Opening Your Space and Mind: Decluttering Tips for the Collector
Many of the 55+ community who own a home at Kissing Tree are avid collectors. Active adult living lends itself to a variety of activities that can easily lead to a collection of souvenirs and mementos. Whether it’s salt shakers, postcards, porcelain dolls, or mugs from around the world, it cannot be argued that collections take up space, and sometimes that space amounts to clutter. Even the most prolific collectors can ditch the excess and make room for a collection in a clutter-free home.
Most people start collecting a specific item because it is of interest to them. Perhaps it has a sentimental value attached, or maybe it just makes you happy. However, there inevitably comes the day when your collection has grown so large it seems to have taken over your home. Eventually, you must decide: Reduce, rid, or display.
If you have a collection you started as a child, or even one you have simply outgrown, consider giving the items away, selling them, or donating them to a local charity. There may be some sentimental value attached, but if the collection is slowly taking over your life and causing you stress, it may be time to part with it. If you no longer have more than a passing interest in these items or they have started taking up so much space in your home that it is causing you stress, getting rid of your collection may be the key to a happier, healthier life. You will be amazed at the weight that will lift off your shoulders when you rid yourself of your sentimental burden. Take pictures of your collection, pack it up, and ship it out! It may at first be difficult to part with items you have been saving and collecting for years, but once you do, you will wonder why you didn’t get rid of your collection sooner.
If you simply cannot bring yourself to get rid of your collection, but become overwhelmed when you think about storing or displaying it, consider reducing it. Carefully go through each piece and inspect it for breaks or cracks. Get rid of any damaged items. You should also eliminate any pieces that don’t really mean anything to you. Maybe you don’t remember where you got it and can associate no particular memory with it. If that is the case, it may be a piece you can easily part with. Do your best to eliminate as much of your collection as possible. If you haven’t displayed it in years and have no plans to, ask yourself why you are holding on to it.
Once you have decided whether to keep or get rid of your collection, it’s time to figure out how to display it. If you have items that easily attract dust, consider displaying your collection in a curio cabinet or other glass case. You may also think about using museum putty to secure items in place, so they don’t get knocked over and damaged.
Do you have a variety of collections? Perhaps you can use one collection to display another. For example, do you collect souvenir spoons from each state you have visited? If so, they may be displayed wonderfully in your mug collection. Get creative and try to combine the collections so they take up less space in your home. Do you have a collection of t-shirts from various events or places you have gone over the years? Maybe you never wear them, but don’t want to get rid of them. Have them made into a quilt to display all of them easily in one space and free up room in your closet or dresser. Regardless of what your collection is, if you think creatively, you can likely come up with a unique way to display it that will take up less room in your home.
Whether you decide to rid, reduce, or display your collection, make the decision to do something with it and just do it. Freeing up space in your home will also free up space in your mind.