Anti – Collecting Premium

I am somewhat useful around the house, building or fixing things. The problem with wanting to do the various jobs is the number of tools needed to do them. For the most part, my small box of tools along with several moderately purchased power tools allows me to get most of the stuff done around the house – amounting to a total investment of about $400.

The problem I have with some of the jobs I do around the house is that they require more specialized tools. I know a lot of people (to be honest it’s all guys, the women I know tend not to have this habit) who accumulate tools. I love tools, and would love to have everything I need for every job stored somewhere in my house. One of the restrictions of living in a small townhouse with no garage is that there is nowhere to store any collection of any types.

I am constantly battling clutter in my house to start with, so adding a volume of stuff that sits around for the vast majority of time so I can pull it out maybe once a year is really not worth the precious storage space I have available for anything. I had to really sell myself on homebrewing as a hobby (it wasn’t that hard), simply because of the space it takes up – carboys, buckets, barley crushers, sanitation stuff, as well as various tubes and funnels – some of it is fairly large.

For my wife and I, having a small house keeps our “collections” of stuff in check. We use the library rather than buying books, because we know there are very few books we will ever reread. We try to keep our kitchen as gadget-free as possible, no matter how cool the thing looks on an infomercial.

From a personal finance perspective, collections of any kind of consumer good are probably not the most efficient use of dollars being spent, whatever it is (think sporting goods, media, stuffed animals, old bottles found in ditches). For me, if I can I’ll rent something for a day or two – especially if I’m unsure whether I’ll ever use it again (such as a laminate floor cutter). From my experience, you can get a higher quality item for the short-term than you would be able to afford to buy to do the same job.

The more stuff I would accumulate, the smaller my house would feel. In the past, I have been guilty of collecting things I think I’d use later when I should have given the stuff away or tossed it. I would rather pay a premium in rental fees or hire someone (in some cases) than be tripping over something 5 years from now.

Have you found yourself collecting things that sit around collecting dust in the past?

3 thoughts on “Anti – Collecting Premium”

  1. Guilty of collecting books, that said I usually only buy a book if I’ve read it from the library at least 5 times (or it’s an author that I know that I read over and over) still, I’ve filled a number of bookshelves over the years.

  2. Definitely trying to prevent the collection of items that will only collect dust after initial use.

    Having said that, tools are my exception. I am no automechanic, nor do I wish to become one, buy my forward looking mustachianism self (hint) does love building, fixing and ultimately improving the property investment(s) that we have.

    In order to prevent myself from needing much larger spaces than we currently have, I and a select few of my similar thinking neighbours have established a convenant of sorts, i.e. if one has the tool, skills, or at least the will and ability to help out, then everything can be borrowed! This leaves only major tools rental for the most part. I have been using tools to build, fix and improve things for long enough now (and it is not my day job at all) that I do see the future benefit side of having a collection of these items… and it really does keep the costs down vs. hiring someone else’s expertise to do it for me/us.

  3. Um yeah, like my entire basement! We’re not even big shoppers and still have a ton of crap lying around! Admittedly a lot of it is baby stuff we no longer need and haven’t gotten rid of yet, but still way too much! We’ve been trying to sell stuff on Craigslist, but have found it to be pretty dead lately. Summer doldrums?

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