If you know me at all, and you have been to my house, you will see I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, far more than I need. I can almost be apologetic about the things I have, only because it isn't what people normally collect. I can be a bit old fashioned at times and collect the strangest things.
Everything I own is probably worth nothing, but everything has a meaning. I can look at an object, and a memory will flood back. In reality the item itself has no intrinsic value. the value is in the meaning it has for me and the security issues that surround it! I suppose many people would call it obsessional and others would call it wasteful. I call it a comfort blanket!
Myself and Jason have travelled to many parts of the World during our twenty years together. I have always bought a piece of art from each Country we have travelled too. I say a piece, what I really mean is pieces. I have spent a lot of money on art work, but whatever I have acquired, each piece have a value to me. I have also had art work commissioned. I had a picture of The Mansion, that I lived in commissioned, because of the emotional attachment that house had for me. I also had a picture of the actress Mollie Sugden commissioned, when she died. She was a big part of my childhood, having grown up with her on my television set, in various comedy shows of the era. An emotional attachment! When the Twin Towers were destroyed on 9/11, I bought a picture at an auction. The price was probably over inflated, but once again there was an emotional attachment, in this case, to a time and place in History!
Having several homes, as we did in the past, did not help my collecting obsession either! Furnishing one house up north, as well as a flat in Salisbury and Southampton, just allowed me to indulge in even more collecting. Fixtures, furniture, antiques and yet more art work. It became a full time occupation. Having more disposable income as I have done in the past, just increases the problem. Rather than collecting money in a bank account, I would just spend, spend, spend!
Why do people collect stuff?
I've always wanted to know why people collect stuff, and whilst I have had more time on my hands, done a bit of digging around to find out why. Collecting stuff from The Internet if you like! So why do I collect? Why do I and many others, spend time and loads of money collecting stuff, that really only has value to us?
Many people, including me have the short sighted belief that they are collecting for investment reasons! As a child I collected stamps and more recently coins. I believed I was collecting for a rainy day or for monetary value. Nothing could be further from the truth. In real terms stamp collecting and the value of stamps has reduced over time. Prices reached a high during the late 1980s and have really continued to decline ever since. Equally with coins, there are very small numbers of coins that are really worth anything. Gold and silver coins will of course hold their value, but unless a coin is super rare, it will have no or very little value, apart from the face value of issue! If you do intend to collect for investment purposes, it is important to become an expert in your field of interest. This should help to insure losses are kept to a minimum!
This is the real reason I and many others collect. As a child, I had very little money myself, yet there were so many things I wanted. Not your usual stuff kids want these days, but things that I would see my parents collect, or collections I had seen in friends houses. Things I could not afford, but stayed within my head, as something to buy in the future. As one becomes more able, and ones income goes up, as one grows older, You are finally able to afford those things, longed for in the past. Many of my collections fall into this category. For example I have a Dinky Toy bus collection. At the time these things were expensive and when I could afford it, I bought them. I have again paid well over the odds for such items, but there value lies in there childhood memories and importance!
Ah, Celebrity! As a child, I remember collecting 'Star Wars Cards'. I went to see the film at the Cinema, loved it and decided to start collecting the cards. I also collect Autographs. An emotional bond was formed with television and film stars and you want a tangible piece of them. Writing to Agents, waiting outside Agents Offices in London, trying to get a signed photograph of ones favourite celebrity! I also wrote to many Politicians, including the Prime minister of the time Margaret Thatcher. It is interesting to note, that Baroness Thatcher was the only PM to reply personally, in her own hand writing. Sometimes a celebrity or famous person may leave a mark on your life and a collection, involving a single person is also very common. I am a Royalist, so also collect a lot of Royal memorabilia, having amassed a huge collection!
So you start a collection. You know there are more pieces to add to that collection. Suddenly the item you first bought, for its beauty and significance becomes secondary. Completing the collection, is the only thing that drives you. Whether you like something or not, becomes irrelevant. Collecting becomes an addiction, and suddenly you are hooked!
Completing a collection can be very satisfying. The hunt for rarer items can become obsessional, it almost becomes a life times challenge, that you will complete. Pushing you on to the next piece in a puzzle!
Keep on Collecting!
It is doubtful that I will ever stop collecting! Downloading and storing, video's ebooks, just a new part of my collecting obsession. When I am long gone, I am sure the majority of the 'stuff' I have in my house will be in the bottom of a very large skip. Funny enough, it's the way most collections go. Only worth something to those who collect it and very little to those who don't. As I get older I am sure that I will dispose of this and that, as we downsize from a three bedroom house to something more manageable. Until that day, I shall continue to collect as vigorously as I ever did. Who knows, one day I may even become a millionaire out of it!