Collections: A “Respectable” Name for Hoarding

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Collections: A “Respectable” Name for Hoarding

Do you really need collections?

People “collect” things they like and often display those collections of many similar items as if they are a treasure, rather than a nice name for a bad habit: hoarding.

I used to collect many things. I collected images of madonna and child. I collected cameos. I collected books and cds and dvd movies. I was quite proud of my collections.

I retained all the love letters I’ve ever received (starting as far back as middle school) and all the journals I’d written since I was seven years old. I retained an immaculately organized file system of all papers of any significance since high school.

I thought it was a sin to throw away a photograph and since I ran a photo lab in a past life and gathered old photos from family members to copy to add to my collection, I had Xerox boxes full of photos and negatives (back before the digital revolution converted my hoarding to a digital format)

I’ve been looking at things a little differently lately. I’ve realized that I don’t need (or even LIKE in many cases) the collections I have. Of the thousands of photos I own (not even including the digital ones) there are probably only a couple hundred that are really special.

The cameos (other than my favorite one) are going to the Antique Booth to be sold. Why? Because, like my clothing, I may own a dozen of them… but when I decide to wear one it is always the favorite one I pick. I’ve probably not worn any of the others in the last ten years…but I’ve maintained them dutifully as the additional responsibility that they are.

The madonna and child images, sculptures and such really appealed to me when my babies were little. Now, they don’t mean as much. I don’t know why — and rather than spend time trying to figure it out, I’m just accepting that fact and moving on. Some of those are already displayed in the Antique Booth. 🙂

I collected all the gold and silver jewelry I own into a shoe box, retaining only those pieces I love AND wear. I love many of those pieces that filled the box half full… but I never wore them. I looked at them, petted them, and then continued to wear the ones I always wear. This encouraged me to buy a locking display case to use at the Antique Booth to sell these treasures I no longer want, and hopefully they will be treasured by someone else.

I’m shedding my collections. I’m happy about it. I’m feeling lighter… and feeling a lot less like a closet, clandestine hoarder!

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