Reaching Collection Critical Mass, When Too Much is Too Much

When you come to realize your collection is dominating your life and that it sucks

It’s been happening for a while now, my collection, my space all at a crossroads. In every collector’s journey into “accumulating stuff” outlined so elegantly here by my friend Brian at Cool & Collected there are phases and my current one is “reduction”.

Let me first be clear, I love stuff, especially old 80’s stuff. I mean the decade was so ripe with incredible pop culture! Pop culture that I want to have in my space at all times. I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t feel bad about collecting items, I don’t feel bad about deriving pleasure from doing so.


Space is an issue. We have finite space for our things but not only in a physical way but a mental one as well.

Too much clutter, mentally and physically

My space is limited, I have a small office in the basement of my home where I keep most of my things. A desk, some bookshelves, some wall displays, entertainment center (an old one naturally), and a chair. I choose to display a select number of things in this space the the overflow, the mass of extra things I choose to keep outside this space are in totes stacked around other parts of the basement.

These totes include toys still in their packaging (I am a huge packaging fan) and loose stuff. Many of these serve no purpose at this time, they are using useful space doing nothing.

It took a long time to come to this conclusion because I really enjoy my stuff. I find browsing through these totes enjoyable, reminiscing on where I bought some items, the time period, and where I was in life at that point. It feels good.

The issues with stuff surface when you become stressed by your own belongings, when they take up too much space in your mind where you are in a constant state or reorganizing and finding room for more, and I was (and currently am) there. It’s too much.

The quest for less

Thinking about what I really enjoy in terms of collecting was difficult and I was apprehensive about it at first, but it’s a momentum thing.

Get rid of one thing, then another, then another. Momentum.

This momentum is hard to begin, getting rid of things that mean something is difficult. The thing is that when you really build momentum, really push and reduce the clutter in your life it becomes easier. I have just begun this process, some items moving out of my space and it feels good, it feels right. The thing is 98% of the time I don’t regret getting rid of what I have in fact I don’t even think about it, but I like the feeling of freeing up space and simplifying.

More to come.

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

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