Staying in hotel rooms might help reduce hoarding tendencies. On a recent flight, I brought a nearly-full suitcase and the intention of only getting meaningful souvenirs. I had myriad materialistic moments between visiting: two music stores, one thrift store, one videogame store, one museum gift store, and five airport souvenir stores. I barely succeeded in not buying anything meaningless. My collecting intentions were focused around two questions. Second: “Do you have any rare Nirvana stuff?”
After donating three boxes of VHS tapes, my remaining VHS collection fits into 7 mid-sized boxes, with a TV/VCR and spare VCR/DVD player rounding out the pack. Other than two additional boxes of Disney tapes, which will join me on this first hop on my moving adventures… if they don’t sell, most of the tapes here aren’t worth much. Besides, maybe, some of the anime tapes. Why keep any of them? Is nostalgia worth their weight?
Do we collect videogames and their assorted memorabilia objects for authenticity or for convenience? Is it more enjoyable to sit down in a dedicated area, with original or fully-optimized hardware, and play a game like we might have in our youth? Does digitization ruin any artificial abstraction of us pretending to be back in our carefree youth? Or can we reach for a file, legally acquired, of course, and enjoy that game the same way?
“Yeah, you could be spending that time writing or editing.” Cleaning and general maintenance are necessary elements of any physical collection, and while sorting through my NES collection, I decided that now is the best time to do this right! It’s not that I have the downtime for this. My thinking was if I don’t find value in maintaining this collection now, I should sell while the market’s good. Fortunately, I found a meditative value.
It’s easy to own a big collection of videogames. Just buy as many as you can for as cheap as you can afford. This mentality resulted in an unwieldy NES collection. Games were so cheap when I started collecting in 2009! Now that some have skyrocketed in price, I wondered, as I cataloged my collection: is it more valuable to own as many objects as the collection contains? Or just my favorites? Or none at all?
“If you don’t go to the store all the time, and you don’t look around that much, you won’t buy anything that you don’t need.” What’s the balance between buying the things you need versus merely wanted things? Should we be as minimalist as possible, or can we indulge in collecting certain things? My biggest current/future consideration is: how important are those wants for you and how much room do you have for those items?
How many movies per year do you watch? If my RYM movie tags are as accurate as I think they are, I’ve seen 11 feature-length movies since starting Better Zombie in August 2016. Watching less than six movies per year means there isn’t much of a point for me to own an extensive movie collection, especially if I’m planning to live in apartments for the next few years. Just keep the essentials and sell the rest… right?
For larger projects, I’ll tackle the “next important task” first. If sequentiality is ambiguous, I’ll tackle any easy task. Moving everything out of a hoarding abode is tricky because things will accumulate randomly without curation. Rather than just moving clutter from one area to the next, I’m focusing on critiquing each object and collection, starting with the easiest stuff: recycle the near garbage once collected for potential art/troubleshooting projects and sell or store videogame collections.
We get too distracted by innocent things. The quick rush of a new toy, the ugliness of putting in the effort toward finishing some task, or just a lost sense of curiosity. All are healthy, human reactions to living in our distracted society. When we get too distracted by these short-term fancies rather than our long-term flights, that’s when we fall. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be addressing that forthright, starting with seemingly-innocent imagery.