Last time, we talked about using collections to help store stuff. Today, let’s chat about other stuff we may have and what the heck to do with them.

I happen to collect a bunch of containers (baskets, boxes, jars, etc) but I also have other loves. Whenever I find anything with numbers, I look for a 31 and a 17 (the days of Darren and my birthdays). I have more than a dozen of the letter M, not including the charms on a bracelet. I love blue and white dishes and have stacks of plates, bowls, and platters. I love old books, tea pots, and candles and lanterns. Darren collects tools, flashlights, and camping gear. 

Some of these things are useful and some of them just sit and look good. Some pieces are valuable and some are a dime a dozen. You may have lots of them or you may have just a few special ones. Some may be family treasures and some may have been found on the curb.

No matter what your collection is, here is my number one piece of advice:

Use your stuff.

Seriously. I think we can all appreciate thinking some things are too fancy or fragile. Or too valuable. Or too special. They may be all of those things. A question that may help you know what to do is:

Why do I have these things?

When you noodle on the reasons why you collect certain things, maybe you can get a better idea of what to do with them. There’s usually a pretty good reason why you have collected something, and those things just might point to a great part of your personality. 

Unless, as you think about why you have the assortment of things you do, you realize they don’t serve you anymore. That’s okay. Just because you have collected something in the past, doesn’t mean you always have to. Or maybe your collection is a hand-me-down and it doesn’t fit you. We’ve talked about how to know what to keep here.

But if you love your stockpile and it feels like you, get it out. Use it. Display it. Show it off. 

My numbers 31 and 17 and my letters M are displayed all over the house, some on their own and some bunched together. Same with the old books. They just sit there looking good, and they reflect a part of who we are and we love them. We use the blue and white dishes when we have people over for food and it feels good to see them used. The platters are displayed when not being used, so double bonus on those – they look good just hanging around and in use. I’ve used the tea pots (I don’t drink tea) for hot chocolate and for holding flowers. The candles and lanterns are great for a little mood lighting. 

Darren’s collections are more useful things, so they get used all the time. I love that he collects things that he likes to use and to make experiences he has more enjoyable.

Have you ever thought of “saving” your things to use “sometime”? Or not using your things because they may get broken or damaged? I’ve been there. I will sometimes have in my head the perfect scenario of how and when to use my cool things, but that time doesn’t seem to come. And then the time is gone and the stuff is still just sitting around doing nothing. 

Wouldn’t it be better to use your special things and have the memories of those special times, even if your things got used up or damaged? I would much rather have just one blue and white dish left on my shelf and a whole bunch of memories of using and sharing them than a stack sitting there untouched. 

The stuff we keep is stuff we love and need, right? If they are stashed away, never to see the light of day, that is not a very good way to show the love back, or to honor those things that deserve space in our homes. Look for ways to get these goods into our lives, making memories and becoming even more loved.

What do you collect? I would love to hear how you use them! Or if you don’t know how to display or get them out into your life more often, let’s noodle on it together.



Photo bySteinar EngelandonUnsplash


  1. Alex Bullock says:

    As you know, I collect a bunch of goofy things, like chairs, plates, and napkins, and I love shuffling things around so they all get their fair share of usage. ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>