You are not trying simply to complete a set of books or toys or Weetabix cards, you are trying to complete yourself, to get back to the whole person you were before, as a child, before the obstructions and compromises of adulthood got in the way. And yet, all you are really doing is accumulating a pile of crap, souvenirs of the futility of the quest.
― Neil Perryman (
Collecting can be a juggernaut of stuff.
You start with one thing. A stuffed penguin maybe. You love it. It brings you joy.
You get a second penguin, this time ceramic. Then you keep a restaurant place mat because it has a cute penguin.
Now you collect penguin Things.
And the first, second, and eighth person who sees that penguin collection knows just what to get you for Christmas.
Many minimalists won’t take the risk. The Minimalists wrote several posts about the hazards and dubious value of collecting.
I came across another who said “the difference between hoarding and collecting is a display case.”
I choose to walk the line of collecting. Carefully studying if I am collecting or merely accumulating.
When I hear “a collection,” the image I get is a museum or a library.
Museums are a great metaphor for minimalism. Think about what defines a museum. A museum is curated, careful, thoughtful, focused, intentional.
These are words that don’t describe most homes, but they do describe a minimalist home.
Museums collect, but they don’t do it haphazardly. There are parameters to what the museum values, what is of historical note in its specific category. And then it doesn’t even display all of these, it displays a careful representative selection.
This can be applied to my own space. Ensuring that the Things I choose to express myself and my fandoms are not just anything related to those fandoms, they are a representative selection.
The Museum of Me.