Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Collecting vs. Accumulating

Alright, I’ll admit it. Over the past several years I have been an “accumulator”. Sure, like most closet accumulators I thought I was a die-hard collector. However, a not too distant life changing event caused me to see myself for what I really had become. That life changing event was ….moving.

Like most collectors I have a special room in my home designated for my cards, collectibles and memorabilia. Anyone who has ever gone through the laborious process of dismantling ones collection, carefully packing it, unpacking it and reassembling ones sports shrines, is well aware of the challenges involved in this task.

Over the years I have “collected” virtually everything and anything. What I recently realized was I could care less about 70% of what was in my “collection”. Many of you may feel the same way whether you have realized it yet or not. I’m here to tell you it’s OK. Accumulating is a natural part of any collector’s genetic make-up. However, at some point, when you have maxed out your sports room, the crawl space, spare closet, attic, and shed and find yourself trying to convince your wife or roommate that the uncut sheet of 1985 Donruss cards you found at a garage sale in 1987 is actually art and would look great framed and hanging in your family room, you’ll soon realize that you too have become an accumulator.

Many of you might be nodding your heads in agreement or shaking your heads in denial. Like I said, it’s OK, you’ll deal with this issue when you’re ready. So anyway, what to do? Well, I sat down and wrote a list titled “What I Collect”. By putting pen to paper and doing some serious thinking about what I really like and want to keep or would hate to lose, I was able to streamline my collecting pursuits with a more narrow focus and not such a willy-nilly I want it all attitude.

Upon completion of my list I realized I had an ample amount of material to sell on eBay to further fund my actual collection. As it turned out my accumulation of stuff has actually started to pay off. All too often we as collectors and sports fanatics want it all. I encourage you to sit down and figure out what it is you really like. The benefits are tremendous and include being less overwhelmed with the need to get each new product that comes out, frees up much needed display and storage space, and increases capital available in your budget to pursue your true hobby desires. The sense of liberation and freedom that comes with a clearly defined collection is fantastic!


Anonymous said...

So what's on the list of what you collect?

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Player Collections- Cal Ripken, Nolan Ryan

Team collections- Chicago (Cubs, Sox, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks

Hockey RC's

Topps Sets 1970- present

Memorabilia cards from players who played pre-1960

500 HR (less the juicers)and 3000 Hit Single signed balls

Various non-major 4-sport athletes that I like.

dayf said...

Good list. I need to do something like that myself and clear out the junk. I've gone past accumulator, zipped past hoarder and I'm about 3 blaster boxes away from becoming the card collector version of the dragon Smaug lying atop a giant pile of '80s commons.

jv said...

Yeah, I've spent more time "unjunkifiying" than I have blogging. I have waaaayyy too much crap I'll never care about.

I want to unload it for things I do before it becomes '89 Donrubbish.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

If every collector went outside and burned their accumulation of cards from '85 to '95, we would block out the sun. Hey, that would make a great video post. First one to send me a copy to upload to this blog of them burning a five thousand count box of junk wax will get a yet to be determined prize. Ready....go...

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's all I can say about this article. After reading this article I can say that I too am an accumulator. Best piece written about card collecting I've read yet.


Post a Comment