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Research has suggested that around a third of the UK’s population has a collection of some kind. In our parent or grandparent’s generation, stamp collecting was a common pastime. The real enthusiasts would scour the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue and wander the stamp dealer’s stalls along The Strand in London in search of a missing gem.

With the desire for more captivating entertainment, the long held tradition of stamp collecting may be in decline, but there are many other items that have captured collector’s interests.

Whilst some individuals might be in the fortunate position of collecting classic cars, works of art or antiques, a big budget isn’t necessary for many collectors. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, so it is possible to accumulate a large collection from charity shops, car boot sales and even skips or dustbins. You might choose to collect natural items that you find, exchange goods or request donations from friends, family and neighbours.

Looking online, you can find examples of some weird and wonderful collections. There’s a boy with an obsession for tax discs; a throw away item for many of us and potentially items of interest in the future, especially now the tax disc is no longer used. There’s a lady who collects stuffed birds, much like the Victorian collectors of natural history and an elderly gentleman who has endless shelves full of tin soldiers.

Why Do People Collect Things?

With so many of us owning a collection of some kind, there must be a reason behind our desire to accumulate related items. What drives us to invest time and money in bringing together a range of related goods?

For some of us, the attraction relates to our identity. We will be drawn to things that show our loyalty and interest in a particular era, style, brand, character, team or geographical location. We become known for our collection and it becomes part of what makes us unique.

A collection of memorabilia may offer us a chance to relive a particularly happy or prominent time in our lives. It takes us back, helps us to keep our memories fresh and alive. An individual with a collection of items from a specific time period may equally have a passion for history, even if they haven’t personally lived through it. They are intrigued and the items help to bring the historic facts to life.

Some people enjoy the process; the challenge of finding a rare treasure. They can happily spend their free time visiting places far and wide in search of new pieces to add to or complete a set. The research and acquired knowledge can be fascinating and may be complimentary to a career where their real interests aren’t being fulfilled.

In some cases the motivation for the collection is largely monetary. It is hoped that the wine cellar full of bottles, the antique vases, the autographs or furniture might increase in value and provide a worthwhile retirement fund.

Storing your Collection

If you are one of the many people who have invested time and money into building a collection, the challenge can be where to store it. Not every item can be on show, so boxes of bits can soon fill up the loft, garage and spare room. Before you start planning an extension, simply to house your treasured possessions, you might want to consider self storage.

Clean, dry and secure units come in a range of sizes, making them suitable for anything from a few large boxes of vinyl, to a small collection of vintage motorbikes. If you are running out of space and considering self storage, Oxford based Barretts can assist. To find out more visit our homepage.