Organizing stamp collection


A few years ago, I decided to begin with a stamp collection.
I bought one, empty stamp book and just started with the stamps from the envellops that we receive.
A time ago, I received many full stamp books from someone who stops his collection. Now, I have A LOT stamps and books to organize. The stamps are mostly from Belgium, but also from a lot other countries.

I really love them all! But I have one big problem, I have no idea how I can organize them. How do you do that?
Country by country? By theme? By year of publication?
All ideas are welcome!

It would be a big pleasure if anyone can help me.
All the best, Marie

My stamps are arranged by theme into albums, inside themes by countries. The only stamps I have also arranged by the year of publication are Christmas stamps.


I used to organize as is traditional:
alphabetically by Country, in order of issue date.

But now, I’m a thematic collector, and have decided to group instead, by sub-themes in order of year issued, regardless of country.

I’ve seen albums sorted in a variety of ways: by stamp format style, by stamp designer, or by colour! Lots of options.

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I recently won at auction a large collection of the “Commonwealth of Independent nations” [former USSR republics]. All of the countries were on album pages.

My side collection of stamps is of Single Issue Worldwide Stamps. I originally had them in a good stockbook, but later transferred them to high-quality stock sheets with six rows. That way, I can see the whole stamp.

The traditional way of collecting (by country) will always be around. But as others have noted, Topical (Thematic) collecting is quite popular. Imagine stick sheets with Beautiful Birds, Flowers, Ships, Space, etc. Your imagination will guide you!!


There are so many possibilities… I believe that every collector has their own system on how they organize their stamps!

I am really small scale, and far from professional, collector so I “only” have 4 books so far and my stamp organization might be bit unusual… One book is for Nordic countries, one is for other countries, one is “anything interesting” book where I keep very old stamps, stamps from countries that doesn’t exists anymore, some curiosities I have come across, some smaller theme groups and specific series I collect (stamps with women, EU and so on), mini-sheets and so… That book is really little of everything! And then there is the forth book where I keep horse themed stamps.

Nordic stamps are placed by country in more and less random order: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands.

Other countries book is also including countries in even more random order, although I try to keep the continents and neighboring countries together.

With these two I am going with “make it look nice” method, so first the stamps are organized by country, but then in the country section the stamps are organized in way that they look… well, nice. They are loosely in theme groups (anniversaries, nature, famous people etc.) and I keep series together, but then I am also trying to make the each page look interesting and appealing on eye. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so well.

Horse stamps book is separated into sections: portrait style (horses without humans or equipment), horses in art, horses in history, horses in war, carriage horses, horses with riders, horses of sport (all types), and horses in objects (different horse themed items, horse equipment without the actual horse and so on). On each section I am once again trying to make the page looks nice and interesting. I like to keep series together so if the same series have different type of horse stamps, I will place them all into category they best fit in.

With the forth, “anything interesting” book, the organization is more theme based and countries and styles are mixed. There are also different series I am trying to complete. I still try to make the pages look nice, but that book is still in progress and I haven’t found time to focus on it yet.


Thanks for your answer!
It seems a good idea to arrange by countries and themes.

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Thanks for your answer.
In order of issue date looks a bit difficult for me, there are so many stamps :wink:
It seems a good idea to work with themes and sub-themes.
To organize by colour looks also nice!

Thanks for your answer!
It’s a good idea to use stock sheets with six rows. It’s easy when you can see the whole stamp.
Maybe I want to combine country and theme…

Thanks for your answer!
Your collection looks really nice. 4 books is already beautiful!
I’m thinking to work by country and then by theme.
It’s a really good idea to care of the ‘make it look nice’ method. I will try!

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@MarieV03 Maybe you have a library located near to you? Pay a visit and be advised to find book with basic guiding on ways to organize. And don`t forget to take a stamp catalogue for Belgium home with you. Then I think you will be “bitt av basillen” as we say in Norway :grinning: :norway:.

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I really love the library! It isn’t far from my home and for young people (I’m 17 years old), it’s all for free!
It’s a really good idea to look for a good book with some tips.
I didn’t know that there exist stamp catalogues… (I’m a really beginner :blush:)
Thanks for your good advice!

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I would really just organized them by theme, or sets that they were issued in. I then organize them by countries and issued time. For duplicates, I swap them out bulks or individual depends on the condition. Likewise, I have new stamps for my collections.


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Thanks for your answer.
I think I’m going to organize them by theme and country.
It’s a good idea to swap my duplicates! I will try when I have organized everything :wink:

I send you a link to online catalougue.
Maybe you find the site interesting. Later on there is much help by becomming member of a filately club.

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This site gives a really good overview!
Thanks a lot!

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My suggestion divided to three groups first for MNH stamps and second for countries you like to collect, and the third one for all the rest by topics. and remember to offer any topic you not really want to keep to swap it with other topic or countries you like to have
Good Luck

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Thanks for your good advice! Now I’ve begun to sort the stamps by country. Then, I will do by theme.
Thanks a lot!

Hello everybody.

I’ve been collecting stamps for a number of years.
Initially only the German stamps and since I have been participating in postcrossing at the end of 2018, of course also the international stamps.

I have two albums: One for German stamps and the second for international stamps.

First I arrange the stamps by country and then they are arranged according to their images.

To remove the stamps from the cards, I use a cutter knife and let the stamps swim for a few minutes in warm, but not too hot water with washing-up liquid/liquid soap.

This is followed by a final rinse with cold water. The stamps are then dried either in the air or on the heater (on the lowest level !!).
The two drying methods of course also depend on the weather.

Those were my tips :slight_smile:

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Thanks a lot for your advice!

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If I have a lot of stamps of a certain country (for example the country that I’m from: the Netherlands) I’ll usually organize my collection on date of issue using a website called ‘stamp world’. However, that’s something I only really do with commemorative stamps. I usually put all definitive stamps of a country (if I have many of them) on one page, it looks really nice I think. It’s sort of meant as an introduction page to whatever country the definitives belong to.

If I don’t have many stamps of a certain country I put the stamps together with like stamps from other countries that I don’t have many stamps of by continent. For example I have a ‘Central America’ ‘South America’ and ‘Africa’ page. I don’t organize those by date of issue, I simply put them in an order that I think looks aesthetically pleasing lol.

And sometimes I just like putting stamps of certain themes within a country together like ‘Bird stamps’ ‘Flower stamps’ ‘Animal stamps and the like.

I like organizing stuff lol, yesterday the coin album I had ordered finally arrived, so that was a pretty great excuse to finally sort the few coins I have. I mostly collect stamps and am not planning on expending my small coin collection, but it’s neat to sort things, and the end result looks nice so… ^-^