Sometimes I joke that collecting is in my genes - after all, both of my parents were avid collectors. But really, I was *taught* to collect from an early age. I learnt from the example set by my parents, and I was also encouraged to begin my own collections.

As a child, I collected:

  • stickers
  • anything related to Snoopy
  • badges and pins
  • Avon perfume bottles
  • novelty erasers
  • Princess Di memorabilia

At University I got hooked on science fiction and Star Trek, and began collecting based on my new interests. I also hung onto things that had value to me, like favourite books, toys, correspondence, and academic notes/assignments. It's a very fine line between collecting and hoarding, and I have to say that I've stepped over the line more than once.

When I first moved out of my parents' house, a lot of my stuff stayed behind while I lived in a share house interstate. I later moved into a bedsit, and then a one-bedroom apartment. Each time my living space became fuller as I had difficulty deciding what to throw out. When I moved back to Melbourne and into a house with Tim, we had two people's possessions to contend with (Tim's not a collector, but he's a hang-on-to-things-in-case-they're-useful-one-day person). And all of my old stuff in my parents' garage moved in too. At that point, the whole thing became too daunting to deal with. Things went into or stayed in boxes and filled up the spare room until it became suitable for storage only. And the collecting habit continued ...

As an adult, I've started some new collections:

  • blue & white dining and kitchen ware
  • Georgette Heyer novels
  • Gilbert & Sullivan LPs
  • cookbooks and food magazines
  • Rupert bear books
  • teapots and other tea-related paraphernalia
  • Serendipity books
  • user-created content for the Sims computer game
  • crafting books and supplies

I finally started taking some major action over the summer to get rid of stuff and streamline my possessions. But it's not over yet. I've still got a long way to go, and several areas of the house have yet to be purged. But necessity is the mother of invention they say, and the prospect of moving interstate, and possibly into a smaller home, is a great motivator!