Collections & Cataloging…or Not

I’ve been thinking about the stuff I collect lately – what, why, and how. I have several collections: stamps, comic books, smurfs, dolls, carousels, and if you want to call it a “collection”, we can include our fairly extensive library. Not all of my collections are active – I haven’t gotten a new carousel in years, and aside from a Halloween one I have my eye on for our SpookyTown collection, I doubt I’ll add more to that collection anytime soon. It simply takes up too much space, sadly. And while I add a doll to my collection here and there, they’ve been mostly Halloween/zombie dolls lately, rather than the standard porcelain dolls I started collecting as a kid.

I don’t actually have many “good” reasons for collecting the things I do…or most of them, anyways. I collect things because I like them, and I’ll admit to a fair amount of guilt about my Smurf collection, which is 95 percent plastics (the kind that never breaks down, and also spews harmful toxins into the atmosphere both when created and when burned). I started collecting Smurfs because I like them, but also because my mom was struggling with gift ideas and I thought that would be an easy thing for her to get. Which turns out not to be true, because my mom doesn’t shop online, and finding them in town is nearly impossible, though there are occasionally some at the antique malls. So. Backfire in so, so many directions there, though my dad does figure out how to order them online. I think I’ll start asking for only Smurfs that were found at garage sales and/or antique stores. Smurfs that have been around the block, so to speak, or porcelain/metal Smurfs. But I digress…

Why don’t I ask for stuff for my other collections? Because books are difficult to ask for – I generally buy what I want, and I don’t want to ask for anything expensive (say, collectors editions, etc). And I’ve tried asking for stuff for my stamp collection many, many times, and no one will buy me stamps for gifts. Which is all kinds of annoying, but there it is. My other collections are, as I said, stagnant, largely because they require room, and I really don’t have any more to give them.

In any case, I go back and forth on whether to catalog my collections or not. The one main reason to do so is for insurance purposes (in case of a fire or some other such disaster), and the other reason is to keep track of what I have so I can avoid or sell duplicates, and so I know what I still want/need for each. I suppose a third reason would be for records and liquidation in the case of my “untimely demise”, so my husband (or whoever) would know what was valuable and what’s just flotsam to get rid of at a lower price.

On the other hand, cataloging a collection is a lot of work, and very time-consuming. So I tend to put it off even though in the case of things like books and stamps, it would be very beneficial to know what I have before I buy anything new (or old, as the case may be).

Luckily, there’s pretty decent software out there for cataloging collections, and I just bought a really handy stamp catalog program called StampMate this week (and started putting stamps into it). It’s going to take me quite a long time to get all of my stamps cataloged, but I think it’ll be really nice having that information at my fingertips, so to speak. Especially if I ever get to attend a bonefide stamp show.

This coming weekend is Labor Day weekend here in the states, and my husband is *finally* going to trim out the bookcases he made for the office last year. But this means that all the books have to come off the shelves, and then be re-shelved once everything is square and the trim is on. Which seems like it might be a good time to start cataloging our library. I have the CLZ Book Collector app (and the comic book collector app too), and it has a barcode scanner with a pretty decent database on the back end, so that should make the process much easier than if I had to enter everything in by hand. It’s just the old/antique books that will take some manual entry work. That’s not too bad, really.

Will I ever get my Smurfs and spoons cataloged? I’d like to think so, but maybe not. It won’t be anytime soon, I don’t think, because there really aren’t good databases out there already for those sorts of things (that I know of), so I’d have to make my own spreadsheet or database, which is even more time consuming than just cataloging. But I may get around to it eventually. I doubt any of my collectors spoons are worth much, but some of the Smurfs I have are. It would be good to at least have the more valuable pieces cataloged, I suppose.

Do you collect…stuff? If so, do you catalog it? Or do you just enjoy it as is, and leave it at that?


Resolution Check-In
Sleep 6 hrs: Most nights, was at least 5-10 min. late getting to bed or sleep. Not sure what was up there, but annoying!
Goals check-up: Checked in, but not doing so well. Still working on finances, and this week, cleaning too.

Writer’s notes for this week


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