I am very thankful I inherited my husband's grandma's button collection but I am a little overwhelmed. It was probably started in the '30's but it's not exactly a "collection," there is no organization to it. It is in a 12"x18"x10" tin box. Would you go to the (huge) effort of sorting it? There are buttons of every shape, size and material including some that are probably pretty valuable. I think it would be best if I did because otherwise I wouldn't be able to find anything when I need it but how do you store something like that? Some are on cards, some matching sets are tied with string but the majority are loose.
My dd and I organized mine yesterday. We sorted by color using old muffin tins. Any that were on cards, in envelopes, on string, or that I knew had mates went into a baggie. I'll get to them later. Etsy has a ton of vintage buttons for sale, if you are thinking something may be of value you might try checking or selling there.
Go to a place where you can buy fishing gear. Wal-mart and K-mart carry them. I got several plastic boxes that have separators. I separated mine by color, size, type and they have handles so that I can carry them from room to room, if I want to.
The link doesn't seem to be keeping, so here's the web address. http://mommasewingprojects.blogspot.com/