If you have your own place, it may seem appealing to leave your glass pieces around wherever you used them last. I’ve been guilty of this at times for sure. I remember times living with friends when we’d have a water pipe on the floor of every bedroom, a spoon pipe in the kitchen, two to three smoking options out on each of our desks, and a coffee table strewn with at least one water pipe, a few vaporizers, and enough other pieces for everyone who might come over to have one in each hand. While this can be fun, it became a problem for a few reasons: some of my favorite pieces were misplaced, several were knocked off the counter and broken by unaware guests, and the clutter just started to drive me nuts! When I got a place of my own after this, I decided I didn’t want to have every open surface in my house strewn with glass, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice having something to smoke within arm’s reach whenever I wanted it. So, I started working on how I could store my pieces without sacrificing accessibility for the pieces I use most. In this article, I’ll share with you some tips to protect your glass without sacrificing too much convenience.
Always put away if you have an active household
First of all, if you have an active household, be it friends, roommates, or pets, it’s almost always safest not to leave anything out that could break. If you really want to make your glass last, you need to have some storage solutions. That could be one large trunk or cabinet where you store everything or many smaller storage spaces around the house where you might want to use your pieces. Personally, I like to use both strategies. As your collection grows, keeping all your pieces safe can become a challenge. Try out some of my strategies to help your collection last while you’re building it up!
One large space
Typically, I like to keep one big storage space that is completely out of the way for items I don’t use often. In my large storage area, I keep my large water pipes that I use for special occasions, older pieces I don’t use often but I don’t want to get rid of, empty glass jars and other containers, seasonal pieces, and spare parts including extra slides, old quartz nails, and extra dab tools that have accumulated over the years. Wherever you live, I’m sure you can find some out of the way area for safe storage.
Whether this be some dedicated space in a closet, a cabinet, or a trunk, make sure it won’t be bumped or knocked around. You never know what will happen if your glass gets knocked against each other. Whatever you use, you’re going to need to give some thought to how you organize the area, because just throwing all your glass into the same spot can be riskier than just leaving it out! You’ll need to think not only about how everything will sit when it’s all put away and left alone but also about how easily you can access each piece without disturbing another. In other words, if you’re going to have small water pipes all together in an area, can you grab one from the back without knocking over any of the pieces in front of it? Try to keep your storage space organized so pieces can be easily removed for use. To make this easiest, I typically store my pieces in order of height with the shortest pieces in front and the tallest pieces in back. Although, I lay my tall water pipes down and wrap them in a towel for a little extra cushion, because they are top heavy and generally in the biggest danger of tipping over and breaking.
You’ll have to decide what works best for your space, but typically, I like to store my pieces in groupings of similar pieces. For spare slides, nails, and containers, I keep each in a designated smaller container within the larger storage area. This way, I can pull out my whole collection at once and pick exactly the one I want without having to search too much. I use the same system for my pipe collection, but I keep each individual pipe either in a container or wrapped in something soft. Then, I store the individually wrapped pipes in a plastic container or basket. Grouping your collection and keeping everything in specified containers will help keep everything safe, organized, and easily accessible!
Use it all the time? Keep it within an arm’s reach
Are you thinking to yourself, “This sounds like an inconvenience for something I use all the time anyway”? Well, storing doesn’t have to be such an inconvenience, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping your favorite pieces in an arm’s reach. For instance, my favorite water pipe has a wide base and is very stable, so I’m not too worried about it getting knocked over. To keep it safe, I have made a small area between my couch, a side table, and the wall where my water pipe fits perfectly. This way, it stays safe, but I can still grab it while sitting on the couch and be ready to go whenever I want!
I also keep a few quick grab drawers around the house for ease of access. It’s safest to keep your glass separated from anything else in the drawer whether you do that by keeping it in a container or case, so be sure to keep these drawers organized as well. If you don’t have drawers, you could always use the same ideas and put a towel in a small basket and store your go-to pipes there. Keeping your glassware put away will keep your glass safer and helps prevent your house from getting too cluttered without sacrificing the convenience of having what you want at your fingertips!
With your favorite pieces
With your favorite or most expensive pieces I recommend taking more precautions. I keep my favorite pieces separately from the rest of my glassware where nothing can fall on them or even accidentally bump it. If you can afford it, a special case is always the safest option. This can be expensive though, and with the increasing diversity of water pipes on the market it can be hard to find a case that fits some of the more unique water pipes. So, sometimes you’re going to have to improvise. As long as you can keep it in something with a hard exterior where it won’t be accidentally bumped it should be safe but be mindful of what could happen. Although, if you’re willing to put in the extra work, you can make a custom case for any water pipe for cheap!
Keeping your pieces stored and organized will make your glass last longer and can make it easier to find the pieces of your collection you want when you want them! Hopefully you’ve gotten some ideas here on how manage your collection. Check back in March for an article describing how you can custom design your own protective cases for your glass for cheap!