A lot of us have a touch of the collector bug, and although we far-to-often self-diagnose our proclivity as an affliction, there’s no denying the bliss of aquisition. I’m of the opinion that growing even the most modest of collections can add a whole new dimension of positivity to your daily life.

As with anything, moderation is key, and being a professional estate seller, I can certainly attest to the dangers of hoarding. However, approaching the art of collecting with a healthy outlook can establish an ongoing source of peripheral pleasure, and increase one’s quality of life in a profoundly meaningful way. We’ve all been there: wanting something badly, finally getting that something, and ultimately experiencing a feeling of fulfillment that can linger for weeks. When you think about it, collectors are simply pleasure-junkies who’ve discovered a way to prolong this delight by aquiring in increments.

I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about, and have either evolved into driven hunter-gatherers, or savvy professional hobbyists to some extent. But if you’re not currently indulging yourself in a collector’s love affair, fear not… I’ve got some great tips to get you started on your path to enlightenment!

Step one: What are you into? As with choosing a fulfilling career path, a good starting point is to identify what you enjoy. Are you a fan of bartending? Perhaps trying your hand at collecting beer steins and vintage wine would tickle your fancy. Do you get a kick out of working with your hands? Maybe collecting primitive levels and mechanical hand-tools would be an ideal fit for you. Were you literally attached to a video game controller throughout your misspent youth? You’d probably be a good candidate for collecting Nintendo cartidges and handheld gaming consoles.

Step two: How do you start? Source popular places to get lots for little, THEN worry about hunting specific pieces and filling in the gaps later on eBay. I am clearly biased, but garage and estate sales are hands-down the best source for collectors of any sort; not only can you find rare pieces, but inventories are often abundant and prices reasonable. Annual community events like the ‘Great Glebe Garage Sale’ in Ottawa can make a perfect outing, and large estate sale companies like Sell My Stuff Canada will post hundreds of photos before each sale, so you can scout your targets prior to each weekend. Other effective methods include regularly scoping classified websites/apps like kijiji, Craigslist and Letgo, as well as interacting with local social media groups, which focus on the swapping and trading of specific genres of collectibles.

Step three: Enjoy! Organize your collection, set up displays, admire your array, and don’t forget to play with your new stuff. Half the fun can lie in taking stock and researching your next acquisition, but beware that your hobby may border on compulsion if you focus entirely on procurement, and don’t take the time to enjoy your existing compilation. Use your premium crafting supplies to actually craft something, put together your LEGO set over a glass of wine, and take the time to play your custom musical instrument.

Everybody needs a hobby, and we all love to experience the thrill of personal conquest. The collector’s dream is one of child-like revelry; let your imagination flare, connect with like-minded enthusiasts, and submit to the mystique of building something that will resonate with you for years to come. Follow these simple steps, and be sure to message me if I’ve inspired you to embrace a new love!

– by Corey Holmyard