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Old 02-22-2013, 07:35 AM   #1
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Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

Has anyone purged a collection before? Like looked at it and asked why did I start collecting this?

I'd love to hear your stories and any advice you might have for me, too.

I have a very large postcard collection. It's a combination of the postcards I have collected since I was about 10 years old and some I got from my grandma and then my aunt's whole collection from her travels in Europe. So over 20 years of collecting. That's a couple thousand postcards.

They are housed in 4 photo boxes. It's not like they take up much space, but I'd gotten to the point of collecting just to collect and there are many in there that aren't meaningful to me. The stuff from my aunt is interesting, but not meaningful. *I* didn't go to Europe in the 70s, kwim?

What would be the appropriate action for a collection like this? Keep it, pare it down, ditch the whole thing?

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Old 02-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

I haven't done anything like that, but you could maybe try turning it into some artwork. Get a couple of poster sized frames, sort through and pitch the ones that are just worthless to you, then use the rest to create collages in the frames. You could turn some to display the writing or postage if that's interesting. Use scrapbook paper and adhesive because that stuff is acid free and will keep the stuff from yellowing.

That way you get to keep the ones you like, you get to regularly see the ones you like, they aren't taking up space and only the ones that are worth something to you are kept.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

I don't have a collection like that, so I am not sure what is the right answer. If they aren't meaningful to you, I probably would not keep them. I go by the rule that it must be useful, beautiful and/or something we love. Bonus points for items thst are in 2 or all 3 of those categories

I did part with my fabric collection that I had been hoarding since I was about 18. I had boxes and boxes, a bunch of it being some vintage stuff that was passed down to me from family. Everytime I looked at that collection I realized all I saw was a big long "to do" list that I resented. I wasn't going to sew all those things realistically, and I was honest with myself that I didn't want sewing as a hobby anymore. I decluttered that fantasy version of myself and gave the fabric to a family member who truly loves to sew. It has been 2 years since I let go of that collection and I don't regret it at all. I have used my sewing machine for a few simple, useful items and it has been refreshing that I can use my sewing machine as just a tool now. It isn't attached to a list of projects I will never ever complete lol. I have only my simple sewing machine, a small basket of crafting accessories and just a gallon ziploc bag with a few very favorite quilting fabrics that are out of print (slowly using them fo little things, no stress attached). My craft supplies are strictly limited to one tiny shelf in my closet.

Maybe you could pare down your collection by giving yourself permission to keep one box of favorites as a start if you are very reluctant to part with them? Or even better would be to keep a handful to use for some sort of art project or to frame, so you could enjoy them?

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Old 02-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

Dp

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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I also have a postcard collection but it's only postcards of places I have visited. I never buy souvenirs when I travel except one postcard for each location. I keep them in a photo album. It will take me a long time to fill the album.

If I were you I would pare down to just the ones of places you've visited. You can either store them or scan them.

I do love postcards as travel mementos but I think I wouldn't feel attached to ones that people have given me...it's a great way to remember a fun trip.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

Yes, on the artwork. I have a bunch of really old ones that are beautiful citycapes. I want to do something with those.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

Nothing new to add, but I think you've gotten some great advice!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

It might help you purge if you look up what you could sell old postcards for on places like Etsy. You could use the money from selling all but your favorites to fund a trip for your own family. I love the idea of framing your favorites as artwork.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

I've been working on purging my postcard collection. It actually made me somewhat sad that only a couple hundred actually belong to me and the rest are from others. And people write the most BORING stuff on postcards. Seriously.

I debated getting rid of ALL the postcards. Still undecided about that. There were only a few that I really wanted to save....the rest didn't seem that special. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

It will take awhile, but I will sell off all the vintage and antique ones.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: Has Anyone Purged a Collection That Took a Lifetime to Build?

When I was six, I wanted to be a ballet dancer. It was my biggest dream to star in the Nutcracker. Somehow, it became a tradition amongst my extended family to get me nutcrackers every christmas. I had tons, most huge, many quite expensive.

But, to be frank, I never liked them, didn't take proper care of them through all of our moves (military brat), and finally, last year, tossed all but one of them. A single, small one, to go with the christmas decorations.
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