Collecting dolphin figurines

An Ex-Collector Comes Clean

I once loved collecting anything that had to do with dolphins. My house was full of figurines, posters, spoons, pens or T-shirts that were all adorned with dolphins. My friends and family always knew what to get me for my birthday, and my love for dolphins played out every time I reached for something to wear or glanced at my wall!

Hitting the Wall
But then a weird thing happened: I realized that my love for dolphins wasn’t tied to a bunch of stuff that I didn’t really use.  I’d graduated to a level where I could appreciate the little critters without accumulating clutter (I am a professional organizer, after all).

Dolphin Intervention
But while I was over my addiction to dolphins, my family and friends weren’t.  The dolphin gifts kept pouring in and my shelves kept filling up. I realized that I’d have to inform my loved ones that I’d ended my collection phase – and that I’d “left the pod” behind me.  The problem was that I felt bad telling my friends not to give me gifts.

Taking Charge of the Process
In the end I didn’t have to worry. I approached my family and friends and told them that I really wasn’t interested in collecting “themed” items anymore.  I informed them that I really just wanted to spend time with them, instead of receiving gifts.  The news went over well and now I have more quality time with the people that I love – and I have less clutter.  A win-win situation!

The Moral
It’s OK to stop collecting things even if your identity is wrapped up in your memorabilia.  Your family and friends aren’t going to think you’re a weirdo because you’ve outgrown a collection – they’ll probably like spending more time with you in lieu of gifts – or shopping for a different, unique gift for you.  Most of all, you’ll be thankful for more breathing space.

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