How to store a twenty six year old plastercast?!

My name is Mat and I am a hoarder.  I come from a family of hoarders and I’ve personally been hoarding for most of my life.

There, now that’s out in the open I feel at ease sharing with you my fascination and obsession with anything that helps me to hoard!  I blame my Dad to be honest, I think he must have got me started, newspapers and magazines are his thing.  “I’ll keep that article, been meaning to read up on that” “that’s a good feature on that new car I was looking at, I’ll have a read of that later”  “some good write ups on cruises in that magazine, don’t throw it out!”  You get the gist.  Everything was useful, would be useful or was to be saved just in case.

I think the first thing I obsessively hoarded was tags, mostly off clothes but to be honest anything new.  My storage solution of choice….I had shoe boxes (which I also kept) filled with tags, I loved the branding, the different designs and in a way they served as reminders of stuff I was lucky to own. Who knows, maybe that’s how I became fascinated by this retailing malarkey in the first place.  Suffice to say it spread; I kept comics, rubbers, badges, stickers, toy cars, all your usual kids stuff but so much more.  Yet where as most people chucked this stuff as life went on, I didn’t throw out a thing.  And my parents who’s house these precious wares still fill to this day don’t throw it out either. They are as bad if not worse with their own stuff.

But something has changed, in their retirement they are going through a bit of home renovation; decorating rooms, buying new furniture, its finally out with the old and in with the new.  So now do they throw out this stuff, some things over 30 years untouched?  NO,OF COURSE NOT!  They dutifully bring it to my house, box by box, each and every time they visit.  I’ve recently taken delivery of fifty or so Roy Of The Rovers comics circa 1985.  Perhaps twenty or thirty bits of Liverpool F.C. memorabilia from ticket stubs to programmes to signed pictures.  One Mega Drive plus assorted games last played in the 90’s and best of all one full length plaster cast which once held my broken knee together when I was twelve.  I kid you not  (Its been signed by everyone, even the staff at McDonalds (which I was obsessed by at the time!) How could I throw that out???


So yes, its fair to say I’ve needed to source many an item to store my myriad of items in. I’ve come a long way from those days of shoe box storage let me tell you.  By my reckoning any well designed object should have the capacity for storage.  Think about it, name me one thing you own that doesn’t have at least one other associated piece of paraphernalia with it.  Better still I like an object, mostly furniture pieces nowadays, that as well as being a functional item in their own right can store stuff inside somehow.  Our Heart Hall Storage Benches are a great examples of this (I designed those!) Our Brocante Monks Benches or Rustic Pew Benches are other great examples and our Brocante Trunk Coffee Table is a personal favourite.

I also love storage solutions that allow me to see stuff, I don’t like the idea of my possessions necessarily being hidden away.  Why save things if you can’t see them.  I like open storage, to display my wares so to speak.  I’m crazy about old crates, our Reclaimed Wood Apple Crates are just perfect for me.  Stack them on their sides, mount them on the wall, sit them traditionally on the floor.  Everything is tidily stored away but the contents can be seen in all their glory.  I even use crates to store catalogues in my office

Alternative office filing

A retro or vintage finish is also always high on my list of requirements for a storage receptacle.  I’ve always thought this works particularly well when storing or displaying more contemporary items.  There is a really strong trend for aged zinc wire storage at present.  It works particularly well for desk top items such as in-trays, file storage and the like.  We have a great new collection of such pieces on their way through which will soon be gracing my desk.  We also have a couple of really cool pieces which remind me of the cloak rooms from my school days.  Take a look at our Wire Cube Wall Unit or our Cloakroom Wall Unit.  I also love pieces that have that old curiosity shop feel.  Think Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, lots of little drawers, covered in dust housing who knows what delights inside, I recently found two fantastic pieces which we hope to bring you soon.

My final requirement for any good storage solution is practicality.  A buying maxim we follow at The Orchard is answering the question “is it pretty and is it practical?”  Simple enough, an item has to do its job well and look good whilst doing it.  If an item doesn’t pass that simple acid test it doesn’t make the cut.  The best example of this is our Jumbo Bags For Life.  Made from recycled plastic bottles, they are super big, super strong and in our own house used to store all manner of things.  Bed linens, summer or winter clothing depending on the season, beach and bath towels and most recently baby stuff.  Baby clothes, baby toys, baby presents, baby accessories… everything!  Boy do they accrue a lot of stuff in a short space of time.  We would be genuinely lost without these bags at home and I know from customer feedback over the years they are equally valuable to others in countless different ways.

So here are my top five storage solutions picked from The Orchard, take a look for yourselves via the links back to the site, they all come highly recommended from someone who knows his storage!  ; )

(Now I just need to find something appropriate to store that full leg plaster cast in)

Heart Hall Storage Bench –


Jumbo Bag For Life –

Brocante Trunk Coffee Table –

Sorting Office Tray –—papers-sorting-office-post-tray

Reclaimed Wood Storage Crates –




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