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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

What items of yours grew in numbers until you realized that you had established a collection of some sort?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11266points) December 15th, 2009

Some people are collectors….of items. Like me. Other people, like my mom, never collected anything…except for shoes. (She had exceptionally tiny feet, so she wasn’t going to let go of any of them…so that was “collecting for utility”.) So, I know there are people who just live in Zen-like fashion with no clutter and/or collections of anything. (I wish I was like that, actually.)

I’ve known obsessive collectors (every Royal Doulton figurine since the First World War) or not-so-obsessive collectors who might have a tiny collection of six charms on a bracelet.

Sometimes, we buy something…and then we find something else that is similar and the next thing we know, we have a collection of items. Sometimes it’s unconscious…or it begins unconsciously and then moves into conscious collecting…where you start to actually search for items to add to what you have already. I really like vintage items from the 30’s. I suppose they remind me of my grandmother’s house which was so comforting when I was growing up. I once found a plate that was the same as plates that were my grandmother’s and I kept finding another and another until I was able to acquire a full set. That meant a lot to me for obvious reasons. I am a collector, especially of things that are useful and beautiful.

What did you buy once that eventually grew in numbers into a collection? Why did you feel drawn to those items? Did you find that you once had a collection of something and then you moved into collecting something else?

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52 Answers

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Mugs. Before I realized it, I had bought mugs from almost every vacation spot I went to. I’ve also got humorous ones and artistic ones as well.

Refrigerator magnets, too. Great question!

FishGutsDale's avatar

DVD’s, not really obscure but i didnt mean to start collecting, i bought them and watched them put them in the cupboard, opened it up one day and had a buttload of DVD’s in there. Now i have them alphabetised and in racks with the collection a couple hundred strong.

baileysmom12's avatar

Lughthouses. I mentioned that I like them and then it seemed that EVERYONE started giving me lighthouses for Christmas or birthdays. I have more now than I have room for.

kyle94481's avatar

Video games. And that’s hoarding btw

john65pennington's avatar

Stuff. just more stuff. stuff here, stuff there, stuff everywhere. you have no idea how much stuff a man and woman can collect in 44 years of marriage. my wife is a pack rat and that does not help the situation. we could have a yard sale that reached from northern Indiana to the southern coast of Florida. one time we did have a “cleaning out” of closets and the extra space was enjoyable for a while. then, it began to happen again…..more stuff. my wife loves Goodwill and the search for that one treasure item. her treasure items are now running us again, out of our house. do not get me wrong here, i love my wife. hmmmmmmm…....i was just wondring if a judge would allow me a divorce over TOO MUCH STUFF?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Firearms. I never set out to have a collection, but when I go into a gun shop or show I’m like a kid in a candy store, I wound up capping the size of my collection of long pieces by having a gun vault installed that would only hold 30 pieces, so now if a want another piece, I have to get rid of something. The last deal invloved trading a Swiss K-31 Schmidt-Ruben carbine and cash for a Finnish Moisin-Nagant sniper rifle from the Winter War era. Now I’m upgrading instead of upsizing.

TexasDude's avatar

1. Pez dispensers, because they are often cute and I like kitschy things.

2. Military surplus guns, because I like to shoot, I like the history behind them, and they used to be cheap.

3. Antique photo equipment including photos and cameras. I’m not sure how this one happened, but before long, I had amassed quite a bit of stuff.

Blackberry's avatar

Hmmm, does music and clothing count?

cold_cut's avatar

items eh..?? let me see hmm EVERYTHING!! i have a huge collection of clothing, dresses, shoes, cosmetics, perfumes, shades, bags, nail polishes and even a huge collection of lingerie..m the type of person who likes to dress good, wear nice shoes, smell good etc. I never meant to collect things but in time it has become a huge collection. I almost forgot my huge coin collection from all the places me and my family have traveled to. Mind you i have pretty good taste in things so i don’t just buy random stuff although you could call me a shopaholic. There i said it!! :)

belakyre's avatar

Coins and eraser bits (eraser bits meaning the excess eraser bitty things that come off the eraser…YOU CAN MAKE THEM IN SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS…ITS SO COOL)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard “Used to be cheap’”- how true. The Schmidt-Ruben I traded for the Moisin-Nagant Finn, I bought in the late 70’s for $125 traded for the equivalent of $2200 last week. And that’s with an economy on the skids.

mcbealer's avatar


blue clothing

blue glass

movie ticket stubs

unopened mail

unfolded laundry


stratman37's avatar

ink pens. I never sprung for a Montblanc, but I’ve found some really nice ones along the way.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar


Tropical_Willie's avatar

Empty beer bottles, steins and beer mugs.

SirGoofy's avatar

Artist’s paint brushes. Rounds, flats, liners, fan, blenders. Now I have hundreds.

Aethelwine's avatar

I collect items when we travel to northern Wisconsin and Lake Superior. Sweatshirts, coffee mugs, rocks and wooden loons.

I also have my collection of Denver Broncos items.

CMaz's avatar

1. Rockets
2. Antique Cameras
3. Fire Arms
4. Stamps
5. Fondue Pots and forks

fireinthepriory's avatar

Gosh. I really don’t collect anything.

TexasDude's avatar

@ChazMaz, you and I are 3/5ths alike (i forgot to mention i have a stamp collection)

UScitizen's avatar

Dysfunctional friends.

jfos's avatar


ubersiren's avatar

Essential oils, tea, DuClaw pint glasses, lotions, and ex-boyfriends (badum ching!).

drClaw's avatar

Vinyl Records

janbb's avatar

Rubber bands on door knobs.

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer. i love my brother. as a kid, he use to collect match covers. you know, matches that were made of paper and had the foldover top. he collected match covers for years. some are very collectable. he started at the age of about 7 years old and his collection grew by leaps and bounds. he has boxes and boxes of collected match covers. how did this get started? i do not have a clue. what has happened to his collection? our mom still has them as a memory.

Zen_Again's avatar

Hey – you said zen-like fashion.

SuperMouse's avatar

I got a watch with a VW bug on the minute hand, then a bug bank, then a pencil holder, and before I knew it I had a collection of over 100 VW bugs. It wasn’t as much that I bought these things, it was more that once people realized I had a lot of them they saw the gift idea and went for it. I really loved my bug collection. Since most of them were toys (except for the lunch box and salt and pepper shakers), eventually I gave them to the boys to play with.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@SuperMouse I collect VW related stuff too. I have a real ‘63 Bug with the canvas sunroof and a ‘64 single-cab pickup converted to electric.The parts catalogs also carry models, accessories, etc. and I started ordering them along with my replacement parts. I’ve even got a German VW mechanics shirt with the “Dienst” Mr. Bubblehead logo on it,

stratman37's avatar

@jfos – me too. I can’t seem to settle on one scent, and I have stuff from 20 years ago that still hasn’t broke down so bad that I can’t use it. My favorite is Quorum.

YCLYHO's avatar

errr…...its embarrassing, teapots! my family members seemed to think i would like to start a collection, i ended up with about 10 decorative ones…........since i put them up in the loft they seem to have got the message lmao!!

erichw1504's avatar

Scripts, programs, and websites made on my computer.

jfos's avatar

@stratman37 Quorum? Never heard of it, but I’m sure it’s good. Right, settling on one scent just isn’t my kind of thing. I like to wear something different depending on factors such as season, mood, goal (hahaha…), and time of day.

Also, colognes break down?

zephyr826's avatar

I collect outerwear. I love coats, and spent college in a cold climate (yeah, Minnesota). I just started buying coats and jackets, then scarves, gloves, and hats. I actually use most of the pieces, but it’s gotten a little ridiculous. I think I own 12 coats, 10 hats, 6 pairs of gloves, and 3 dozen scarves right now.

75movies's avatar

Not a thing, I throw everything out once it loses usefulness. Says a little something about me I’m sure.

Jude's avatar

Vintage items from the 20s/30s/40s
Used to be PEZ dispensers

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard will you marry me? ;-)

stratman37's avatar

@jfos – yeah, over time they tend to take on more of the scent of the carrier (usually alcohol) and one way to fix that is to leave the bottle open for a few days. The volume will go down a bit, but you’ll restore the original scent.

Rude_Bear's avatar

Coffee mugs. I never had two that matched when I was entertaining, so I joked that I collect them. Suddenly, when anyone went anywhere, I got a mug. I presently have over 300.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Music CDs. And then I ripped them and stored the CDs in a supply closet. In zippered binders, of course. All coasters now.

Arisztid's avatar

Many things. I have, for example, well over 500 CDs. However, such collections I consider normal.

My odd ones are my antique pharmacopoeia and dubious medical devices. I call it my “how did we survive this long” collection. I have a fascination for authentic snake oil but only have one bottle that could be deemed as snake oil and it only barely.

If you wish to see some of my collection, pictures of my favorite bottles and devices are on my flickr account , mixed in with my other antiques. I also have medicinal butt plugs (yes, you read that right) and a formaldehyde burner.

Many of the bottles are empty, but many have contents. Those are the ones I like the most. My oldest with contents is from the 1830’s.

Dr. Arisztid at your service!

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar


When I wrote this….I thought….“No one is going to respond…I’m probably the only one on here who has a collection of anything….” LOL!

Amazing answers…....and collections…..most of the things I’ve collected are vintage things.

Thanks for answering and sharing!

YCLYHO's avatar

i am thinking a lot of the females here should add shoes to their list lols

wilma's avatar

Old doorknobs
Little Golden Books
walking canes
lingerie from before 1950
tiny perfume bottles
blue glass
anything I dig up in my yard, and that is a lot of stuff
old wooden boxes or small drawers
antiques of all kinds

jfos's avatar

@wilma I remember Little Golden Books from when I was a wee lad. And what are you doing digging around in your yard?

wilma's avatar

@jfos Just testing out my metal detector! or planting trees and flowers.

TexasDude's avatar

why @jmah, I’d gladly marry you! And I’ll even put up my vintage psychedelic eye PEZ dispenser (no feet of course!) as a dowry of sorts!

SuperMouse's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land my first four cars were all V Dubs, three bugs and, the first car I bought that I didn’t have to tow home – a 1987 Fox. Bought it new for $7,300 out the door. I just got back into a VW when I bought an 03 Jetta, man I love that car. My ex actually has a 1968 Ghia that he restored. That car was in the movie Lords of Dogtown.

YARNLADY's avatar

Plastic Canvas patterns and village houses.

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