space is the minimum length you need to keep the hook out of the shelf or you can simply not hang the pane in. That doesn't look good and is also impractical. See here:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975567997_622b7eb0fa_h.jpg

I almost need to lift the pane up at 90 degrees to remove it. That's why I wanted for the white shelf to use screws which are drilled diagonally down into the shelf. That way the pane would slide as close as possible to the shelf from itself. I always have to push it on all corners to shut it without gaps (Problematic if the shelf reaches the ceiling). Which brings me to:

- do not expect that this will be air shut. It wont. But it's good enough for me and even better than the real showcases I own.
- I used 3mm thick plates. I recommend using thicker ones. 3mm is sturdy enough, that is not the issue. But because of the size it's slightly bending which makes it hard to close as tight as possible. Thicker plates are maybe less affected.
- If you want to improve this, you can use these round neodym magnets. Simple drill some more holes and place the magnets inside. I did not do that yet but I will probably test that with the next showcase I make. Or simply use a fat penguin like I did.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49975568142_9c61ec9121_h.jpg

The biggest advantage is like I said to easily make showcases with the perfect size for you. I am really happy about the white shelf, because it is just the size I wanted. The other shelfs I use for display were simple there and I integrated them as good as possible.

If I run out of space again I will throw out the showcase with the big frame and replace it with a self made one. You can modify every shelf that way. For example you have a big book shelf and would like to dedicate one row for figures? No problem, add a pane and you are good. Okay, enough talk about showcases.

Tip 4: Throw away your figure boxes

Technically this is covered by tip 1, but I want to talk about figure boxes particularly. They are the bane of collectors, especially if you have no space to begin with. I kept a lot of boxes because of possible resale value. Screw it. I don't want to sell my figures and even if I do, who cares? Better losing some money in a possible future that may not even come then not enjoying my hobby in the present. To make it clear, look at this.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49974784503_15a6db82f8_h.jpg

After my initial clean up I kept the boxes first. They were on the brown shelf and left from it. Or to say it in other words: Everything except for the Modoka figures was full of boxes. I couldn't see big parts of my collection because they were squeezed into the bad showcase and more figures were already on their way. In a moment of frustration I teared apart all the boxes and threw them away, and I am so happy I did that. Guess what makes more fun to look a:. Boxes or your real figures.

"But, but, but...!" I can hear some screams until here. Yes, you are right. I did not throw away all boxes. I only kept a handful and only for 2 reasons: "I have no idea how I should transport that figure without it" and "That figure has a high possibility to skyrocket in price". Everything else: THROW IT AWAY!

Finally, the last tip.

Tip 5: Overcome your fear to harm your stuff

Not everyone cares about it, but for a looong time I was the typical "Do not touch my stuff!" type of collector who wants to keep everything in mint condition and perfect. I wanted to put every figure behind glass and therefore had to squeeze them all huddled together into the shelfs. It looked awful and made no fun. As the first step to curing my paranoia of damaging things I placed some Nendos and prize figures into the open and guess what? They are not ruined. And more important: It looks so much better to give the figures some space to breathe.

So, that's it. I am already thinking about the next improvements. Next step will be some sort of stair-like construction on the brown shelf. That way I can display 3 rows of figures. After that, who knows? I want to try out more creative ways to include figures into everyday places. I hope this was a bit useful for some other small space collectors like me. Feel free to share your solutions against our mortal enemy: The lack of space!

Until then, thanks for reading and bye bye!
1,750 visningar • 25 favoriter10 kommentarer

Kommentarer10

MajesticOtaking Odayaka janai!
aquacapsak3 månader sedan#78764091I need to invest in risers myself. Would you be cool with doing a tuto for the foamcore risers??? Is there a max weight they can hold?? I have so many figures and this would help tremendously with getting them all in view without losing space or views.

I may consider a tutorial in the near future if I feel I have time, but for now I'll link this video to teach you the basics:

www.youtube.com...

The tutorial starts at 1:50. My one piece of advice is that if you intend to make something too large to maneuver in the area you want to put it in, you may need to partially disassemble that piece of furniture. My stair-step riser is made to fit almost perfectly in my Detolf, but it requires partial disassembly of the Detolf to put it in or take it out. Keep that in mind.

TBH I actually have no idea how much weight they can hold, as I only keep light Gunpla on them. You can always put extra foamcore walls inside to reinforce the strength. Sorry I can't be more help there; it may take some trial and error to figure out if your figures are too heavy.

Good luck!
3 månader sedan
figuresuki3 månader sedan#78764817I have a display case but it has gaps around the doors so wont keep dust of as i would like.This reminds me of someone that owned a glass display case. They cut thin strips of foam and lined all the gaps with them. Kept nearly all the dust out, while also letting a little air still go through, so that the figures had less issues with resin fumes or plasticizers settling on the figures. (a completely sealed case or box leaves figures without any way to air-out. sometimes it's a problem.)
3 månader sedan
THANK YOU

i am literally in the process of going through all of my possessions right now, because i have absolutely no more space for anything. and unfortunately I'll be bringing more items into this tiny apartment (not hobby related) because of personal reasons. and then of course I do have a couple more new figures I want to buy this year too.

these ideas might be helpful and at the very least, the article was encouraging. :)
3 månader sedan
These are great tips! I'm also envious when I see displays where someone has a lot of space to use, since that's not the case for me yet... learning to work with what you currently have is very important.
3 månader sedan
Interesting to see how others solved their display problems.
For me i like to keep the boxes, i have attic space so they can be packed up and stored if i ever need them.
For taking figures out of boxes i prefer to buy prize figures or second hand then i don't worry about them getting damaged or dust.
For my more expensive ones i don't have my display set up yet how i want to set them up
I bought acrylic square display boxes for some of the better figures i have out at those are pretty dust proof and i can put them onto of the bookcases that i have.
I have a display case but it has gaps around the doors so wont keep dust of as i would like.
Considering a custom build to go with the shelves so i can get what i want.
Thanks for sharing.
3 månader sedan
MajesticOtaking3 månader sedan#78762799It's cool that you've found a way to organize your stuff that works for you. Something I might point out, though, is that no matter what furniture you use, if the figures are the same-ish height, the back row will always get covered up if you don't use risers.
Risers are a serious lifesaver, and they allow you take advantage of deeper and taller spaces. You can get acrylic risers online, or you can make your own. These pictures from my own collection are outdated, but I previously made my own stair \-step and custom shaped risers out of foam core (then I covered them in a red velvety fabric) to improve my Beargguy display. You can see everything on the shelf now, even though many of the items are the same height. I highly recommend risers if you want to be able to effectively display more in a smaller space!
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/09/26/2066549.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/09/26/2066546.jpeg


I need to invest in risers myself. Would you be cool with doing a tuto for the foamcore risers??? Is there a max weight they can hold?? I have so many figures and this would help tremendously with getting them all in view without losing space or views.
3 månader sedan
cyclo1953 månader sedan#78762616Would you mind sharing where you got the acrylic from?
Sure, but I guess it wont help you much because it's a german site: www.plattenzusc...

Even if it is within the same country, the shipping costs will be quite high because of the irregular size. I think I have also seen some hardware stores which offer arcylic glass cut as you wish. But I don't know if they also drill holes.

MajesticOtaking3 månader sedan#78762799It's cool that you've found a way to organize your stuff that works for you. Something I might point out, though, is that no matter what furniture you use, if the figures are the same-ish height, the back row will always get covered up if you don't use risers.

Your raisors look great. Somehing like that is what I want to put on my brown shelf. Hmm, the raisers for individual figures are a very interesting idea. I think I can use that in some corners of my showcases. Thanks for sharing!
3 månader sedan
MajesticOtaking Odayaka janai!
It's cool that you've found a way to organize your stuff that works for you. Something I might point out, though, is that no matter what furniture you use, if the figures are the same-ish height, the back row will always get covered up if you don't use risers.

Risers are a serious lifesaver, and they allow you take advantage of deeper and taller spaces. You can get acrylic risers online, or you can make your own. These pictures from my own collection are outdated, but I previously made my own stair \-step and custom shaped risers out of foam core (then I covered them in a red velvety fabric) to improve my Beargguy display. You can see everything on the shelf now, even though many of the items are the same height. I highly recommend risers if you want to be able to effectively display more in a smaller space!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/09/26/2066549.jpeg

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/09/26/2066546.jpeg
3 månader sedan
Would you mind sharing where you got the acrylic from?
3 månader sedan
With limited room and a growing collection, you'll always have to reorganize from time to time. To me it looks like you found a good solution. I like the DIY Showcases, especially the white one. I'm in the middle of reorganizing my room too, so this might be a good Idea, especially for bigger scales.

I'm aggreeing with a lot of your tips, especially tip 5. - I only keep the most fragile & expensive things in a glass cabinet. Mainly because of my dog. Not because he'd chew on anything, but because he's really clumsy. :D I think some of the cheaper figures are actually more durable. I'm really careful with my figures, but my dog ran against a shelf once, cause he was too focused on bringing me his toy. A few figures fell down, but nothing happened. I'm sure that a lot of my more expensive scales wouldn't have survived a fall out of this height.
3 månader sedan
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Just some reviews about cute figures to have a reason to buy even more.

If you see something in my collection you would like to have reviewed feel free to let me know.

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