If you could afford to own a warehouse, you would be well served to keep everything you have ever owned.  Things that go out of style once tend to come back into favor after a decade or so, and things that once were uncool are suddenly back in fashion.

My latest example:  records.  The bookstore in the mall (in other words: mainstream shopping vs. a niche store) is now selling turntables and a whole selection of vinyl records. And those little plastic 45 adaptors that once cost about a quarter: they are now $2 each.  Think of how many albums were sold at garage sales for a song and now they are back in circulation at full price.

The sign on the display says: Old School, New Cool.  Same for long dresses that were once out, but now are back in.  The 1970s/1980s neon colors that are back in mass merchandising.  Superman and Batman have taken on a new life.  Just take a quick look through Pinterest to see how popular “vintage” has become.  Mason jars are trendy.  Chalk is the hot medium.  Classic board games are experiencing a revival.  

I recently visited an antiques store and it was like stepping back into my mother’s kitchen.  We once owned about a quarter of the merchandise, and, given the current prices, I wish we still did!

It may seem old-fashioned or unnecessary to hold on to pieces of your organization’s present, but it appears that tangible tokens will increase in value as time goes by.  Take your archiving and preserving as seriously as space allows.  The historical display you roll out in a decade or two may be the emotional connection your client or donor needs to endear themselves to you.

— beth triplett

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