Psychology of Collecting: Why do People Collect Things?
Psychology of Collecting: Why do People Collect Things?
Collectors are a very unique breed: they are driven to collect a particular type of item, whether they are a stamp collector, a toy collector, a model car collector, or something else entirely. Not only are they driven to collect, but they are often driven to learn as much as they can about the object of their collecting, which often leads to learning about history.
While some might view collectors as hoarders, there are many positive aspects of collecting that provide a benefit to the collection. Follow along with us as we explore both the motivations and the mental health benefits associated with collecting!
7 Mental Health Benefits of Collecting Things
Did you know that collecting has many mental health benefits? As surprising as that may sound, there are plenty of positive mental outcomes that are supported by the process of building and caring for a collection. Read on to learn about seven key mental health benefits that are associated with collecting!
When someone is a collector, the urge for acquiring exquisite objects is often paired with a curiosity to learn more about the collectible item. This thirst for knowledge can help you obtain more knowledge and promote mental growth.
When people collect things, it’s often because they find those objects beautiful and visually stimulating. Creativity often draws inspiration from beautiful objects, and collecting can get your creative juices flowing.
The passion that a collector feels when they spend time working on their collection is a great way to kill stress. You can mentally focus on your collection and it will take your focus away from other things that are burdening you. It can provide a great escape!
Nostalgia is a driving force behind acquiring collectible objects! For many, the passion to collect was sparked during childhood, with objects that interested you and captivated you as a child that you now seek to acquire as an adult. This can transport you back to a simpler time.
Improves Organization Skills
Often there is a need to sort a collection into categories or figure out the best way to display everything. These organizational skills applied to other areas can be extremely beneficial.
Create Social Connections
Many collectors spend time getting to know other collectors by attending shows or participating in online forums or groups that are relevant to their collecting hobby. This forges social connections, which are valuable for your mental health.
May Create Career Possibilities
The interests that are developed through collecting could possibly lead to a career in a matching field. Collectors may also start to sell parts of their collection to fund new purchases, which can sometimes lead to a full or part time career as a reseller.
The Motivations Behind Collecting
Why do people collect things? There are multiple possible motivations behind the desire to collect. Some people collect for the social aspect, while others may collect for a distinctly personal reason. Follow along as we explore some of the most common reasons why collectors do what they do!
Many people have an assortment of personal items that have special meaning to them, whether that be because they were passed down to them or because of some other emotional connection. Sentimentality is a big reason why many people collect, as the objects they acquire may remind them of loved ones or special memories.
Nostalgia from childhood
Nostalgia is one of the biggest reasons why people collect. Often, the objects that they are collecting are ones that they have admired since childhood, and as an adult they have the opportunity to acquire those items that they once owned or once desired to own. This can be especially true of vintage toy collectors, who seek to complete a collection that started when they were young.
Increase knowledge and learning
A key part of collecting is learning about and from the objects in the collection. This could include learning about the past or about a particular subject that pertains to the collectible items, as well as learning the unique story behind each object. Many collectors are highly driven to do research and learn as much as they can about their area of interest because it provides them with intellectual satisfaction.
Having fun and enjoyment
Collecting can be a lot of fun and can really activate the pleasure center of the brain! Most collectors take sufficient pleasure out of the process of curating a collection, and this can be a great driving force behind why they continue collecting.
Many collectors do what they do because they find the objects they collect to be aesthetically pleasing. They obtain joy out of owning and caring for these beautiful objects, and they love to put them on display so that they, as well as others, can appreciate their beauty.
Some collectors are driven to collect every object from a particular set. For example, a Star Wars collector may seek to obtain every action figure from a certain Star Wars series of toys. This sense of collecting to completion is a motivation for many collectors.
There are many collectors who view themselves as investors. They intentionally collect rare and valuable items that they expect to grow in value over time, generating desired returns. The eventual goal is to sell the items at a profit and fund their retirement.
Sense of Community
Some collectors enjoy the community aspect of collecting and how it contributes to their social lives. There are plenty of events and online groups that support collectors of like items getting to know each other. This can lead to friendships forged, as well as foster opportunities to share knowledge and learn from each other.
Collecting can provide recognitions for some collectors, who are driven to collect because they want to be recognized for putting together the best collection of a particular object. They may donate or loan their collection to a museum so that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy that collection.
The Thrill of the Hunt
Finally, many collectors are driven to collect because they find the search for each rare piece to be an exciting one. They enjoy digging through thrift store finds and eBay listings to find that perfect item to add to their collection, and they enjoy it so much that they keep coming back for more.
The Positive and Negative Aspects of Collecting
Of course, there are some negative aspects of collecting. Some people view collectors as hoarders, and collecting can become quite expensive and cost the collector a lot of money. However, there is a crucial difference between collectors and hoarders: hoarders tend not to care well for the items that they accumulate, while collectors are often very organized and care well for their collections. Overall, we think that the positive effects of collecting greatly outweigh the downside!
What is the psychology behind being a collector?
No two collectors are exactly alike! One might choose to become a collector for a number of reasons, and the driving force behind collecting could be nostalgia, investing, completing a collection, and more.
Why do people collect so much stuff?
Many people assemble rather large collections because they are driven to complete a set, they enjoy having beautiful objects to look at, or they want to learn as much as they can about a certain object.
Is it healthy to collect things?
It is healthy to collect things! In fact, collecting has many positive mental health benefits.
About Collectibles Insurance Services
Collectibles Insurance Services has been protecting collections since 1966 and all coverage is provided by a carrier with a group rating of “A” (Excellent) by AM Best, the leading rating agency for the insurance industry.
Comprehensive coverage includes, but is not limited to: accidental breakage, burglary, fire, flood, loss in the mail, theft, natural disasters, and other causes of loss unless specifically excluded from the policy. Deductibles start at $0 for collector policies and we provide coverage for the market value of your collection for losses in excess of $50.
Additionally the protection extends At home and away, and we don't require collection itemization and serial number nor extensive paperwork and red tape.