ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Makes People Want to Collect Things?

Updated on March 30, 2017
Source

What Do People Collect?

Whether we collect tangible items, or not, we do collect intangible things such as our thoughts and memories. We go to yard or estate sales and flea markets looking for someone's lost treasure or the best bargain of a collectible item that gets added to a valuable collection or perhaps triggers a childhood memory. We collect memories through saved photographs, scrapbooking, or family members and good friends.

The list is ongoing of what people collect, i.e., antiques, stamps, coins, photos, books, and trust me, this is only naming a few. The behavior of collecting, though, could become problematic if it isn't performed in an organized fashion.

Horse Collecting

The above photo depicts a collection of horses that are well kept and organized. This is an example of healthy collecting. The horses are also nicely displayed.


Collecting as a Hobby

I collect postcards. For years, family, friends and co-workers have mailed me postcards from their vacations or they bring one back. I enjoy them more when they are mailed so the back displays the postal marked stamp from place of origin. I have collages made of my postcards and keep them all in one place otherwise. Some represent memorable trips and span over a long period of time. They are a part of my life's journey.

I also have a collection of cups from other states I have traveled to, but they are of practical use too, so they are not displayed. They are used. I would catagorize them as a memorable collection. This does not mean I have 50 cups. When I was a teenager, I started collecting frogs, so for about 20 years, people were giving me frogs every year--plastic ones, ceramic ones, stuffed frogs, yard frogs, etc. I decided over 11 years ago, it was time to let them go. I outgrew the desire. I can't even tell you why I started the collection. I remember one holiday after opening a friend's gift, I know I was thinking, "oh boy, another frog...." I was grateful, but I finally had to start telling people that it was okay not to get me frogs anymore. One year my Dad gave me a huge poster with an unattractive frog on it and it was so big, it was scarry. He was really happy to get me that poster. I accepted it graciously. I just never framed it. So, you have to be careful sometimes what you tell people about the things you like.

I am obsessed about family photographs and most are in scrapbooks. I believe family history is important, so I try to keep them organized. Photographs are more than a collection of faces, they represent history.



Historical & Valuable Collections

Some people collect old artifacts or items that are no longer manufactured as a hobby or due to the potential monetary value.

My daughter still has her collection of Holiday Barbie dolls which have not been opened. She also collected key chains which were organized on a stand because she liked them. She also has all the original Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins she received over 25 years ago. She could choose to sell them or use them in her baby nursery. When she was a teenager, she collected masks and they are still displayed on her old bedroom wall.

Everything we collect in a well kept and organized fashion is an uplifting habit or hobby. They remind us of experiences or bring enjoyment as a collectible is discovered.

When is Collecting a Problem?

If a collector starts putting everything being collected onto every piece of furniture or into boxes lining hallways, this is a sign of a problem.

If collecting becomes such an obsession that all your money is going into purchases that continue to gather in your rooms, this is an unhealthy sign.

If collections begin to take over your life and there is no reason as to why you are collecting certain items, and these items are not well kept, there is a problem.

Over-collecting can turn into the anxiety driven behavior of hoarding, an act of collecting anything, including clutter, and having the inability of letting go of any of it.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • smw1962 profile image

    smw1962 

    3 years ago

    I've been a collector since I was a child, and probably always will be! Great hub.

  • CatherineGiordano profile image

    Catherine Giordano 

    4 years ago from Orlando Florida

    I also did a hub about collecting. I saw yours because we are both fans of Edith Piaf and we both did hubs about her. I agree with your conclusions about healthy collecting--you explained it really well.

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR

    Cathy 

    6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    RBJ, thank you for your comment. It's appreciated. I think a lot of us collect things for comfort.

  • RBJ33 profile image

    RBJ33 

    6 years ago

    Nice hub - cool subject. I think collecting gives some folks a little sense of security - having memories - connecting to something that is warm and safe. My mother had things that had owls on them - she said it made her think of when she was a child on a farm.

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR

    Cathy 

    6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Talullah, thanks much for your comment. I collect postcards and save anything that can be put in a scrapbook. My daughter has a collection of Barbies and remember Care Bears? She has all of them! It's memory keeping. It's comfort. It's fun!

  • Talullah profile image

    Talullah 

    6 years ago from SW France

    Interesting hub; I collect old books, vinyl records, and old patterns (knitting, crochet, sewing) amongst other things. I think collecting, as long as it's not obsessive, is great because it preserves things that may otherwise be lost forever. If people didn't collect, we'd have no museums!

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR

    Cathy 

    6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Victoria, thanks for stopping by. I think you're just fine. I collect things and my daughter does to. I think it's just fine to collect things as long as they don't take over your life and pocketbook. I like to say I'm a healthy packrat! Have a good rest of the week and weekend!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I collect too many things! I don't spend a lot of money on them, though, and my collections haven't been added to in a while. So maybe I'm okay. :-) Interesting hub! Sharing!

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR

    Cathy 

    6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    epi, thanks very much for your comment and kind words.

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 

    6 years ago

    ...you are what I would call an 'essential' hubber because you are prolific and you match quantity with quality - and this is a great subject to tackle and the question is even more provocative - with a posting to my Facebook page with a direct link back here to get the proverbial ball rolling so to speak - lake erie time ontario canada 6:04am and yes I am a collector too - lol - of vinyl records, cds, dvds, mojo and uncut magazines etc. etc. books too and pictures on walls although I'm running out of them - walls, that is!

  • BlissfulWriter profile image

    BlissfulWriter 

    6 years ago

    Collecting as a hobby is great. But compulsive hoarding is different and is actually a psychology disorder categorized as "obsessive compulsive disorder" (or OCD).

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)