Collections can be a problem, because by definition, they continue
to grow and to take up space. Particularly when the things you collect
are large and unwieldy, like ancient typewriters or tall porcelain
I'm a collector, too, and I thought I had this problem all figured
out. The things I like to collect are small - miniatures, if you
will. I have miniature stone dogs, miniature cars from the 60's,
miniature colored bottles and miniature sea glass and crystals.
There's just one problem - as these collections grow, they take
up space, just like typewriters and tall dolls. The illusion exists
that you can cram more of them into a small space, but the Law of
Expansion proves true just the same: If space exists for you to
fill, if you're not careful, you will fill it.
Maybe I accumulate these items because I happen to be short, and
I can identify with the proportions of my collectibles. Or maybe
it's because they're just so darned cute. Like the photos of impossibly
small animals on the internet site, "Cute Overload", I
must like just standing in front of them and going, "awwwwww
Of course, none of this is any excuse for creating unwanted clutter.
I aspire to have a neat arrangement of a reasonable number of items
in a place that I can view and appreciate. Which requires subscribing
to the following rules:
1. Space is the final frontier, and the final limitation.
2. After appropriate space is filled, decisions must be made.
3. The basic decision is this: At some point, when a new item
is acquired, an old one must leave.
4. The old one should NOT be placed into storage somewhere else
in your house. This goes against the Law of Expansion.
5. Give away your item to someone who will appreciate it. Visit
your item from time, if necessary. But DO NOT, repeat DO NOT,
permit the item to re-enter your house or it will immediately
take up residence again.
So how do I follow my own advice?
Let's just say I'm working on it.
The good part is that I do appreciate having open space, both aesthetically
and functionally. The hard part is that I need to constantly re-assess
relative value if I do decide to add to the collection. For instance,
I know that I'm reaching the limits of my designated dog shelf space
in my office. That means that I probably shouldn't even *look* at
the new stone critters that become available. But I do look. Because
I just *have* to know if there's one there that's cuter than any
I already have. (Occupational hazard of collecting.) I don't do
it for monetary value, because then I'd have to be reading collectors
books and traveling around to find the best deals, and that's not
a hobby I choose to have now.
But I do evaluate the cuteness factor, and occasionally replace
a piece. Yes, it can be like saying goodbye to a friend, but the
truth is I'd rather love what I look at, than see things all dusty
and crowded together.
I love my miniatures. I don't know if they will be as loved by anyone
else after I'm gone, but that's one of the reasons I won't over-collect.
I don't want my children having to dig through piles of "little
pieces of junk" in order to settle mom's estate. I'll give
my favorites away to those who might cherish them the way I do,
and the rest I'll try to donate.
And in the meantime, I'll continue to hold Cuteness Contests as
a way of amusing myself, and enjoying my treasures.