Local pubs, hotels, companies with a place name printed on them were no problem: they are classified alphabetically on place names.
For the packets without a place name it is much more complicated. The number of packets carrying commercial messages, the names of major companies with branches in many places or caterers makes it impossible to select them based on place names. I actually figured out a classification system, partly based of course on the number of packets I have of a certain kind.
Combining the two collections was mainly a matter of doing a lot of work. In each collection the packets are pasted on different sheets of paper. But almost everything must be reclassified. This means that the packets have to be steamed over a kettle of boiling water and then pasted on new sheets of paper. Yes, my fingertips are slightly burned. The work was progressing steadily, but slowly. I reserved winter nights for this job, and I take good care that my real work did not suffer at the expense of my hobbies.
Why, oh why? This is a question that is hard to answer conclusively. I suspect that it is a kind of self-therapy, combined with a longing to have world power. (In my own sugar packet country I am master of a large empire). The official reason I like to give is that the sugar packets are a kind of time machine. And that is also true. They enable me to step back into another era. The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of sugar packets featuring images of local pubs and hotels. The graphic design and typeface of the packets also contribute to this feeling. I regard sugar packets as a kind of industrial archaeology. Of course every now and then I think: shouldn’t I make a movie out of this? But of course, this is a subject that interests nobody. So I leave it at that, for the moment.
(Meanwhile I have made a film called Keeping & Saving or How to Live in which a number of sugar packets are shown.)