But not necessarily in that order.
Obviously, you do need some kind of organisational system or the whole thing gets rapidly out of control. The simplest approach is, of course, alphabetical order. Putting the aardvark next to the accordion does make sense in that context. But would you ideally want to have the risk of any kind of living being next to the accordion?
As Sir David Attenborough said in his most recent wildlife documentary Yet More Bloody Animals Arsing About in the Wild, once an aardvark gets it into its head that it is a musical prodigy, then it more often than not leads to a great deal of trouble. As his documentary showed, the herd of antelope living in close proximity to that wild aardvark that took up the banjo had their grazing made a misery by the aardvark’s failed attempts to master Oh, Susanna, no matter how much it practiced.
Eventually the antelopes had to call in the local council and have the aardvark issued with a Noise Abatement Order.
Of course, you could order them by size. But trying to find something to lean against the side of the brontosaurus could prove a little problematic. Unless of course you move the heard of elephants into the kitchen as well, and treat the herd as one item rather than seven, or however many elephant you have in your domestic herd.
Although, as some have pointed out, such a solution does make it much harder to get to the fridge during the TV advert breaks.
Relative velocity is also a good ordering mechanism. This does mean at least the cheese will be somewhere near, if not directly adjacent to the crackers. But be warned there is a danger of the sloth falling asleep on the drum kit, which is bound to annoy the chimpanzee when it feels in the mood for a drum solo. Bear in mind too, that this means that the cheetah will often end up feeling a bit bored, unless there is someone around to ride the motorcycle for it to chase.
You could order your collection by type, genre, theme or any such similar methodology. Most other collectors would be interested in trying to guess your classification system. Therefore, many a fascinating evening can be spent comparing and contrasting your system with other collectors sharing the same hobby.
However, be forewarned that those looks from the wife do not necessarily show her fascination with the subject. This can be especially problematical if the discussion about classification systems does lead to heated arguments while she is avidly watching that programme which involves the hunky lead actor taking his shirt off at frequent intervals.
It can also particularly annoy the wife if you have used a classification system that puts the cowboys near the playing cards. For inevitably, as soon as a claim of cheating is made there is almost certainly going to be a gunfight. You know what happened last time your collection got bloodstains all over her new carpet. Hence, as mentioned above, the danger of having the aardvark too close to the accordion, or even worse – the bagpipes.
So, be warned.