Friday, 5 September 2014

Living with a Collection - Taking Up Space Part 1

How do you live with a collection, particularly when you're not the collector?  If you are a collector, have you even thought about that question before?  It's an important one.

A collection doesn't necessarily have to be large, or take up a lot of space, but the reality for a lot of collectors is that the collection is a noticeable presence in our homes and lives.  It takes up space, often a good deal of space.  How do you negotiate that space with the other people who share your space (or with yourself, for that matter)?
When I began collecting MLP as an adult, I was a university student sharing an apartment with 3 friends.  I also had a very small budget for collecting.  These elements helped me to limit my collecting because the ponies I got had to both fit on a shelf in my bedroom and also into my budget.  This behaviour probably coloured my collecting patterns later too, because when I moved into my own apartment, I still wanted to keep the Ponies confined to a certain area (in this case, shelves in my bedroom).  I didn't want the Ponies to be everywhere in the house.  It wasn't that I was ashamed of them or didn't want just anyone to see them, but I didn't want them taking over, either.
Later, when Roomy and I began to live together, the location of the collection was a topic of conversation.  Roomy also didn't want them all over the house, and I wanted to make sure they were protected from her cats (who had not lived with them all their lives, as my cats had).  We each agreed to certain things to ensure that we could both live with my collection - because although it was my collection, we both had to live with it.

It was important to both of us that we come to this agreement.  The last thing I wanted was for my collection to become the elephant in the room, so to speak, or in any way strain our relationship.  Roomy wanted to respect my love of the collection, but that didn't necessarily mean she wanted to look at it every day.  We compromised on that, and later we worked out how to share the Geek Cave when Roomy became a serious collector, as well.
So how do you come to a consensus?  In our case, we discussed the question before we moved in together, and made sure to be clear with our wants/needs so that everyone was on the same page.  "I don't want the cats touching my collection."  "Ok, then, the collection has to go behind a closed door."  "Fine, but I'd like your help getting the shelving set up, otherwise I'll be in there forever by myself."  And so on.  And when something didn't quite work out, we resolved the problem together.  The result is two happy people with two happy collections all able to live with each other.



  1. I am incredibly jealous of your Baby Sweetcake. I only have Cupcake so far (and a serious lack of funds...).

    It is difficult to manage a big collection of something when living with other people. All my college roommates thought I was a weirdo, but in the end I'm pretty sure they spent more time playing with the MLP collection than I did. I'd love to get a big cabinet to display the whole collection nicely; all my ponies are currently in shoe boxes under the bed and hidden in cabinets.

  2. Mich, I've only just added both Sweetcake and Cupcake to my collection this year. They've been on my wantlist for over 10 years! You'll get Sweetcake sometime. :) Glad your roommates are enjoying your collection with you.