Here's what I've learned from these two programs:
1. Be clear about what you do collect and what you don't collect, and stick to it. Sounds so easy but can be so hard! I really need to think about this one, since I seem to start collecting new things all the time.
2. Be realistic about valuing your items or collections. If you're holding on to an item or collection ONLY because you think it is worth a lot of money, have an appraiser give you an honest estimate. If it's really not worth all that much, consider getting rid of it.
3. Quality over quantity. Sometimes when you are growing a collection, a few really nice pieces beats a hundred mediocre examples. I realized this when my vintage sewing machine collection started getting out of hand. I took a hard look at what I had, kept the best and got rid of the rest. (Now I just need to apply the same thinking to all my other stuff!)
So with all that in mind, I am attacking several of my "collections" as part of this year's Spring Clean-up, beginning with the vintage aprons.
This giant pile represents 20 years of collecting vintage aprons. These have all been in storage the past few years, I haven't even been enjoying them. I did a lot of research on the subject, and even have an apron lecture that I used to present using several of these vintage aprons as samples.
But, it's been years since I even presented this lecture, and the few places I've approached recently just had an apron event or already have one on the books. So I don't see another apron lecture in the near future, and I think it's time to re-evaluate this collection.
I imagine that I'll keep most, but I know that some can go. I'll have to think hard about what criteria I use, what will make an apron worth keeping or not. At any rate, it will be an interesting project.