Thursday, July 4, 2024

My 2000th post! Notes on Why to, (and Not To) Collect, and Happy 4th!

   Happy 4th of July!

   Yes. This is my 2000th post! I can't believe I've done that many, but then, it has been a little over 11 years since I started this blog. The original reason I started it was to have contact with other people who might share my excitement over a particularly good find, because nobody around here did. I found that it was fun because I got to write, which I've always done, do some photography, which I've also done for ages, and generally be creative. I keep getting suggestions that I should start a YouTube channel for the blog too, but my answer to that is always the same: I don't want to be looked at! Of course, there's always the method that people like My Froggy Stuff use, where just the hands are shown. I bite my fingernails, so that is pretty much off the table too.

  In any case, let's talk about collecting.

  Why collect? 

1. "I need it." 

  Are we talking about dolls here, or something else? Because if you 'need' it or not almost depends on what you're collecting. If you're collecting dolls, no you don't. Get over it. You don't 'need' them. If there's a disaster, you can't eat them, use them for shelter, or wear them. Then why collect them? We'll get to that. Most things that are 'collected', as in, rounded up and kept, aren't collected because you need them. I do have to say that when people 'collect' various bits and pieces for some future use, that's more of a 'need'. If I find a particular piece of discount art supply, found item, or interesting thrown away item, and I think I can use that later, and save myself having to buy something then, I 'needed' that. It will be useful, and save me money later. That's not collecting though. That's stocking.

2. I am a completist.

  You start by buying something you love. But then, there are other editions of that thing, or other things that go with it. You don't really care for them, but you have to have everything connected with the original thing. Well don't. That is sort of connected with the Number 1 listed below. Also, it can lead to number two under the second heading. Only buy what you love, and leave it at that. I was that way as a kid. If I bought one thing in a series, I had to get it all, because I am obsessive compulsive. Not having everything bothered me. It went together, so I should get all the things. I try to be better about that now. Again, see below.

3. "I want it."

  Well why do you want it?  Is it because everybody is buying it? Is it because it's a status symbol? Is it because it's fashionable, but not really your thing? Or is it because you really love it? That last answer is the only reason to have anything. I have watched things on YouTube recently where somebody is decorating their house or room, or, as it's referred to these days, their 'space'. (I swear, if I hear one more person talk about their 'space', and not their house, or their 'window treatments', and not their curtains, my head is going to explode.) They just go out and buy a bunch of random things because they are fashionable 'decor', or because they fit their 'colour palette'. The worst thing they do this with, is BOOKS. They have no intention of ever reading the books. They may not even know what books they bought. They just buy them to decorate with! They buy them for the colour, because it matches the rest of the random crap they're decorating with, or the general look of the spine. Try reading the books for a change. I may have a lot of unrelated stuff on shelves throughout my house, but it all means something to me. Fuzz made that clay monster mug in art class. Those are my and Ken's baby cups. Ken bought me those Smiskis. Ivy made that ceramic box. Emma bought me that planter. I've had that glow in the dark lion, a gift from my cousin,  most of my life.  I got that ceramic pig lady on my first trip to England. My grandma gave me that antique picture in the metal frame when I was a kid. Mom bought me that carousel music box. Unsentimental Niece bought me that water globe. My sister painted that picture. They may not all match a colour scheme, but when I look at them, they bring back happy memories, or make me think of people I love. My books are ones I love, on subjects I'm interested in. And I read the books.

  4. I love it.

  Okay. Now we're talking. This is the only good reason for people to 'collect'. If you love something, and you want it around, that's a reason. Things that make you happy, or, as Marie Kondo would say, 'bring you joy', are things worth having around, or collecting. That's a short, simple explanation, but it doesn't need to be any longer. This goes with what I was saying in number 1. If it makes you happy, gives you pleasure to have around, it's worth it.

Why not collect?

1. You are only doing it because it's the in thing.

  I remember when Beanie Babies were the thing. I knew people who didn't really like them, but bought them for an 'investment'. I knew people whose kids weren't really into them, but bought them for their kids because they were the toy of the moment. Here's the thing: Don't buy things for investment unless you like them too, because you might just get stuck with them. At the height of Beanie Baby mania, Ken and I, as doll and toy dealers at the time, couldn't understand why anybody thought they would hold their value. To hold value, a thing must stay, or become scarce. Examples include toys that break, or have small parts or accessories that can get lost or broken, and toys that are produced in small numbers. Beanie Babies had no breakable parts. They had no accessories, which due to their size are often easily lost or broken, and often, worth more than the toys they went to. And lastly, Beanies were produced in the skadrillions. I guess there were a few that were produced in small quantities, but not many. I've been to yard sales where people have tubs and tubs full of Beanie Babies they are trying to get rid of. Some people still think they are going to get big money for them, even at yard sales. Some people put a dollar each on them and still can't get rid of them. Thrift stores have the same problem.  So if you're buying something, make sure you love it.

2. Because you have enough now.

  Collecting is fine, as long as you know when to stop. I probably don't. I need to get rid of things, but I'm starting with things I didn't want in the first place. The sales page is getting a makeover. Please stop by when I get it back up, and buy something. Make it something you love! Remember the rules! But buy something, will you? Help me unload. I have too much stuff.

3. Because you have no one to leave it to.

  Sorry. Not a good enough reason. Especially if you are all alone. I have talked to people who are stopping collecting the things they love, or are getting rid of them, because they are getting old, and  their family has no interest in what they collect, or because they have no one to leave the stuff to. Some people say they are getting rid of their things before they die, because their family will just throw the stuff away. Not good reasons. Keep it. Enjoy it while you are here. Just make sure that you have made provisions in your will for what will happen to your things when you are gone. Leave them to a museum that houses that type of thing, but make sure you specify which things are to go to the museum. Leave instructions for your things to be auctioned, specifying which things are to be auctioned, and who or what gets the profits, (your kids, a charity you have chosen, etc.), and provide information as to who is to auction them. Some people say they are getting rid of the things now so the things aren't a burden on their family when they are gone. That's a better reason. But if you specify in your will for an auction company to come in and take care of that for them, then you should still be able to enjoy your things as long as you can. Once again, specify which things are to be auctioned, and which things you are leaving to specific people.

  Nobody can say why some people collect one thing and some people collect another. Everybody has their thing, as I always say, that thing that for some unknown reason hit them just right, and makes .them happy. And when that thing hits you, whatever it is, you might start collecting it.  


  1. Happy 2000th post! I've been lurking around for a few years, I've always loved your blog!

    1. Thank you! By the way, It's a rare one, but Lelia was my mom's name!

  2. Tam, you make so much sense here! I still have too much stuff, but it's stuff I love!


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