Junkin' and Thriftin' Life Memoirs

Mature Musings Monday: A Collector’s Realization

I spent my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s obtaining stuff.  First it was stuff for my apartment.  When I rented my first apartment I moved in with a bed, a hope chest, a drab bookshelf that leaned against the wall, and a laundry basket.  Thanks to Fingerhut, I was able to collect towels and cookware on teeny monthly payments, and my mom was able to spare me a few kitchen items. 

After hubby brought in his stereo and we added another chair.
My boyfriend (who became my husband) bought me a particle board dresser and a used living room chair and couch, and his sister gave us a folding dining table with chairs.  That was the beginning of my “stuff.”

When we expanded to a small mobile home, we collected more furniture and decorative items.  After our son was born, the necessity for a bigger house became a priority so we moved into small house and obtained even more stuff.  Our son’s stuff alone filled up his room and then some.  We used the extra bedroom for storage of stuff that didn’t go anywhere.

Matt with his new Christmas “stuff”, 1987.
Then our daughter came along and we were forced to clear that room out for her.  As they grew, they amassed more stuff and so did we.  I decided to start collecting Raggedy Ann dolls, born out of a childhood love for the dolls and stories, and soon I had over 200 dolls, books, and other items in my collection.  In the meantime, hubby collected guns and model cars, and my children collected toys, toys, and more toys.
Natalie in her room before the invasion of Raggedy Anns.

It didn’t register that someday I might not want these items any more.  My home became nicely furnished, our collections nicely displayed, and people who visited made nice comments.  When did our collections become too much?
I can’t pinpoint it, but I think it was when my children left home. Suddenly I had all this stuff and didn’t like it any more.  I redecorated Matt’s room and boxed up his stuff, and when he got a home, I gave it to him, whether he wanted it or not.  Natalie is about to move from a tiny RV into a real house, so her room will finally be cleared out.  Whatever she leaves will be thrown out, donated, or returned to her.

In the meantime, I have had a realization.  I don’t need all this stuff any more!  I decided that I could start selling this stuff on Ebay and Etsy, and I opened a booth in an antiques mall, and I still have so much I could furnish a whole ‘nother booth!

I have stopped collecting.  No, not really.  I have stopped collecting so much, and as often.  But the difference is this:  now I look for items that I can resell or repurpose and resell.  I have many things in my home that I am keeping until I can resell them.  Many things will go into my booth or online.
Part of my Kennedy book collection and panda collection.
Part of my wedding cake topper collection with some of my Raggedy Ann books in the background.
Part of my Raggedy Ann collection.
Part of my Raggedy Ann figurine collection.
Hubby’s model car collection.
Part of my Big Boy bank collection.
Part of my clock and our Boston terrier figurine collections.
In spite of what these photos may indicate, I am not a hoarder, and it’s not that I don’t still love antique and vintage things, and experience the thrill of the hunt when I find a special item.  But I don’t have to keep them now.  I can get the same enjoyment from buying something and placing it in my booth to enjoy until someone else buys it.  I can pass items on to someone else who can appreciate them after I have enjoyed them for awhile.

By the way, if you need something or are looking for something special, please let me know.  I might have it!


By aencoker

Author, teacher, mom, grandmother, but most of all, Christian.

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