31 Days

It’s Time to Stop Collecting Items/Ideas & Start Using Them! (#write31days – Day 22)

I do a lot of collecting in my life, but not a lot of using of what I collect.

Pinterest is a great invention. A way to collect ideas and pin them to various categories for future use. It’s like a digital inspiration board that takes up much less space in your home, but still fills your mind with ideas.

Initially, I was swallowed up by Pinterest. It was overwhelming. I would pin something and never look at it again. I have made it a point, however, more specifically with recipes, to actually try a few of the recipes I pin every month and if they work, they stay, and if they don’t I remove them. However, I still collect ideas…way too many of them to know what to do with them all.

I used to be an avid reader as a kid. I would stock up on a pile of books during the weeks of summer and devour them in a matter of days. I loved the summer reading program because we got prizes for doing something I loved doing anyway!

It’s been a long time since I have gotten lost in a pile of books. I still read, but it’s mostly if I am in a group being kept accountable or something that really grabs my attention. There are many more distractions that keep me from actually reading. But I love the look and feel of books and many titles grab me. So I make a purchase and then let the book sit by my bed or on my KINDLE app looking very new and unread.

I think I collect activities, too. This past summer I purchased an “adult coloring book”, (although why it needs to be defined that way, I don’t know) and a beautiful set of colored pencils. I was able to use it a few times while on vacation, but since then, even when I am relaxing at home, it’s not my go to activity. It doesn’t keep my interest for long enough.

Blogs to follow:
Even before I started blogging regularly on my own, I read many other blogs. And if you are like me, you have a collection of blogs that you follow. There is not enough time in the day to read them all, but I did recently sort through and remove the ones that no longer peaked my interest. It was easy to collect titles that caught my eye, even though I wasn’t reading them.

The collection I have had the hardest time using is my devotional collection. Yea, I love coming across new devotionals or Bible study guides. I am always looking for new ways to commit to the discipline of personal devotion. I see something new and think, “Maybe that will work better.” So I rush through what I am currently on to try something else. More often than not, the thought of so many options makes me choose none of them. Thankfully God continues to teach me in some new way with each attempt.

So how do I stop collecting and start using? I actually don’t have an answer. I thought by the time I got to this point in the post, it would come to me, and I would know what to do.  Stop collecting is the easy answer, but collecting provides opportunities for inspiration. Perhaps I collect one at a time and don’t collect any more until I’ve used or finished the previous item? Easier said than done.

So, I am asking you…What do you collect that you wished you used more often? Or how have you overcome this habit in your own life?

There is so much to learn and get involved with that I don’t want to miss out because I am collecting the idea instead of diving into it!

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  • Elizabeth

    Magazines! For several years I subscribed to The Economist, a weekly magazine. If I went on vacation or had a busy week, I was not able to read all the articles that interested me. So they piled up. Then once or twice a year I would go through them and recycle most of them. Finally, this year I chose not to renew my subscription. It has led to less mind clutter, guilt, and stress. I didn’t have time for it, so now I don’t have to think about it at all. It’s hard to shake that feeling that I’m missing out on articles or activities (for other collecting things), but the relief and importance of a clearer mind is probably underestimated by a lot of people.

    • emily

      I did the same for my Real Simple subscription! I loved the articles and used cut outs for crafts, but they piled up! I agree that just not renewing the subscription was rather freeing!

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