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I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

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I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby Staff » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:38 pm

Too much stuff. I have it. You probably do too. Ever since my post about being burned out went up, I/we received a lot of encouraging and touching replies. No words can express how I felt. It was a mixture of emotions that's for sure: part validation, part gratitude, part guilt, and many more. I definitely felt much better afterwards though. But through it all, there were a few interesting responses that all shared a common thread and struck a chord in me loud enough for me to take notice. This is something I like to call "The Secret Shame". It's when this hobby, for better or for worse, takes over and you end up living with/in/on a pile of LEGO.

I don't even know how to begin writing about this so I'm just gonna let it all out. I said I wanted this site to feel more personal, and I can't think of anything more personal than this. The picture up top, and the other ones sprinkled throughout this article is a result of years of collecting, amassing, hoarding, whatever you want to call it. I can't remember exactly when it took over, but at some point I let it get out of hand.

When It Started

I can't even remember when it happened exactly, when it became a real problem. I can kind of pinpoint when I started "collecting" though, and it was right around college when I started making a tiny bit of extra money. Back in the mid- to late-90's, I bought a couple of Iron Man action figures by Toy Biz. It started off with one, then another, and then eventually I wanted to get all of the different armors. I had a pretty good variety of them and set them all up in a row on my bookshelf. I liked looking at them all lined up like that. They certainly can't compare to the action figures coming out today. But that was when it more or less started.

How It Got Worse

It expanded from there. It wasn't just Iron Man, it was Star Wars action figures, Transformers, Macross, anything new and hot at the time. LEGO was brought into the fold of things once the Star Wars license came out. Once I graduated college and got a real job, oh man, my spending allowance skyrocketed and most of it pretty much went towards toys.

My wife and I lived in an apartment that became more and more crowded with stuff. Not because of kids or anything like that, but because of my habit. Why my wife didn't leave me or say anything, is beyond me. She never made me feel guilty or bad about any of it. We just kind of adapted to our ever-shrinking space and continued living on. By the time we moved out of our 1-bedroom + loft apartment, our movers told us we had enough contents of a 3-bedroom apartment. Yeah, I had that much stuff.

We moved into a pretty sizable house, and that just meant more space to squirrel things away in. I had an office where I stuffed all my crap into. And then I took over a second empty room, and then a corner of the master bedroom. Things were getting out of control.

Too Much Stuff

Corner 2 of my officeIt's bad. The picture at the beginning of my post is one corner of my office. This picture just above continues that wall o' boxes on the left. This one below is on the opposite wall:

Other side of my officeOur move was about 10 years ago, and everything you see here  in this post is the accumulation of stuff since then.

I will say though, that I did manage to let go of a lot. I sold off all of my Hasbro Star Wars action figures in a garage sale and let go some other action figures and toys through eBay and cleared up some space, but clearly not enough.

Here's my second room:

More stuff in second room Other side of a second roomThings look messier than normal because we are getting work done in the house and I had to start shuffling some things around. All of these pictures were taken at the same time. In addition to all that, I moved a bunch of stuff downstairs:

Stuff I moved downstairsLike the post title says, too much stuff.

I'm not proud, but this is what my life is like right now. I had a really hard time coming to terms of writing this post and exposing my secret shame like this. Like I said, I wanted this site/blog to feel more personal and this is as personal as it gets. I also think it's important to talk about the dark side of having a hobby, especially one where amassing hoards of crap is the norm no matter what the justification is.

I know I'm not alone in my collecting/hoarding habits. Though, I might be one of the few that is willing to let everything go. All this being said, I am not exiting the hobby. I just need my space back. We'll still be around talking about LEGO, but as far as my own personal shopping habits, it's got to change and it's starting with me purging all my stuff.

My Motivation

These are my kids. And I need to give them the space they deserve because it's not about me anymore. I need to make their life better because as it is right now, I'm dragging them down this pit with me. And I am going to make that stop.

Life isn't all roses and lilies and i think it's important to air out one's dirty laundry every once in awhile. You go onto Facebook, twitter, Instagram, what have you, and all you see and hear about is how great people's lives and all the cool stuff they are doing, are making, have happening to them, and you know what? It can get downright depressing. Nobody ever talks about the bad stuff, the depressing stuff, the stuff that brings us down. I kinda believe that's the hard things in life that connects us to each other more so than the good stuff people post about. People struggle everyday with things, yet it seems like no one ever talks about it.

And if you do, you'll more than likely get shot down and/or made to feel bad for even having feelings. God forbid should you complain about something, like your commute to work, without having someone jump down your throat about other people you don't even know being in worse situations. We're all human; we all struggle and we all have our own bantha poodoo to deal with. The things you see in this post, this is my struggle. I need to get rid of my stuff and I need to be held accountable. I figure if I post about it here, I've made it public and people will know. And that will be another reason for me to keep my sarlacc in gear.

FBTB Store Opening Soon

I need to sell off my collection, like ALL of it. I need to get rid of my stuff. I'll be opening up the store part of the site again and listing stuff there. Prices will be below whatever the Bricklink low average is for any given item. I do need to move this stuff and I'd like to do it as quickly as possible and maybe try and make a little money. Keep an eye out for a front page announcement for the store. As far as my loose stuff, I'll probably end up donating it to schools or something. Other than the store, I have not yet devised a strategy on how to get rid of it all so it'll be a long process.

I am looking forward to getting rid of my stuff. I imagine I'll feel less burdened, lighter, and freer. Anyways, I've run out of things to say. I'll be making updates as time goes on. I don't have a timeline on when I want to get rid of it all, sooner the better obviously.

So, uh, anyone want to buy a LEGO collection?
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby Firespray » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:32 pm

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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby nanuck95 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:53 pm

First of all, cute kids! My 3 look to be right around the same ages.

As you pointed out, the internet can be a brutal place to air your dirty laundry, where people are quick to judge and criticize without fear of someone looking into their own struggles, in a culture where there is very little sense of accountability or personal responsibility. The reality is we're all messed up one way or another, the only difference is between those who are willing to admit it and work through it, and those who continue to hide behind it. I give you a lot of props, sounds like you're making positive changes for both you and your family.

I am glad you aren't totally walking away from the hobby, my favorite part about this site is reading the reviews (The Iron Man Zamboni review is still my favorite). Anyway, best wishes to you and take care!
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby dWhisper » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:10 pm

onions wrote:I know I'm not alone in my collecting/hoarding habits. Though, I might be one of the few that is willing to let everything go. All this being said, I am not exiting the hobby. I just need my space back. We'll still be around talking about LEGO, but as far as my own personal shopping habits, it's got to change and it's starting with me purging all my stuff.

I don't think you're the only one that's willing to let go... I know that I'm in the exact same spot (though not with as much stuff). For me, the step to letting go is sadly exiting the hobby. The problem is that it turns out our particular hobby isn't easy to exit. It's a pain to sort and list and find and sell and ship (and I'm getting very tired of arguing shipping prices with people).

I think the toughest part in all of the is having to accept that all of this is just a want. There's something a little bit insidious about collecting, in that if you wait and pass, it will be gone forever. With LEGO, that means that there's a cost to it, and that desire to miss the price jump means you want to grab something now.

For me, the only way I'm going to get over that desire is to quit cold, and part of me really hates it. But there are so many things about collecting in general and LEGO specifically that have really soured me to it lately, and I'm still trying to work it out. One of the places where I decided to start was to apply a similar rule to my collection that I had to other things, like DVDs and video games (before I went all digital, anyway). If I own something and don't use it at least every year or two, I get rid of it.

When I look at my LEGO collection... I have hundreds of sets that have been put away since they were first built... some only ever brought out again because I was doing a review of a remake of that set. Then when I'm done, I've got two sets put away... or in the case of the Jedi Starfighters... twelve of them. I now have twelve sets on display in my office right now, and one in my living room (the UCS Falcon). I'm pretty sure I could get rid of a few of them and just set up a nice display shelf and be good forever, because most of them are UCS starfighters.

More than the sets, though, the biggest problem I have is with loose parts. I was never much of a MOC builder... I just wanted to be. All of those loose parts are dominating my office and closet, and have filled up my walls for years in bins that only got opened when I was sorting or parting things out and put more in there. I need to get rid of nearly all of this... my daughter won't forgive me if I get rid of it all, but she's five and is pretty happy that I keep moving a lot of them into bins that are specifically for her now. Of course, there is added incentive to get rid of some of them because my son puts anything that gets within five feet of him directly into his mouth.

I don't have a great way to sell off all these parts, because I have tens (or probably hundreds) of thousands of them in bins and bags and boxes. And I want them all out so I can start planning for whatever comes next. Unfortunately, I think we're in the same boat... the only thing that's tougher than collecting is trying to get rid of it.

Of course, while I may be walking away from the hobby, and with it most reviews (I may still dabble when the sets are provided and do a similar "give away" thing for them)... I will be covering some other stuff. Have a few things in planning once I get some of the LEGO stuff moved away. Maybe, just maybe, I'll even get around to reviewing The Force Awakens before Episode IX comes out.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby banthafodder » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:29 pm

Ditto. I'll buy yours if you buy mine! As I'm writing this my wife has said that she lost me to the dark side a long time ago.
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby TeddytheSpoon » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:22 am

I feel the same, and my collection is a grain of sand compared to your mountain.

That being said, I still like collecting stuff. I've managed to get myself into a habit of only buying stuff if it's gonna look good on display (and the space is there); if it doesn't look cool, I don't want it. That makes it a bit easier with what sets get chosen as well, as if I don't remember seeing it and thinking 'yeah I want that', chances are I won't get it. I've come out of the habit of just buying Lego for the sake of it, though I do have the occasional relapse.

And because I am weak, full of sin and can't resist temptation I will probably buy some of yours, if you're willing to ship to the UK.
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby rodiziorobs » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:19 am

How does that line from Fiddler on the Roof go? "[Lego] is the world's curse / May the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!"

I don't have nearly the stacks you have--my Lego room is literally the space under the stairs (go ahead, Harry Potter jokes, do your worst) and there is still room for me and all the family Christmas decorations (and even room to get to them once a year), but I felt the same feeling the other day. I was perusing eBay (which I do way too much of) and the question popped into my mind: "when will it stop?" When will I feel like I have enough that I can stop trying to get more? Will I ever feel that way? What about all the stuff I have now which I hardly have enough time to enjoy as is?

But as dwhisper said, there is a collector's urge to not let things pass you by, lest you never get a chance at it again, at least not at a greater cost. I don't collect sets--I have a collection of Elves sets and MOCs that belong, in practice, to my wife--but I collect parts. Unique parts, parts that are my favorite colors, parts that would be perfect for that build I'll never get around to...and so on. (I also 'collect' deals but that has more to do with my habit as an eBay junkie so I won't go there right now.)

I don't have a huge budget (although it has grown), and since I don't keep sets intact the things I do pick up have a minimal effect on my available space (although I have I'm the last year developed this pernicious habit of keeping the boxes--why oh why?! Why can't I just throw them away!?) but I have started feeling like it is getting out of hand. I haven't exactly done anything about this (I bought some more off of eBay this week, in fact) but the awareness is there, and I need to start taking decisive action before it seriously spirals out of control.

I would love to say I'll take some of yours off your hands, but I probably shouldn't*. Good luck, though; I hope you can find a solution that makes your life easier, simpler, better.

*unless you have some Ninjago Movie stuff lying around for cheap. I can 'justify' those as Christmas presents to my three kids ;) --who also look similar in age to yours.
See more on my Flickr page.
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby JonDM » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:28 pm

That is a lot of boxed up sets. Thanks for sharing the pictures and for bringing to light a situation that many bloggers and collectors fail to mention when they are sharing their newest reviews and/or unboxing photos. My self imposed "Fun Money" budget is the only reason my collection isn't completely out of control. Although, if you want to let go of that 911 GT3 kit at a steep discount you just let me know; I'd be willing to kill the budget for a few months ;-)

rodiziorobs - I soo feel you on saving the boxes for no reason. I don't plan on ever repackaging the sets, but I'm very careful with the boxes and save all of them.

dwhisper - I also know the collecting bug and how hard it is to pair down and only buy what you really really want. My only suggestion is to keep the things that actually make you happy when you look at them and not just because you know you have all of them etc. There are plenty of people on ebay who sell sets less the parts they wanted and make some money back to save space.
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby sparkart » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:07 pm

"You are not alone." - R. Kelly

How much do you want for those Aoshima Dropships? And what's in that big Batman TAS box?
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby lego the hutt » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:01 pm

I haven't posted anything on this forum in quite awhile but I felt the need to post and let you know that this is inspirational. My house isn't quite that cluttered, but I could easily see it going that way. Thank you for being so open and sharing. You aren't alone.
lego the hutt
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Re: I Have Too Much Stuff And Need To Get Rid Of It

Postby GrayMattR » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:38 pm

I realize that this thread started a couple of months ago but wanted to know the status of the store without applying any pressure. When I click the Store link I get a 404 error.

I'm in a weird spot with collecting as well. I'm lucky that my collection only takes up a wall full of shelves because little of it is built and mostly sorted as parts. It's mostly the economic value of Lego that I still have what I have. My kids had some truly great toys besides Lego when they were growing up but between outgrowing them and getting rid of them through garage sales or donating to the Salvation Army, they have few momentos of being young. Over the course of the last year I've been slowly re-aquiring some of the highlight toys my boys got rid of. And for all the online talk of "it's an investment" and so-called second hand markets, it's pretty hard to buy a Spiderman figure from 2002 or a 2004 Batman unless you're willing to give some Ebay seller $75 a piece.

Ironically my middle son is now really big into Batman again at the age of 20 and regrets getting rid of his stuff. "Stuff" doesn't make a person but it helps to remember the good times of the past.
Hit me up on Instagram @LegoMinifigureDesktop or on Topps Star Wars Card Trader @GrayMattR
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