Collections to Clutter

It could be that a tiny pack rat lives within the heart of every great collector but many of us do have a tendency to start purchasing and stashing away a few too many of those oh so special items that we are just so fond of.

Along with our collections we also have a tendency to gather related reading and research material that we display alongside of our treasured collectibles. Over time these acquisitions can add up to a lot of items filling up space within the home.

Although we rarely like to admit it, there is a point when all of this stuff becomes just too much of a good thing and we have to start cutting back. It can happen pretty easily. There is a definite point when it becomes important to acknowledge that a collection has turned into clutter.

For many collectors it is not just one item that holds a soft spot in their heart but also a number of related items that seem to compliment each other nicely. When these tag along collectables become too far reaching a hobby can eventually combine into one giant sized jumble of related objects.

Collectors often assemble together a number of completely unrelated groups of items simply because these various items for one reason or another relate each to another. But if the niche gets spread out too widely things can quite quickly get out of hand.

So how do we organize and distinguish between which items are our prized collectibles and which are now simply common household clutter? The simple way to look at this issue is to take a little closer look into how we store our most prized possessions to figure that one out.

It is illogical to believe that we can display every item that we collect so we prioritize our collectibles. The more treasured keepsakes generally wind up on display while the majority of the lesser valued items just naturally wind up in storage. An item that is extremely valuable may also be stored away but this is generally for the sake of security and safe keeping.

Generally it is the stored collectables that often fall under the classification of clutter. Every now and then it is important to look at how many items you have in storage and the level of importance that you now place on each of these items. As long as the stored collectibles remain highly important to you then they are not clutter and should not be classified as such. They are simply stored items.

If you open box after box only to realize that you had completely forgotten that you collected certain pieces or why you even collected them in the first place, then it may be time to start prioritizing your collection once again. It may be time to downsize your collectibles.

There is absolutely no correlation between the amount of items that you have stored and their ultimate importance to a collection. Storage is often a necessary ingredient in the process of acquiring a collection. How you distinguish the importance of the items in your hobby rests solely on how valuable each is to you.

If you find that your collection has grown quite large then it may be time to downsize a little. How attached you are to an item whether it be through a monetary or a personal bond can be a deciding factor on whether or not it should remain within your collection.

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If the item is important to you then it is important to your collection. Likewise if it no longer holds any sentiment to you then it should no longer be a part of your collection. This is a pretty good method by which to distinguish between value and clutter.

It is always wise to prioritize your collection every few years. As we advance within our collecting we have a tendency to disassociate ourselves from less important acquisitions and form attachments to our more knowledgeable transactions. This means that a house cleaning of our collections is generally needed to remove any excess clutter that may be piling up among our collectibles.


Always keep in mind that the items that you are considering removing from your collection are still valuable items even though they may not be quite so important to you as they had been previously. At some point in the past you had thought of these collectibles as valuable enough to save them and someone else will too.

Never throw a collectible away. Make sure that you give another collector the opportunity to purchase these items. You can generally list collectibles through the newspaper, on collector's websites, through word of mouth, or at online auctions sites such as eBay. The old saying one man's junk is another man's treasure is oh so true when it comes to the world of collecting.

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