Tuesday, May 1, 2012

6 tips for starting a collection...

Many people find a lot of joy in collecting things...whether it be shells from the beach, Christmas ornaments, mason jars or even vintage cars! There are no end of possibilities for what you might collect...you just need to discover what it is you love!  When I was a child, it was all about the stuffed toys, postcards and porcelain dolls (which I didn't actually like, but people kept giving them to me as presents). As you grow older your interests may or may not change. There is nothing wrong with a grown woman collecting dolls (Blythe...anyone?). Follow these six tips to get your collection started:

1. Discover what you're passionate about...
Starting a collection can be very exciting...yet a little daunting. It can be a personal pursuit, or perhaps a shared love. Either way, make sure your chosen collection speaks to you. Have a good think about what it is you're drawn too.  Chances are, you already have a collection...you just haven't realised it yet.
  • Is there a particular item that you're always pinning on Pinterest, or perhaps even purchasing?
  • Group together the like items in your home, and you will discover what it is.
  • Discuss your new hobby with your partner.  The items you collect and display may impede on their personal space and style too.
2. Do some research...
  • Where can you find your chosen item?
  • Do you have to save money or set a budget in order to start your collection?
  • Are you looking to make money from your collection in the future, or is it purely for the joy?
  • Is there a collectors group or online forum you can join?

3. Good things come to those who wait...
This is where you need to show a little (or a lot) of patience and restraint.  A collection is something that develops over time, not purchased in one go. It's a hobby that is to be enjoyed, and not designed to send you to the poor house in the first month. When you are passionate about something, it can be incredibly difficult to resist rushing out and buying every single item that suits your collection. What you may end up with is a house full of clutter, rather than a cohesive grouping of items. Enjoy the collecting process and build your collection up over time.

4. Make discretionary choices...
As I said in point 3 above...it can be very tempting to purchase everything you see. Ask yourself a few questions before you hand over the cash.

  • Is this item good quality?
  • Does this item compliment and/or enhance the other items already in my collection?
  • Will I regret not buying this item?
The majority of times, the answer will be no. Show restraint and put your purse away.  Asking yourself these questions will ensure you don't end up with a collection you've settled on, rather than falling in love with.

5. Be prepared to say no...
Once your friends and family find out that you have a collection, they may start "helping" you by adding to it...birthday and Christmas presents, or just because they found it and thought of you. They may have the best of intentions, but their choices may not be exactly what you're looking for.  It is okay to say thank you, but no thank you.  Take the initiative during these gift giving times and point them in the direction of items you actually want...there's nothing wrong with being fussy.  You are the one that is going to have to live with your collection, not your welling meaning relatives.

6. Look after you collection
If you were collecting expensive stamps, you wouldn't just leave them in their packets in the kitchen drawer. You would take the time to purchase a safe stamp storage album, and carefully arrange them inside.  The same goes for collections that are on display in your home.

  • Use sturdy display shelves or cabinets.
  • Maintain your collection by cleaning and dusting it regularly.
  • Keep a breakable collection away from inquisitive little fingers.
  • Review your collection periodically and remove or dispose of items that no longer suit.

Now that you've started your collection...what do you do with it?  Stay tuned for the Part 2...how to display your collection!

Have you started a collection before? Are you still passionate about it, or have you moved on?

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