Amy Clark

Displaying a Collection

Last week, while we were out running errands, I was listening to a question and answer session on the radio. The question for their listeners was, “What do you collect?” and they had tons of people calling in to share their weird and interesting collections. People called in and shared about their massive beanie baby collection or crazy key chains that they had begun collecting.

The two things that struck me when these people came in were two things that have always bothered me about collections. The first was that the collections were usually started by someone else in their family or by a friend. It started with the love for one particular thing and it became as though everyone in the world now knew exactly what to get them for Christmas. And their birthday. And their anniversary. And to help cheer them up.

The second thing that seemed to resonate with me was that almost everyone who had a collection had it stored somewhere. When asked where they kept their thousand key chains, the listener would say, “In my basement.” Other answers varied, but they all boiled down to them being put away in boxes because people didn’t have a place for the items or didn’t know a good way to display them.

These are the two things that have always bothered me about collecting items (not to mention all of that dusting). I like to enjoy items, but I don’t enjoy collecting things unless they are useful and are used in some capacity in my home.

I did become obsessed with collecting one item though and as I tsked-tsked the people that called into that radio show, I realized that I had done the same exact thing. My beautiful apron collection, while worn daily, was becoming a disarray of items that were tucked away in the depths of a pantry closet and were brought out rarely. I love aprons and I appreciate their beauty, but what beauty were they bringing me pushed in the back of a closet?

I went to Target and purchased two bronze hooks. The total cost was less than four dollars and I had my husband mount them on an empty wall in our kitchen. I picked four of my favorite aprons and hung them from the hooks.

I am now enjoying my aprons and the true beauty of them in a much greater capacity than I was before. They make me smile when I see them and each of them was given to me by someone special in my life.

Sound Off: What do you collect and how do you display them? Do you have a collection of something stored away?

Published October 22, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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