This past weekend, I was fortunate (unlucky) to be asked (forced) to help (do all the work) of organizing my mother (hi Mom!) for her eventual move. As stated in a previous Newsletter, my mother was married for almost 40 years to my late step father who was a compulsive (OCD) collector (hoarder) of an incredible array (too many to count) of collections (one man's junk is another's treasure). Just in the category of baseball (GO CUBS!) he collected cards, bats, gloves, pennants, pins, programs, magazines, ticket stubs, and much, much, more.
When you are truly a collector, proper organization is critical. I define a collector as someone who has more of something then they could ever possibly need. For example, an art collector has items in storage because they do not have enough walls to hang their collection. Or the wine collector, who has much more wine then they could ever possibly consume (or gift) in their lifetime. This week, I attempt to keep you in the Loupe with some practical organizational strategies for real Collectors!
When my wife and I announced that we were expecting our third child, we sent our parents a Beanie Baby Stork. That was the last time I thought about Beanie Babies, but apparently there's a whole lot of people who collect these. Truth be told, I'm not a collector of Beanie Babies, Barbies or Hot Wheels, but my kids are, and this is the way for them to keep track of their sh*t! This app was purpose made for collecting anything, including action figures, alcohol, art, beanie babies, board games, bobbleheads, and/or Christmas ornaments... and that is just A-C! This app makes it easy to keep track of what you have (scan barcodes or search from extensive databases) and figure out what you don't have. It even connects to eBay for items on your wishlist. This allows you to see your whole collection on your phone or computer, so you can collect, inventory, organize, and manage your own database of crapola! It is a perfect way to get you addicted to collecting and doing it the right way. For my kids, who have collected everything from Kooky Pens to Beybaldes to Pocketbacks to Kaiju and Japanese Vinyl toys to baseball cards, this forces them to invest in the process, figure out what they have and don't have, and ultimately make them better collectors. Happy sorting and hunting!
Calling all oenophiles ... the more I use Vivino, the more I love it! Vivino is an app that allows you to take a photograph of a wine label, and instantly get the wine's rating, review, and average price catalogued by it's 20 million winos! More than that, Vivino allows you to store your entire wine cellar in this handy little app. While Collectrium is also great for collecting valuable wines, it doesn't have the practical functionality of Vivino which focuses only on wine. The reality is that it is very easy to enter wines, as there are very few that haven't already been entered, catalogued, etc. You can enter the price you paid, where you bought it, and any other pertinent details. Of particular interest is entering the best time period to consume so that you can sort your collection by when you should drink. The app compares ratings of the very same wine by different vintages and has winemaker notes about the grapes, so you can impress your friends with your sommelier ways!
If you have a serious collection (one that has value to third parties), you need a serious database. I am not talking about a pen & paper list, or even an excel spreadsheet; I am referring to the a real, special purpose built database program. If you have a valuable collection of antiquities, art, cars, coins, jewelry, and really anything of substantial value, then this is a solution for you. Collectrium was bought by Christies in 2015, and they have one of the best products on the market. You can catalogue what you have, document invoices, related expenses, insurance, and much more. The app and website has so much more to offer then simply an inventory system; this makes you a better collector. On the home page, you can access news and auction results based upon your collection. You can even see upcoming auction items for your collection, in the event you have the buying bug! So, this is when you crossover to collector from hoarder, and you know my motto, don't be a hoarder!