Collecting Things is Fun, Safe, and Educational for Everyone

February 17, 2017

As we know, rich people like to collect expensive things. Usually, they line the walls of their homes with great works of art or fill their garages with luxury cars. Nevertheless, there are other people, who are content with more humble collections of objects that might cost less but give just as much pleasure.

But why do we like to collect things? Why do these inanimate objects satisfy us emotionally? Very often our collections become so important to us, that we start thinking about the possibility of it outlasting us. Psychologists claim that in most cases, our fascination with collecting objects starts early in childhood. In our early childhood, we fall in love with a toy and create an emotional bond with it. Although the value of these things may be irrelevant, there are people who view collecting as a financial investment. These collectors know their collection will increase in value. In fact, they’re doing this almost professionally, but for most of us, being a collector has nothing to do with financial gain. It's an emotionally driven action.

A collection is a part of ourselves that we can leave behind: a legacy that is precious not because of its material value, but because these objects become an extension of who we are. We will not deny that legacy is a fundamental aspect of personal economy that helps enrich us as individuals, such as family and home. But for others, collecting is all about the thrill of the chase. The hours spent searching for another elusive item to add to their collection becomes a hugely enjoyable experience. People get great enjoyment from applying their thoughts and energies into tracking items down, and when they are thrilled when they are successful.

There is a phenomenon known as the endowment effect, which describes our tendency to value things more once we own them. Another is the concept of contagion. Some collectors are attracted to celebrity belongings because these objects are seen as being infused with the essence of the person who owned them. Humans are unique in the way we collect items purely for the satisfaction of seeking and owning them. The desire to collect only became possible about 12,000 years ago – when our ancestors gave up their nomadic lifestyles and settled down in one location.

There are also 3 reasons why collecting things is good for everyone:

1. Improves organizational thinking.

Collections often call for sorting into categories, such as stamps, coins, banknotes, etc. The skill and patience learned translate into other tasks. Studies have shown that students, who collect as a hobby, perform better on tests and have better results on their research papers.

2. Awakens a desire for knowledge.

Just realizing how much information is out there on any subject can give you a greater motivation for learning. Knowing more about a favorite subject matter or collection provides a reassuring sense of command in that subject, which is both useful and great for self-esteem.

3. Inspires creativity.

Artists and writers often collect things that they find either visually stimulating or that trigger feelings of connection between different elements. The simple forms in the artwork of Spanish artist Joan Miró, for example, were influenced by objects he picked up and saved during walks, including stones, driftwood, and seashells.

If you have an unusual collection, feel free to share your passion with our readers by commenting about it below.