What do you collect?

Since I’ve been moving so frequently in the last few years, I’m constantly trying to downsize my stuff.  I’m often recycling, selling and giving away things … just because I’m sick of carrying them up and down flights of stairs.  But even as I purge my belongings and get ready for my next move (which will probably be at the end of next month), there are a few silly things that I’ve collected over the years that I’ll never ever give up.

Sea Captains
My grandparents always had a wooden sea captain keeping guard over a display cabinet in their house (it’s the one on the left).  He’s old, bearded, pot bellied, and he has a little wooden stump hanging out of his mouth were a pipe used to be.  For whatever reason, I’ve always loved that silly little knickknack.  And a couple years ago, knowing my fondness for him, my grandmother gave him to me.  Thus began my wooden sea captain collection.  The tall one to his right I picked up at a HomeGoods store, to his right is a flat wooden guy that I picked up on a trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts.  On the right in the back is the base of an old ugly captain lamp, and up front is a little ceramic guy whose legs hang over a shelf. It’s not a large collection … but there’s just something silly and appealing about those jacketed fellows.

Plastic Bread Clips
I can’t really explain why I save these things, but I have every one since I moved out of my mom’s basement about six years ago.  I keep a jar on the ledge above my stove, and each time I finish stuffing my face with bread, rolls, pitas, or whatever else is clipped, I toss the clip into that jar.  The fact that I have so many (there’s got to be over a hundred)  is indisputable evidence that I consume way too many carbohydrates, and probably the sole reason for my massive belly girth.

Garden Gnomes
Like my sea captains, I have a strange fascination with garden gnomes.  I’m not sure what it is … but they just make me laugh.  A few months ago I realized that my collection was getting a bit out of control, so I’ve actually been finding a few of them new homes lately.  I don’t wanna be the 29 year old guy with 100 garden gnomes in his apartment.  (What would people think?!) Five or six is plenty.  (The photo to the right was taken when my old coworkers surprised me with a “gnomed” desk as a going away prank.)

So now that I’ve opened up my odd world of sea captains, plastic bread clips and garden gnomes to you, what silly and secret collections do you have?  Can your weirdness even begin to compete with mine?

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5 thoughts on “What do you collect?”

  1. Not really anything anymore. I’ve gone through phases. I guess the closest would be Christmas ornaments. When we travel I like to pick up stuff to remember my trip. I have a crab from Baltimore and a Moravian egg I got in Winston-Salem and a hand-made clay star I got at a craft fair in Asheville. Those were from last summer.

    I would love to strip my house down to the bare essentials and I am gradually getting rid of “stuff”. Next time I move it will be dramatic.

    1. It totally is liberating. I’ve gotten rid of a few trash bags of stuff and even smashed 3 old crappy pieces of furniture to bits last week, and I’m loving the extra space!

  2. I don’t collect much of anything! Although I do have my passion projects. If I find an author I love, I must read every single one of their books preferably in the order they were printed as I like think I alone can pick up on the way they have evolved as authors. ha!

  3. My collecting habits are pretty vanilla. I collected comics from the age of 13 to just last year. That’s about it. I would like to start collecting art, not high art, but art I like, I just need the disposable income to do so.

    I’s a little obsessive, I clean things our every six months. If I haven’t touched it in 6 months, I get rid of it.

  4. The bread clip thing is a little weird (but cute). I love that picture of you in your garden/office.

    I don’t really collect anything either. I’m not big on having a lot of stuff. Looks like your older readers have something in common.

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