Collections We Can’t Part With

A client I worked with a couple of years ago still inspires me. I want to share with you some of the things we absolutely love and can’t part with, even though we understand that owning less stuff is the foundational principle of getting organized. Sometimes you have items you must keep in larger quantities than you need just ‘because.’ It’s an example of collections we can’t part with.


Perhaps your shoe collection is part of your identity. It’s how you put yourself out in the world and how people recognize you. Your friends and colleagues often say, “You always have the most fabulous shoes!” And you’ve loved shoes since you were a young girl. You tried on your mother’s shoes and stomped around the house in heels that were way too high. And you dreamed of the day when you could buy your own pair just like them.

I remember like it was yesterday, trying on my Nanna’s shoes when I used to go and stay with my grandparents in Dartmouth over the summer. Oh, how I loved her shoes. She kept them all lined up on the floor in her bedroom closet, and I would ask permission to try on her shoes. She would tell me where she got them and which fancy Rotary event she had worn them to. It’s like your favourite song reminds you of a time in your life. Certain shoes remind me of a specific moment in my life.


Maybe books are your thing. I have a client who is going through a phase of buying several books a week. Never during his lifetime will they be able to read all those books if they keep purchasing at this pace. And I’ve been to their house. They already have a collection of unread books. In fact, the bookshelves at the office are overflowing. Like me, I know you’ve got friends or family who have bookshelves crammed with books everywhere in their house. Books are stacked on the coffee table and piled on the floor. They’re even crammed on the top shelf in the closet. And you can’t part with those books. Like shoes, books remind you of a certain time, or they were a gift from someone special.


Maybe tools are your weakness. If tools and machinery are your things, you should visit the Northville Farm Heritage Centre. They have hundreds of old tools and antique machinery on display. They will give you and your family a tour and explain what everything was used for ‘back in the day.’ Of course, if brand-new tools are your thing, visit your nearest home improvement store. We went there a few weeks ago on the hunt for a specific type of saw. When they finished explaining all the saws, we were so confused we didn’t buy anything. Instead, we called Garth (the king of tools here in town), who came over with the perfect tool to help us out.

I’m sure I could think of plenty of other collections we can’t part with, no matter what. If you’ve got the storage space, go for it! But be sure to invest some time and money in the proper storage. Take care of your things so you can admire and enjoy them. Let us know what you collect.

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