by Bill Cable
on 2010-11-10, 09:20:49

Two weeks ago, my collection room was stacked floor-to-ceiling with bins and boxes full of toys. About two-thirds of them were marked "Sell", about a quarter were marked "Keep" and then there were two that said "Steelers" and one that said "Punisher." There was a narrow path through the clutter to allow access to the back of the room. It was genuinely the sort of thing you'd see in an episode of Hoarders.

My wife invited her family up for my daughter's birthday, so I had to get the "guest room" habitable. I had all these bins, and no place to display the contents within them, so it was time for more shelves.

But therein lay a problem. I was fresh out of wall. My complete Vintage carded set takes up a lot of square footage. So I had to be creative.

Let's start with the "before" photos. I wasn't thinking and didn't take any disaster area "before" photos... I only took some post-clean-up. But these will give you an idea what the room was supposed to look like:

So that's what I had to work with. I decided since I didn't have an extra wall, I was going to make an extra wall. Out of book cases. And IKEA had all the hardware I needed. They have "corner" hardware so you can wrap your library around two walls and have it look decent. I was going to use that hardware, and a few extra shelves, to build a wall through the middle of the room. Here's the plan:

Initially I was planning to get three 72" half-shelves and two 72" full-shelves. But then thinking about it I thought I'd get a nicer effect by making the bottom two shelves half-height so you can see more of the room when you enter. I also picked up a couple corner sets and glass shelving for all the bookshelves. It was an expensive trip to IKEA... but then we all need to do our part to stimulate the economy, right?

After planning and purchase, we have construction!

After that. I began moving things into position. And let me tell you... it's FUN sliding fully-packed shelves around on hardwood floor attemtping not to knock anything over!

Like I said earlier, I opted for half-heigh shelves for so you'd have a better view of the room. Here you can see the effect when entering the room. I like how it works. I think full-height shelves there would have been oppressive.

After I finished all that, I spent the next two hours unpacking glass shelves and removing the STUPID ASS STICKERS from every one of them. Those stickers are the worst thing about IKEA. You'd think they'd use the sort of adhesive that allows the sticker to peel off glass without leaving any residue. You'd be WRONG!! Not only is this glue residue-intensive, it's so strong that it's impossible to peel the stickers off at all. You need to chip away at them with your fingernails, a bit at a time. Either that, or you use the method I developed. Step 1 - Use a razor blade flat against the glass to remove the sticker. Step 2 - Soak the glass in Goo Gone to remove the remaining residue, then wipe clean with a paper towel. Even with this being far more efficient than the finger nail method, or soaking in Goo Gone, it still takes a few minutes for each shelf. And when you're installing 24 shelves, that time adds up. So a note to IKEA - SWITCH TO PEELABLE GLASS SHELF STICKERS!!!

After I got all the shelves in and a few of the "Keep" bins unpacked, it was time to call it a day. So I moved the remaining "Keep" bins back into the collection room and locked it down until the following weekend.

The following Saturday (last Saturday) I took on my next big challenge. You see, with the shelves installed as they were, there was now a gaping hole behind the shelves. This mawing abyss was certain to become the final resting place for any figure I dared display on top these shelves. It actually became the final resting place for one of the extra shelves from the bookshelves I purchased as I was trying to measure up solutions to the problem...

To solve this, I decided on building a cap. I just happened to have about 24 spare wood shelves lying around, and I figured they'd make for good raw materials. A bit of measuring and a bit of cutting at 45-degree angles gave us this:

I placed the cap on top the shelves, and now we have viable display space once more!

That was fun. I enjoy power tools. And I love it when a plan comes together.

When that was done, I spent the next few hours unpacking boxes and putting little figures on shelves. It was actually a lot of fun. I had about 25 figures from the past couple years still in package that I got to open all at once. I gotta say, Hasbro is turning out some amazing figures these days. In particular the Cantina Aliens and the Jabba's Denziens are all really amazing. The detail. The articulation. Really it's miles beyond anything they used to do. Bravo Hasbro!

After everything was unpacked and displayed, I shot some photos. Enjoy!

I'm planning to hang stuff from the side of those shelves at some point. But other than that, I think the room is in good shape! It's actually not quite as cramped as it appears, though the cove area is a bit tight. Still, it does its job, and now pretty much everything I want on display is on display. And there's room to fold out the futon and everything. It'll make for a cozy little guest room for any time my Star Wars buddies want to visit.

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