When Enough is Enough: Taming the Collection Addiction

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People have different interests and hobbies. Some folks like to cook, others enjoy hiking, while others tinker with cars.

Then there’s a certain group of people known as collectors. These people collect anything and everything you can possibly imagine. Some obscure while others are extremely valuable.

Collectors are grouped according to the type of things that interest them. Some people collect rare and valuable coins made out of precious and semi-precious metals. Others invest in injection molding products such as toys and model kits. Some individuals place greater value in taxidermy while others would spend an insane amount of money on postage stamps. The list is endless.

While collecting may seem harmless enough a hobby, if you go deep down the rabbit hole, it’s hard to recover. If not put under control, collecting can ruin marriages and families. It can cause one to go bankrupt. Some even resort to scamming other people just to sustain their hobby.

In short, collecting — if not put in check — can become an addiction. And any form of addiction is never good.

For you to avoid getting to the point of no return, you must put certain parameters on your collecting and make yourself accountable to other people. If you feel like you’re already in it too deep, take a look at the list we have prepared to help you overcome this addiction.

Put boundaries in place.

One of the things that are indicative of addiction to collecting is when your priorities have been messed up by it. You’re putting way too much money on your hobby while barely taking care of your monthly dues at home.

Often, people would use their credit cards to purchase specific items to fill a hole in their collection. Whether these are little pieces of plastic toys, metal parts to upgrade your car, resin statues, a rare baseball card, whatever.

If you end up spending money you don’t have for things you can live without, then you’re in a bad place. You need to set some boundaries for yourself. It doesn’t have to be abrupt. You can start minimizing your purchases gradually until you get to the point that you finally have it under control.

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Focus on quality instead of quantity.

We understand how sometimes you feel the need to grab anything and everything that has to do with your collection.

You’re a fan of Star Wars. You just got to have every collectible, toy, and merchandise they put out. You’re an audiophile and you feel the need to get every new Beats by Dre or Marshall noise-canceling headphones they release. You’re a car enthusiast and you have to get every upgrade to your audio system or get those sweet spinning chrome rims.

In reality, you don’t need all of it. First of all, it’s impractical storage-wise, unless you have a warehouse for a home. Second, it’s impractical money-wise because you’re spending unnecessarily just for bragging rights.

Focus on getting the most quality that you can afford and avoid hoarding. Go for what’s meaningful to you.

Do the hard things.

Finally, to overcome this addiction, you have to be honest with yourself. Ask the tough questions. Why are you collecting? Is it just for collecting’s sake or is there something much deeper? Some people admit to wanting to have the most extensive and impressive collection because mainly that’s where they get their affirmation. Others collect because that’s where they feel most in control.

Yes, sometimes there are deeper reasons people collect. Figure out what your reason is and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need to get rid of your collection (or at least a bigger part of it) to maintain a healthier lifestyle, then, by all means, do it. If you need to avoid places where you get triggered then avoid them at all costs.

Recognize that it is a problem that’s affecting your life and if left unaddressed will continue on a downward spiral. Whether it’s plastic crack or stamps or the latest gadget, if it gets in the way of your well-being and relationships, it will do considerable damage if you don’t do anything about it.

Collecting is supposed to be fun but not to the point of obsession. One has to learn the difference between a hobby and an addiction. It may seem trivial compared to other more serious forms of addiction but it still is an addiction that needs to be confronted and conquered.

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