U3.3 Why do it? – What are the pros and cons of organising your collections?

It’s not essential to be organised or tidy – life will not come to an end if you’re not. However there are certain advantages and they are outlined below. Of course, most good things come with a price and the disadvantages and difficulties are also described.


Perhaps the biggest benefit of having an organised collection is that you are actually able to find things in it; and possibly much faster and more easily than otherwise. By the same token, it may  also be easier to store things simply because there is an established place for things to go.

Another key advantage is that having an organised collection probably means that you are managing the space it takes up. That’s not to say that it’s necessarily taking up less space – just that you are more likely to be in control of the space and ensuring that it’s not interfering with other activities or generally being a worry. By being in control, you can decide whether to adjust/move the storage space to optimise your overall layout.

By actively organising a collection, you are probably going to be making more careful judgements about what you are putting in it. You may even be more diligent about going through it and clearing out items that you no longer need; and this closer attention to its contents may renew your interest in certain items and inspire you to give more visibility to them.

If part or all of a collection is covered by insurance, then any records that are kept to manage the collection could be invaluable in a) assessing how much insurance to take out, and b) in making a claim for loss or damage.

If you spend the time and effort in organising a collection, you may be more inclined to keep it in order than you were previously because you won’t want your efforts to be wasted. Both Marie Kondo and Liz Davenport believe that if you apply their techniques to your collections you will experience a changed mindset which will make it easier for you to keep organised going forwards.

Completing the organisation of your collections may make you feel better and more content with life. Indeed Marie Kondo and Liz Davenport both believe that once you have become organised, you are more likely to be able to discover what it is you really want to do in life.

Summary of the advantages

  • Enables you to find things
  • Makes it easier and quicker to find things
  • Makes it easier to store things
  • Prevents storage requirements spiralling out of control
  • Inspires greater selectivity about what is included
  • Increases the likelihood of undertaking regular clearouts
  • Improves the chances of discovering forgotten items
  • Supports the insurance process
  • Changes your mindset such that it becomes easier to keep things in order subsequently
  • Makes you feel better and more content


Organising a chaotic mess is a hard thing to do. It will require some effort and some sort of plan of how you are going to do it. Some people don’t even know where to start.

Getting a collection in order may well take quite a bit of time – time which you may feel could be better spent on more important things.

In the course of organising a collection you are likely to have to make some hard decisions about what to throw away and what to keep.

One person’s idea of what an organised collection looks like may still look chaotic to another person. So, when a collection belongs to two or more people in a household, office, or elsewhere, it’s important to ensure that the way it is organised works for all the owners. This can complicate matters.

Once you have finished organising a collection, you will have to continue to manage it to ensure that it doesn’t fall back into its original state. This treadmill of continuous work that has to be done to keep collections in order can feel like a chore and not something that you particularly want to do.

Summary of the disadvantages and difficulties

  • It’s hard to do and requires some effort
  • Takes quite a bit of time
  • Requires difficult decisions to be made about what to keep and what to throw away.
  • It may be more difficult to organise a collection with multiple owners
  • Continuous work required to keep collections in order

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