@Th0r4z1n3 Thanks... The OCD monster has be pacified.
— Ender (@EnderHates) November 26, 2013
For most collectors nothing rings more true; the O.C.D. Monster must be pacified... at all costs. This beast may come to different collectors in a variety of forms, but it is the obsessive behavior to purchase "things" that tends to be the driving force in a lot of us no matter what we collect; Transformers, G.I. Joe, Matchbox Cars, Barbies, Coins, Rocks, etc.
I've heard it from many collectors over the years; it's the thrill of the hunt that drives us. At a certain point we just start purchasing stuff out of shear habit. We train ourselves to constantly keep an eye out for that one short-packed figure, and when we don't find it we purchase something else as a consolation prize to reward ourselves for putting the effort forward to acquire that one rare figure. We buy things just because they were a good deal. We buy things just because it could be used for trading fodder. We buy things just to satisfy the O.C.D. Monster and its compulsion not to walk out of a store empty handed. I could go more into indepth on what drives a collector to buy unneeded things, but that's not the crux of what I'm trying to address right now. For whatever reason all of us, at some point or another, have shown some form of this behavior.
The O.C.D. Monster, however, wields a double edged sword. On one hand you're driven to gather as many "things" that fall into your particular interest as possible. On the other hand the more stuff you acquire, the harder it is to keep organized... and the O.C.D. Monster demands organization! Things must be expertly displayed, kept well dusted, and positioned just right in its designated spot; there is no room for deviation. The trick is finding that delicate balance between obsessively purchasing "things", and being able to keep them organized; otherwise you're just an effing hoarder. A little blunt? Yea, but I think some of us need to hear it. Lord knows I did.
While I'm being perfectly blunt, I'd like to take a look at my own behavior, and lay some of my own demons out for everyone to see. As embarrassing as it is to admit, at some point I definitely crossed that imaginary line from collector to hoarder. One day as I sat in my office looking at all the clutter, struggling to find a place to sit comfortably without breaking something, or ruing the packaging of one of my precious "toys" it hit me... this is just freaking ridiculous! While I don't see anything wrong with anyone collecting things, no matter what it is, there is a certain point when it just becomes too much. There I am spending more money than I care to admit on toys, but I can't find a dime to put towards having a nice environment for me to enjoy them in.
There is shelves nailed to every available wall space, piles of toys with no room to display them, and totes full of unopened toys that I had bought for no other reason than just having them; something had to change. Granted some of these things had real financial value, but I wasn't getting anything out of them other than being able to say, "I have this valuable thing in my collection, and you don't! HAHAHAHA!!!11!!one..."
As that udder feeling of dread set in from my realization that I had squandered so much time and money on all this "junk", I decided that I had to do something about it. I cannot tell a lie, the decision wasn't easy, and it wasn't instantaneous; I loved all my crap, and didn't want to part with any of it. Looking back it couldn't have been more obvious that I had become a hoarder, but at the time I had justified it all by telling myself that my office was just in a state of transition, and once everything was setup it would be truly impressive. The problem was that I had been in this place for about three years, but had made no real progress, and had not slowed rate at which I continued to acquire "things".
With the decision finally made to change, I had to figure out what my end game was; what was my goal? What did I want my office to look like when I was done? What was I going to keep, and what was I going to get rid of?
The plan was to get rid of all the stuff I didn't really want, and use that money to pay for remodeling my office. For this I had to do some real evaluating of my collecting habits. I had collected damn near every Transformer I could get my hands on since I started collecting in 2006, as well as picking up an obsession with 3 3/4 inch figures like G.I. Joe and Marvel Universe, and a variety of other things. If I was going to do this I had to get back to basics. I had to get back to what I really enjoyed collecting; Transformers. With Transformers never really going out of production since the 80's there were way too many sub-lines for me to keep them all, so I settled on trimming the collection down to a few lines and just sticking with them.
This may seem like a simple thing, but I also had to take into account the amount of space I was going to have to display them. I didn't want to just stick with the same old setup of just having track shelving on every wall of the room; I wanted something nice. Something that I read on one of the forums I participate on had always stuck with me, "Why would you spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars collecting something, and then cheap-out on where you put them?"
It's a common argument among many collecting communities when it comes to displaying one's collection, and it makes sense. I had a chance to make a real change, and wanted to do it right. So with that I started looking at how other people were displaying their collections. I began combing through collection threads, and blog posts to find the collections that had really stood out to me. No matter the size or content, I just wanted to see what styles and options tickled my fancy.
After a while I started noticing that there was a very common thread that ran through almost every collecting community when it came to shelving and displays... the IKEA Detolf. They are affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and keep your collection almost dust free, but most of all (at only $65 a piece) they are affordable. I also noticed that there were quite a few modifications that can be done to them to "class them up" a bit, making them my own and fit them into the result I was trying to achieve. With that I measured out the room that I so affectionately called my "office", decided on the modifications I wanted to make to them, got the measurements for the shelves from the IKEA website, and started working on the layout for my new Nerd-Cave.
After using a very complex string of mathematical formulas I like to call guess-timating to weigh out things like cost, and available space versus the amount of money I would have to spend, I had decided on twelve Detolfs. I would place them on 1x1 Expedit cubes, and do the duel-door modification to them. The so-called duel-door modification would give me a bit more display room by eliminating a pane of glass between each of the cabinets, effectively turning every two Detolfs into one lager curio cabinet. Placing them on the Expedits would give them a bit more height, and allow for some much needed storage space underneath of each of them. I figured that I would be able to comfortably fit four of them along one wall, and the other six would be placed along the opposing wall. This would leave me room for a desk along one of the adjoining walls, and a small couch along the other.
Now it was time to figure out what I was keeping, and what was going to hit the proverbial chopping block. I had given myself the charge of only keeping the things that I was going to be able to display, and everything else would have to go. I had already made the decision to get rid of everything except for my Transformers, but now I had to decide what sub-lines I was going to keep, and what ones i was not. Given the amount of display space that I had allotted myself, I came to the conclusion that I could only keep about three or four of the various lines that I had collected over the years.
Ultimately I decided that I should only keep the lines that I was really passionate about, and after doing some deep nerd-soul searching the decision was actually pretty easy to make. I had quite an effort into putting together a collection of Seekers, and all their different iterations over the years, so they were definitely going to stay. The Generation 1 line was my first introduction to Transformers, and the resulting nostalgia associated with them is what had driven me to start collecting them; they were definite keepers. I also decided to keep my Masterpiece figures. With the Masterpiece line being geared towards adult collectors, and only coming out at a rate of one every few months, it would be easy to collect these without them getting out of control. With the Alternator/Binaltech line being over with I had no worry about accumulating any more of these figures, and with them being the only line I was able to complete over the years, I figured I should keep them too. There you have it, the last men standing in my collection would be my Seekers, G1, MP's, and Alt/BT figures. This would get my collection down to a manageable size, and leave me room for future purchases.
With all the hard decisions already made, it was time to start "The Great Collection Purge", and begin selling off everything that I didn't have room for...