Monday, March 1, 2010

Downsizing: When a Collector Has to Do It

Downsizing usually evokes negative images: you think of employees unemployed, jobs lost, incomes reduced, people scrambling to meet bills. When it comes to collections though, downsizing can be a good thing. I let go stuff I no longer want; someone else finds a treasure. I have more space and time to devote to the stuff I LOVE. Sounds good, right? Yes! So what's the problem? Problem? Problems.

First, overcoming inertia. So many dolls, so many action figures, so many accessories. I'll look at them again tomorrow. Promise. Or I'll pull a few things from shelves. Okay, these will go. Then I get distracted or move on to something else. I need to set a timer and pull until I've separated all the TO GO stuff from the KEEPER stuff.

How to decide what goes and what stays?

Since I collect from Barbie to Fashion Royalty to action figures - as long as the doll or figure is playscale, I can't limit my collection by manufacturer. What about my variety? Hyperventilating, hands fluttering. Taking a deep breath. Okay, variety stays, but I have to reduce the duplicates. Multiples of dolls that look alike or ARE the same. Surely I can do that? Unless I plan to alter them ....

Sigh. So that's where I am at now. I will take these steps:

  1. Set aside stuff that no longer interests me
  2. Remove duplicates from stuff I like (except 1 or 2 I intend to alter)
  3. Photograph stuff TO GO, duplicates I no longer want
  4. Debox KEEPERS - might as well have fun with them
  5. Find "homes" for the KEEPERS - where will I put them?

Reward for this labor? List new stuff I want - yes, sounds like I'm going backwards. But I am taking precautions I did not used to take. Like considering what I am purchasing BEFORE I purchase it.

Example: I saw the So in Style Rocawear Darren in a Walmart. Once I would have stomped a happy dance. This time though, I thought about the purchase. Did he resemble any other dolls in my collection. Oh yeah. I mean, YES. I have several Stevens he resembles. Is his outfit different enough to warrant the purchase? Not really. So I won't purchase him. At least not this version.

Example 2: I will get the Barbie Basics No. 1, Model #12. I like her face and LOVE the face screening. She's similar to my Fashion Fever Shannon only I prefer the Barbie Basics' face and haircut. I can then sell the FF Shannon.

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.


Niel said...

It sounds like you have a good plan and I even like the way you rationalize future purchases. I hope you push through with it and have the results you wanted. :)

D7ana said...

Thanks, Niel. I'm putting a time limit - this month - for removing stuff (dolls, action figures, etc.) I no longer want.

AilanthusAltissima said...

I am hyperventilating from just reading this post! Kudos to you for paring down your collection. I did this once a while ago and it was less painful than I thought it would be, still, I wish I could get my collection down to a more manageable size. One thing that you mention that helped me to downsize was to take pictures of items before you let them go. Having a picture as a memento has helped me to let some things go.

D7ana said...

Yes, the picture reminder is helping me, Kim. I get to look at the doll, etc. without feeling guilty that it would make someone else happier.

I'm okay with reducing. Keep reminding myself that I will be able to see and to find things, I had forgotten.

Dolls of Color said...

I've started selling off some dolls (with detailed photography taken first of course) but I seem to be buying more than selling! I also sell them nude because I need more time to think over the outfits LOL (nude dolls also make my sales appear to be massive bargains which they probably are because I'm not looking to make a profit, just get something back and make space - well, that was the original idea anyway!)