While most collectors talk about growing a collection, minimalists look for ways to shrink their belongings. Below are some tips on how to decide which trinkets stay as a part of your beloved collection.

As a child, I acquired a small collection of lighthouses. Most were gifts, although some were souvenirs. Although I enjoy the whimsical structures, I really only display them in the warm months. It reminds me of the beach and family vacations. As an adult, I looked over the variety of pieces and picked my three favorite lighthouses. They are all sentimental and suit my taste. The first is from my paternal grandmother and made of wood. I always dreamed of going to see it at the Outer Banks and was finally able as an adult. The second was painted by my paternal grandfather on a piece of driftwood. It’s signed and special. The third is a bank that my grandmother customized. It’s ceramic and reminds me of love.


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Although I started with over a dozen light-house themed trinkets, only five made the cut. Below are some tips to help you shrink a collection.

1. They’re sentimental.

I had a few pieces that I didn’t remember getting. Since I didn’t have an attachment to them, they were really just taking up space. Consider this when you go through your own collection. Do you remember when and where you got each piece? Do you recall who gave it to you? If you don’t have a story for the trinket, it’s not sentimental.

2. They’re visually pleasing to me.

Several of the lighthouses I disposed were ugly to me. They just didn’t suit my taste. They may have been gifts but, I didn’t like them. Someone else will probably enjoy them more so, I passed them on. When you’re going through your collection, look at each piece individually. Do you find them all pleasing? Don’t simply keep them to make your collection look huge. Keep the ones that you find attractive.

3. They fit in my home.

These lighthouses are the right size for a shelf accessory. Others were very large or very small. Still others were plastic, glittery, or derivative. These three look right in my home and I can imagine incorporating them into future living spaces. When you’re going through your collection, consider whether each piece fits with your home. If you don’t have a space to display a huge collection, consider shrinking it. If you don’t like dusting, pick which pieces are easiest to clean.

These tips can help you little-by-little shrink a collection down to the few perfect pieces. A small, special collection will bring you more joy than a large, cluttered collection of meaningless trinkets.

Have you ever cut down one of your collections?