Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Collect Toys, My Toys Collect Dust. (Transformers Star Wars Music Movies)

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I've reached a point in my life as a collector where I actually feel guilty about how much stuff I have. Not because of how much I've spent, or how long I've searched for things, just the absolute mass of things I have crammed in every inch of space in my home. We're not talking guilt from my wife about my toys either, she's just as bad with her collectibles and hobbies. Okay, not "just as bad", but she does have some stuff out too. But it's mostly mine, and it's mostly going untouched for months and even years at a time. The boxes and packages the toys are in, or even the totes they are stored away in are collecting dust.
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I don't display my collection like I used to 20 years ago. Not even how I did 10 years ago. Now at best my newest acquisitions get 1-3 weeks "desk" time as an item to fiddle with as I search auctions for other future fiddly bits. A couple larger and clumsy toys may see a bit of an extended stay out of storage because they are just hard to store. They stand motionless, untouched for months. And they collect a good layer of dust. I look at these things and find more self questioning my actions more and more. Why do I buy all these toys?
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And I don't want to just pick on toys, I have loads of other things. I have racks full of VHS tapes doing nothing but looking pretty. I don't even have a VCR setup to play anything. I think it's packed away in a box somewhere. Most of the VHS tapes I have are things I have yet to buy in DVD format, or shows and movies yet to be released in a modern form. I guess a few just hold a bit of nostalgia too. The problem with these things are they are a bit on the heavy side the more you have. I moved a lot of these many times over, it's not something I look forward to doing again. And I have a short amount of time to decide on that.
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My wife and I are no longer happy with the place we live at. It's been one issue after another for about 3 years now. We're sick of it, and just keep kicking the can down the road in regards to how to fix things. Come mid-winter of 2018 we'll have to decide where to go next, because we can't stay here. I started boxing things up last year. My entire CD collection is packed, a good chunk of art supplies, clothes, and most of my toy collection. It's been in this time that my guilty feelings of ownership have hit hardest. To do something about it I broke open a bunch of totes and really set out to evaluate what I could get rid of from my collection.
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 Sure I've found some things to sell or trade away, but what happens a lot to collectors when you start out rummaging around in your collections struck me quickly, the re-discovery of what you own. Whether you forgot about an item, or just hadn't check it out in a long time, it's grabs you and carries you away. Now you get totally side-tracked and what would have been a 2 hour job is running into 2 days, then 2 weeks. You also start to recall why you bought these things, the joy have having them comes back, and it comes back hard. You are now re-thinking what you're doing, and maybe you've even started grabbing a few of the "sell" items back out of the pile and place them into your collection totes again. I have an immense amount of respect for any collector who can up and sell off their entire collection. I honestly don't know that I could do it right now.
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 So now, as I write this, I'm back at wondering what to do next. I have a strong urge to get rid of a lot of stuff, but a weak desire to really change my habits. If I sell this stuff I'll just buy other things. I'm not at that point where my mindset if set to "move on", just not ready. So my compromise is to focus my attention, maybe just 2-3 toy lines and cut out spending on all else. Maybe continue to weed things out slowly. And maybe a year from now, living in a hopefully better place I will have a clearer understanding of what "next" is.

And maybe the place will be less dusty as well.


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