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Collector’s Choice: Practical Ways to Control Hoarding

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In this consumer-driven world, where commercials and advertisements are everywhere promoting all sorts of products, it can be hard to control your urge to buy things. If you are a collector, the difficulty rises significantly because you treat buying merchandise as your hobby.

Collecting stuff can be fun, and completing a specific set gives you an addicting feeling of satisfaction. Staring at your collection safely displayed in your personal museum is also incredibly relaxing. However, there are times that the urge to collect everything can prove harmful, and if it turns into an obsession, it can suffocate you and defeat the purpose of collecting as an enjoyable hobby.

To help prevent any of that from happening, here are a few tips for taming your collecting habits and simply having fun with the little things.

1. Don’t collect as an investment

A lot of collections turn out to be investments because their value increases over time. Collecting items such as comics, trading cards, action figures, vinyl plates, vintage coins, and other memorabilia from various sports, movies, and hobbies have become profitable for many collectors in the long term.

However, successful investment stories are not always the case with collections. Not every type of collection commands a sizable sum in the market after a number of years have passed. Markets are fickle and hard to predict, and people’s tastes change drastically over time. What might be fashionable or appealing now can be treated as trash tomorrow, depending on new products and innovations. As such, it is highly recommended not to collect for future resale value but to collect simply because you want to. When you’re prioritizing future returns over your immediate happiness, you are not collecting as a hobby anymore, but as a business.

2. Always choose quality over quantity

Collections can be quite pricey, especially if you decide to collect premium products such as designer clothes and bags or imported toys and figures. When people start collecting as a hobby, they tend to go for quantity over quality because they get too excited about building a collection instead of thinking about it long-term.

If you prioritize numbers, you will undoubtedly amass a good number of items in a short while. However, low-cost items usually have a lower price tag because of the quality. For instance, you can buy five pairs of low-costing basketball shoes for the cost of a premium pair of trademark sneakers. If you do it for practicality, buying the lesser number of shoes is obviously the better choice, but if you are trying to collect all the shoes of a certain line, it is much better to focus on the quality item first. A little patience can go a long way in improving the value of your collection.

Quality is especially important if you are the type of collector that isn’t afraid to use or show off his (or her) collection. While vintage items are better off stored somewhere safe, collectibles such as clothes, shoes, and accessories can be used as long as you take good care of them. Since you’re paying money to use your collectible, it’s better to make sure its quality is good enough to withstand outdoor conditions. For example, if you are buying men’s or women’s ski jackets, you want the best material to protect you better from the cold while also being comfortable.

3. Avoid places or people that can trigger you into unnecessary purchases

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Prevention is better than cure, as they commonly say. If you are trying to curb your purchasing behavior, you should avoid any places, people, or objects that can cause you to buy more stuff you can’t afford at the moment.

Collecting comics? Skip streets that will give you the slightest view of the comic shop. Perhaps you gather certain magazines or books from a certain author for your collection? Stay away from magazine stalls and bookstores. Don’t talk to fellow collectors who are excited about a new product if you don’t think you could or should buy it right now. Avoid going to websites that might offer promos or sales that could tempt you into making an impulse buy. If you try to remove having access to the things you want to buy, you’ll have an easier time not buying them because you won’t even know what you are missing.

Collecting should be done for fun and not for anything else. Once you pick up collecting as a hobby, you need to prepare yourself for the challenges that come with it. As long as you practice self-control while understanding your priorities, you should enjoy collecting as a hobby.

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