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jca's avatar

Are you a big collector of "stuff?"?

Asked by jca (26838 points ) July 5th, 2012

Do you collect anything? Do you amass collections unwittingly? What and how did you start? Does the stuff get in the way of your living, clutter your household, piss off your family, etc.?

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19 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I am collecting less and less. I have a collection of perfume bottles and other art glass items. I have collected teddy bears (years ago). I don’t really collect anything else and I am much more selective these days. I might buy two or three of a particular thing so I can group them, but not ‘collect’. I find I don’t want to justify spending money on things that really have no usable value.

No, my glassware doesn’t piss my family off. It has provided present opportunities. No, it doesn’t create clutter.

Coloma's avatar

No. I really like my home decorated as I have done it, I like art and other unusual items, but I am not a collector of anything on a big scale and will never have hoarding issues. I just had a yard sale with a friend a few weeks ago and cleaned out the house.
No offense to anyone but…I have a friend that is obsessed with saving every little thing, cards, mementos, her dead fathers socks & bathrobe, seriously!
Drives me nuts, infact, I recently threw away her daughters H.S. graduation card and picture and thought to myself…” OMG! If M. knew I pitched this she’d probably be upset.”

I like keeping things light and am not a sentimental type that keeps every little thing.

woodcutter's avatar

Tools and more tools. They make me better, give me super powers. Can’t beat the feeling.

gailcalled's avatar

I am assiduously uncollecting. Anyone who comes to the house and wants some stuff is welcome to it.

We just finished going over my mother’s collections, some starting 80 years ago. Stage make-up from the nineteen thirties, thousands of bobby pins, shocking pink polyester pants suits from the 1960’s, hundreds of hotel samples of shampoo, conditioner, sewing kits, and what-have-you. That experience has led to my new rule of law:

“Pity your heirs.”

jonsblond's avatar

I’m not a big collector. We do have a large collection of books. You will never see me throwing a book away. The only time I’ve ever thrown a book away was when my dogs were puppies and they shredded a Dean Koontz book to pieces. I was on the last chapter too. darn dogs! I’ve also thrown a book away that was written by Kathy Lee Gifford, but I believe that is excusable.

I do collect coffee mugs and sweatshirts when we travel. Those pair well with the books.

DigitalBlue's avatar

No. I don’t like having a lot of things, I hate clutter. I “collect” a few things, but by “collect” I mostly mean that I may have more than one of a certain type of item, and hopefully they are still useful. For example, I like to collect blue and white glass – which means that if you come to dinner, you will probably eat off of a blue and white plate that is not the same as the blue and white plate that I’m eating from. I don’t want hundreds (or even 10) of anything. Stuff does not bring me joy.

Nullo's avatar

Books. My personal library only has perhaps 150 books, but as a man with a job that pays real money, that number is by no means set in stone. I supplement from the city library, so I own several books that I haven’t read yet. Right now I’m trying to read Dune, finally, and that’s a library book.
I wish that I could collect antique firearms, but that game is far too expensive for me.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled I SO agree. I dispersed a family estate about 8 years ago…it was unbelievable how much stuff there was to sort through. I too have promised myself that I will never subject my daughter to having to go through 4–5 decades of “collectables.” Of course, as you know, the depression era survivors which are almost all gone now saved every little thing. OMG! Unbelievable, took me 4 months to get it all done and dispersed. Gah!

Judi's avatar

There comes a point when you have to ask yourself if your stuff is serving you or if you are serving your stuff. I finally figured out that the latter was true and have been shedding my stuff since.

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: Plus the need to tuck away a $5 or $10 bill in every ancient purse or skirt pocket. We had to turn out everything to find the magpie stashes.

Haleth's avatar

Based on a quick look around…

-books
-art supplies
-clothes that I wadded up and threw on top of the dresser instead of folding them and putting them away neatly
-empty wine bottles :(

When my grandma got her wheelchair, I had to go through and get rid of a ton of her old stuff just so there would be enough space. She had like five decades worth of clothes in a whole range of sizes; plus every newspaper that she has ever read, going back for years and years; a huge stash of toilet paper “just in case”; old ratty silk flowers; and a whole closet full of tangled old sewing projects that she hadn’t touched in years. And holy crap, every time I tried to get rid of something, she’d be like, “but I’m going to read that!” or “that will be in fashion again!” Ughhhhh.

augustlan's avatar

Books, both current and antique (hundreds, on bookcases and just all throughout the house)
The letter “N”, for my last name (everything from art prints to ‘sign style’ “N“s, to printer’s blocks and baby blocks, to a light switch cover)
Silver and tin baby cups (12 or so, all on one display shelf)
Chairs (full size and miniature, I have no idea how many)
Birds (fewer than 10 small metal or ceramic birds, pretty much all in one place)

Of those, the only ones that have any bulk to them are the books and the chairs. I had to stop collecting full size chairs, there is just no room for more in this house. I have a terrible time getting rid of books. I need more bookcases, damn it.

Obviously, I’m a collector by nature, but I generally keep the collections confined and out of the way. I do have a lot of clutter in my house, but not from my collections (unless you count art/craft supplies… which I guess you could). It’s just a very small house with no storage. :(

Sunny2's avatar

Not any more. Got rid of a lot when we moved from a house to our current apartment. 34 years of accumulations. No more! “No room! No room! No room!” said the mad hatter.

Paradox25's avatar

Not as much anymore. When I was younger though I used to collect baseball cards, football cards, rocks and fossils. I also used to have a habit of tearing motorized or electronic toys apart, taking their parts and building some neat contraptions, some of which I used to take to school for show and tell or a science display. I still collect electrical/electronic parts/components. I have some nice collections of books too.

bookish1's avatar

“When you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

Just kiddin.

I actually don’t collect anything except history books :-p

Symbeline's avatar

Magazines, I got tons. Video game and horror magazines. Halloween decorations and porcelain dolls. I don’t have that many dolls because they cost a lot, but sometimes people give them as gifts. I also own a decent chunk of horror movies, which are pretty easy to gather. It’s gonna suck when DVD becomes obsolete though…I also have a few VHS tapes, which I just enjoy owning. My main piece I’m hunting for is a VHS copy of Maximum Overdrive, since that one is unrated, while the lame DVD version has a bunch of stuff cut out. :/

serenityNOW's avatar

Does digital count? I collect music, and if it were all LP’s, I’d probably have rooms-full. Also, books, although again, I’m going slightly more digital with those, too. Oh, and speaking of books – I’m amassing a valuable collection of limited-edition Stephen King’s, and I’m looking to branch out to other authors. It’s fun.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah I saw those…on the Internet. Never saw em anywhere near here, but for sure those are awesome. :D I do have baby demon dolls though. (made out of rubber though, still, they rule)

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