Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

washi-closeup

Little kids always seem to be working on some collection or another. When I was young I had all sorts–everything from rocks to beanie babies to dolls that lived on a shelf and weren’t meant for play. And kids these days are keeping up the habit. (Recently, I had a lovely chat with a little one about all her Tsum Tsums.)

But I’d love to know, what do you collect as an adult? Dishes in a specific pattern? Harry Potter paraphernalia? Miniature buildings to add to an ever-expanding Christmas village?

The nice thing about having a loud-and-proud collection is that it makes gift giving much easier. There’s always that one friend in a group who LOVES a certain Disney Princess or anything with roses on it. So you always think of them when you’re in a store and stumble upon an item that’s “on theme.” Convenient for the gift giver…and also kind of nice for the collector. Wouldn’t you feel sorta special knowing that people are thinking of you each time they spot an item with stars on it? Or used a fountain pen? Or interacted with whatever it is you squirrel away?

Yet, with the quest for minimalism being such a popular feature as of late (shout out to Marie Kondo and all those capsule wardrobe YouTubers) I wonder if some have let their little stockpiles wither away. Even when that little stockpile brought them joy. How do we balance that fad-driven need to cull our belongings with our own happiness?

Whatever your answer might be, I’m curious about what it means for adult collections. Personally, I’m loving my ever-growing collection of washi tape. (See photos for some of my favorite rolls.) This collection feels like the perfect marriage of minimalism dreams and hoarding realities. Haha! Washi is so, so cute with so many patterns to choose from. But it’s also cheap, technically a consumable (because I use it to make pocket letters and for other paper crafting and planning), and doesn’t take up much space. For now, washi collecting feels right. (And who knows! Maybe someday I’ll lift my embargo on rock purchases…but probably not on Ty products.) Bottom line: I don’t want to resist something that I know makes me happy. And washi tape makes me happy!

pulling-washi-2

What did you collect as a child? What about now? Does your collection bring you joy or does it make you feel guilty? I’d love to hear! 

P.S. Other questions for you to weigh in on — What were your favorite childhood TV shows? and What’s your favorite mug? 

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4 thoughts on “Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

  1. I think washi is a really easy collectable, because like you said, you use it and it doesn’t take up much space. Over the years and with many many moves I’ve moved away from collecting anything and have unintentionally ended up living a really minimalistic life. The only exception are the shelves and shelves of books I read and keep, which take many boxes to pack and carry them all from place to place in. I’d say my books are an acceptable collection, and they definitely bring me lots of joy!

  2. When I was a kid I collected pencils and cute erasers. But I’m getting into minimalism and now I have tossed everything that I just collected to collect. If I can’t display it and get joy (that it doesn’t look like clutter and makes me happy) then I’ll keep it, if not it’s trashed. So I collect business and psychology books. 😀

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