I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder. More of a collector, really.
A lot of people have collections. Some people’s collections go to museums when they die or they sell them for oodles of money and retire on the proceeds. Some people’s collections get written up in niche magazines like Mid-Century Snuff Boxes or Vintage Toe Rings.
My collections aren’t any of those. Generally, my collections of stuff fall into five categories.
The first, and probably largest, is the Just in Case collection. These are the mismatched towels that have seen better days and craft supplies for hobbies I used to do. I keep them just in case I need 20 ratty towels. You know. If there’s a surprise overnight visit from a band of roving dirt bikers during a rainstorm.
There are the Sentimental collections, of course. The clothes and costume jewelry I don’t use any more but haven’t given up because I remember the parties I wore them to. If my daughter was into vintage dressing, she’d probably be begging me to let her into that part of my closet. Too bad she’s not and is more likely to look sideways at me with a raised eyebrow whenever I pull out some little gem like my sequined blouse from the seventies.
There are the Valuable collections, like the important papers that are carefully protected from the light of day by the boxes of unimportant papers that hide them.
And there are what I call the Lazy collections, the boxes of kitchen gadgets I don’t use, the plastic food savers that don’t have lids and the makeup that should have been shown the trash bin months (years?) ago.
I also have some of the less touchy-feely collections (which means you can’t touch or feel them). Collections of bad habits. Collections of poor money choices. Collections of calories I have consumed. I like to carry these collections with my always so I can pull them out whenever I start feeling too good about myself.
Some collections are worth keeping just as they are (Valuable collections), some are worth keeping but maybe in a different format (maybe I could turn my Sentimental collections into photobooks) and some collections just don’t need be part of my life. Yes, I’m looking at you, Ms. Just in Case and Madame Lazy.
Just in Case and Lazy collections are prime candidates for purging, re-gifting, selling and trashing. Those ratty towels might be useful to the local animal shelter and all those crafting supplies might be welcomed by my kindergarten and elementary school teacher friends.
And those other collections? The ones that keep me mired in the muck of regret and self-recrimination? They should definitely be kicked to the curb. I know it will take more than empty boxes and drop-off bins to move those collections out of my house.
Stay tuned on that subject.
What collections do you have? How many of them would you be willing to give away if you had the right incentive?