1. Purchase from reputable dealers. Not only can you usually trust what you buy from them, but they can educate you about how to discern what's authentic.
2. Go to as many antiques shows as you can, and look, look, look. This is the best way to educate yourself.
3. Buy what you love.
4. Don't necessarily hold on to all your collections. That's part of the secret of avoiding clutter. A no-longer-loved item in your own home may make the perfect accent piece in the home of a friend.
5. Make sure you can see and display the things you love. If you have too much, many objects will wind up languishing in storage.
6. Move things around. You'll get a new appreciation for them. You get used to looking at things where they are, and after a while you no longer see them.
7. Be careful of color combinations when you display your antiques. Make sure things actually go together. It's okay to mix contemporary with old, though -- it can create a distinctive and refreshing effect.
8. Try not to scatter collection items throughout the house. They'll be more attractive and orderly looking if presented together.
9. Avoid cramming items together, though. Try to keep a clean look, letting your special items show themselves off while not overwhelming the eye.
10. Insure valuable items, listing them individually.
List and photo from Yankee Magazine.com