5 tips for starting a collectionIf you've always wanted to start a collection but have no earthly clue where to begin, then man have you come to the right place. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and kick your feet up on the "how the hell do a start a collection?" train. No flash photography, and no kids allowed under the age of 16, pls....unless you've got pot brownies.

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Does the thought of starting a collection make you want to barf all over your hot for summer '14 birks? Then, congratulations! I just saved you like a million dollars and endless amounts of almost wasted time. Don't collect anything! You are free! If, however, you are committed to becoming a mini-hoarder anyway, read on...



Duh, I mean, right? BUT STILL, sometimes it's hard to figure out what you want to waste your hard earned dinero on! Truth time: this is where most people get stuck and so instead of building a collection of something cool like 70's macrame plant holders, they end up collecting shit like dirty laundry...or mail. Here are some quick ideas for helping you to figure out what you want to collect:

  • LOOK AT YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS and try to identify any patterns. Do you tend to be drawn to certain colors? Textures? Items? Eras? If you're still really stuck, ask a friend to look through and tell you what they see. Chances are, your collection blueprint is hidden right there amongst all your little pinny pin pins.
  • GO TO A THRIFT STORE, FLEA MARKET OR GARAGE SALE and walk around a bit. What is your eye drawn to? What types of things are you compelled to pick up and look at? If you pick up an ashtray every single time you go to Goodwill, chances are you have a crush on ashtrays.
  • If you can't make it to a thrift store, try the same exercise while LOOKING THROUGH MAGAZINES. Pay attention to the sorts of spaces you're drawn to and the objects that are in them. Take notice if you like particular kinds of things in photos, as these also may fit into broader categories such as enamelware, carnival glass, etc.
  • Remember that ANYTHING GOES! Collections can be super specific (vintage needlepoints of exotic animals--yes this is actually a collection of mine) to super broad (anything Basset Hound--uh huh-- another collection of mine). Always remember to think of the things that define your life too, as this will help in narrowing your options down. i.e. what state do you live in? What's your nationality? Religion? What do you do for a living? Are you mom? Obsessed with dogs? An alien? An alien dog? All of these things might give you ideas too.

Still stumped? If so: Jaysus, you're a hard nut to crack. Here are some ideas of stuff I think would make awesome collections just to whet your whistles:


  • art deco glassware
  • embroidered napkins
  • matchbooks
  • wooden 60/70's serving pieces
  • wicker animals
  • bottle openers
  • macrame or wall hangings
  • flower pots
  • signs (transportation, bathroom, office door, whatever!)
  • coins from the year you were born
  • photos of strange families on the beach
  • portraits of random people
  • butter dishes
  • quilts or blankets
  • brass animal figurines
  • woman head vases
  • flower frogs
  • hotel keys
  • vintage items of your fave dog breed
  • maps
  • baking tools



Now comes the fun slash expensive part: once you decide you want to collect a certain thing, you can start buying it!

  • Look for your thing at thrift stores, flea markets and estate sales.
  • Set up an RSS feed from craigslist that let's you know whenever your cool collectible gets listed.
  • Ditto on ebay with email alerts.
  • Keep an eye out for any local events. Like if you've decided you want to collect a particular type of artwork, pay attention to local listings in your area and watch out for art or antique shows that might be coming your way.



Ok, so now you're collecting all this stuff and you need to figure out where the hell you want to put it and how you'd like to display it.

Always consider your space and make sure that if you decide to collect something, you have room for it. Like if you live in a 1 bedroom apt, you probably want to steer clear of vintage bulldozers, you catch my drift?

Sometimes it's fun to keep all of your collectibles in one spot, and sometimes it's fun to carry the theme throughout your whole space. The only rule is: THERE ARE NO RULES.

Here's some good ideas from Pinterest that might get your collectible display juices flowin.



Collecting something sometimes feels like a marriage: i.e. "this shit is never going to end, is it?" Well that's up to you. If you are really digging your newfound collection of porcelain woodchucks, then keep doing it! If after awhile you just aren't feelin' it, then abandon ship and start all over again.

And remember that collections often evolve and turn into stuff that you might not have ever been able to predict. Like maybe you started off collecting Hawaiian tiki torches, but that ACTUALLY led you to your true love of used mai tai drink umbrellas. Now you don't give a rat's ass about tiki torches anymore. Ain't no thang but a chicken wing, mi amigo. We've all struggled with a cresting and falling love of tiki torches before. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I AM HERE WITH YOU.