Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Do you have things around your living space that you keep around because they are part of a collection?
Example: you have all the books in a series, even though you only liked the first two and you will probably never re-read the others.
Another example: you have a set of glassware you will never use, but you keep them because they match the set of dishes.
Don’t worry, I do it too.
It’s really easy to hold onto things because they are part of a collection. And it’s just as easy to get rid of them, once you recognize why you are holding onto them.
The First Step: Seeing
The hardest thing about collections is that they blend not only into the background of our lives, but also because it’s hard to see the individual objects because they are part of a collection.
Look around you right now. Notice groups of objects that are similar. Do any of them belong to a collection? Do you have a collection of books next to your computer? How about on your walls? Any pictures that are grouped?
Take a walk through your house and note how many things are together. Here are some of mine:
- A collection of art books that are never looked at.
- 8 mugs that match my dinner plates, but are never used.
- A “set” of marble shapes: a pyramid, a cube and a sphere
- Three (really ugly) vases on a shelf
- Two useless serving dishes (that were part of Grandma’s set)
- A whole set of a mystery series where the last five books have not been read because the books have gotten so awful.
- Four cookbooks that are part of a set of five, but which I never use.
And there were other collections, the entirety of which were not used, but I hang onto, simply because they are a set:
- The well-bound set of Jane Austen (I actually read paperback versions)
- The complete set of mystery books by a local author, all read, but which I will never read again
- A set of (tarnished) silver
Weeding Out The Collections
I’m going to tell you something radical: you don’t have to keep something just because it is part of a collection.
But how do you know what to let go?
The first category is by use. If you use something, keep it. If you don’t, give it away or trash it. Even if you will be removing it from a collection. Better to have things be used than molder somewhere.
And honestly, unless you are talking about valuable old masters, it really doesn’t make sense to hold on to something just to have a set. Which brings us to our next point:
If something is valuable to you, monetarily or sentimentally, you should consider keeping that part of the collection.
For instance, in my local author’s collection of mysteries, I had one volume that was autographed and had a personal message inside. I chose to keep that, while donating the rest to my local library book sale.
The thing here is to be aware of your collections, and get rid of things that you don’t use and love, even if they are part of a collection.
What do you think? Should collections be preserved? Share below.
Photo by nickstone333