It’s a common childhood hobby to collect things. A collection is something that’s yours, something you can add too, and something you can show off to others. It’s engrained in our brains at a young age that holding onto things can bring you joy. When I was a kid, any object promising colorful clutter to my bedroom became a collection.
Growing up, I collected the following:
- Fairy Figurines
- Antique coke bottles
- Foreign coins
My various collections portray different phases of my childhood. They exemplify what I was interested in for a moment. The remnants of past collections would be stuffed away in a shoebox as I found new objects to line my window sill. As a kid, I was a conscious collector. I searched for things to add to my collections. I hunted in the yard for rocks, dug for old bottles at antique stores, and gathered coins from the countries I’d traveled too. When I was a kid, collecting brought me joy.
As an adult, collecting can be very different. I realized I was no longer a conscious collector. Unlike searching for the perfect rock in my yard, I would mindlessly buy another shirt because it was a buy one get one free sale. I collected everything. I bought sets of things so I’d have duplicates for no reason.
Eventually all the excess adds up and you realize that you’re mindlessly collecting. Judging by the number of things I used to own, I would consider the following as “collections” from my adulthood:
- Nail polish
- Punch/Rewards cards
My downfall was with beauty products. I fell victim to marketing and advertising and I threw hundreds of dollars into products I didn’t want or use. I was caught in the loop of waiting for the next best thing as my drawers filled up with yesterday’s crap.
The idea of collecting in relation to minimalism may seem completely contradictory to some. Having a collection of something may be grounds for dismissal amongst elite “minimalists” that think you can’t own anything. But as I’ve said before, minimalism is not a strict set of rules. It’s customizable to the individual and it’s a lifestyle not just a label.
Collections are tricky, but I do not consider them taboo. If your collection is functional and brings you joy, then it’s providing a meaning to your life; be prepared to define to yourself what that meaning is. Do you love reading your books repeatedly? Do you listen to record after record? Do you use crystals for spiritual healing? Are you saving coins for a tattoo fund? Are you a conscious collector?
Currently I conciously collect three things: coins, vinyl, and crystals/rocks
I downsized the collections that were gathered mindlessly and unintentionally. With the excess gone, I can focus on things that bring me joy. My record player is in need of replacing, but soon my records will get more use. I save coins for my rainy-day fund. I use crystals/rocks for my own spiritual well-being.
Thanks for listening!