An Organized Approach to Collections

Our tiny old home kind of nipped the collected in the bud.  With space at a premium, collections just weren’t a good fit.  Now, we have more room but I’m leery of starting any new collections which could just be adding clutter. I’ve given this more thought than it probably deserves, but I think I’ve come up with a few ideas, and more importantly, some criteria for beginning a new collection without letting it become clutter.

Here’s my criteria:

Must be Something You Love or Something You Will Use.  If you don’t love it, or find it useful, why collect it, right?

Must be Specific.  None of this “I’ll collect horses” stuff.   What kind of horses?  Pictures of horse?  Figurines?  Real horses?  The more specific the better.

Should be Useful.  I know, that’s rather vague, but when it comes to collecting items, I want it to be more than just decorative, but at the same time, sometime decorative is a good thing

Must be Easy to Find.  Nothing worse than collecting an item that is hard to find.  ie: Unicorn figurines that don’t look demonic, cartoonish, or just plain weird.  Hard to find usually equals expensive too, which leads me to my next point.

Must be Relatively Inexpensive.  Here’s my reasoning; collections should not break the bank!  And I have a hard enough time spending money on something for myself as is, so if I pick something too expensive the collection will never go anywhere.

Must have a Plan for Where to Keep it, and When to Stop Collecting.  This part is probably the most important rule I’ve made for myself.  If I’m going to collect something, it needs a home before it gets to my home, or at least a general plan for where it will reside or how it will be used.  There also needs to be a point where I say STOP!  This will be different for different items, but having boundaries when collecting is the difference between accumulating clutter and curating your own collection.

All right, I have my criteria.  From now on when it comes to starting a collection, I have direction and a list to make sure I can keep it under control.  Now, I thought of lots of things I would love to collect.  I brainstormed random ideas.

  • trays in different sizes, shapes, material.
  • serving bowls and platters, as I have only four.  (2 of which are plastic)
  • candles, thick pillars in different colors
  • vases, tall, short, fat skinny, decorative, glass, wood, tin
  • earring (I sadly only have one pair left 🙁  )
  • scarves, different colors, patterns, textures, some for warmth some just to dress up an outfit.
  • squirrel figurines, I have one, I wouldn’t mind finding two larger ones.
  • storages bins and baskets
  • books (this is the only current collection I have going and it is one that will never end)
  • book cases  (I need them for the books)
  • shoes and handbags, (please remember this was just brainstorming session)

After brainstorming, and thinking about it, and realizing that I do still collect something (books)  I came up with three ideas that weren’t even on there.  Ideas for things that a) are useful, b) are needed and c) are items that don’t have to cost a lot of money.  Are you ready to see?

Collection Number 1:  Picture Frames

We have a TON of empty walls, just crying out for some love and attention.  I have visions of gallery walls like this AMAZING stairway one from The Inspired Room.

Or maybe something different and fun like this creative towel bar from Margo’s Junkin Joural.

Oh the possbilities are endless.  And the best part, is that this is a collection that has room to grow, and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  You can find frames at garage sales, second hand stores, and all sorts of other places.  Doesn’t matter if they have glass or no glass, or if they’re a horrible color or filled with a horrible picture, because all of that can be worked around, swapped out, painted, what ever you want.  Which brings me to my next collection….

Collection Number 2:  Spray Paint

I know, I know, I know.  Who collects spray paint?  Umm, actually I think alot of people do, now that I really think about it.  I’m sure you crafty crafters and DIYers have a stock you can turn to when you have a project you want to work on.  I have resisted starting a stock pile of this stuff because I keep forgetting where I live now.  When we lived up north, there were maybe 6 months out the year where you could spray paint, probably closer to four as we didn’t have a garage.  Not to mention, we didn’t really have the room to store it in the house, and the temperature extremes made storing it outside pointless.  But, we don’t live in the north anymore, we’re in Southern BC, which pretty much means I have 10 months out the year where I can spray paint, and we have room to store it!  Win Win!

I think I’ll start with the basic primer and white, and add color from there.  Lots of blues, greys and metal finishes, considering I live with boys.  A red for the Liam and maybe, just maybe a nice, deep, glossy, royal purple if I can find one.

I don’t know a whole lot about spray paint, but I have about 5 different projects waiting for a fresh coat of paint, and I can’t wait to watch them transform.  Any brand recommendations?  I’ve heard good things about Kilz primer, but other than that there doesn’t seem to be one brand of spray paint that stands out from the rest.

Collection Number 3:  Paper

No, not scrapbook paper, or pretty decorative paper, I’m talking printer paper.  What better item to collect for someone who LOVES to make printables, than printer paper.

I’m looking forward to trying out some different weights and finishes as part of a big project I’m working on, and really and truthfully it is an item that will be used, and it’s always something I’m running out of.

I’m pretty happy with these three choices.  Not only do  the meet my criteria, they have one added bonus, I now have three (relatively) inexpensive go to items when my Mom asks for ideas for gifts for special occasions.   Over the years I’ve collected many  different things; pins, unicorns, tigers, paper clips, pens … ok those last two were not really by intention, bu I don’t think I’ve ever given collecting this much thought.  Now that I have, I’m happy with where I’m at.  And when these collections reach the point where I need to stop, I can start a new one.  Oh I can’t wait to get started.

Do you collect anything?  If so what?  Do you have rules or limits for your collection?

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