How Minimalism Got it Wrong and Why I LOVE Collecting

March 3, 2023


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I'm Tessie -Welcome home!

Do you have collections? Since I was a little girl, I’ve always LOVED collecting things. I had my dolls, my miniatures, my tea sets, and more. But once I grew up I began to feel guilty for wanting to collect things.

With the rise of the minimalist movement, Marie Kondo, and the Home Edit, it felt like having a collection was the opposite of being tidy and organized. So I went through phases of my life where I decluttered and purged and got rid of lots of things that I later regretted.

Now, I’ve come full circle. I still like to declutter and edit my home, but I’m here to tell you that having collections is perfectly okay! In fact, it’s not only OK but I’ve found it one of my favorite ways to add quirky charm and personality to my home.

Why collections?

Collecting is a way to celebrate the things that bring you joy and make you happy. No matter what you love, your collection is a reflection of your personality and interests. It’s like wearing your heart on your sleeve, except it’s on your bookshelf or display case!

And let’s not forget about the sentimental value of collecting. A collection of family heirlooms, souvenirs from travels, or even a set of photographs can be a tangible reminder of cherished memories and moments. They serve as a way to honor your past and your family history, and bring a sense of comfort and familiarity to your home.

How to display your collections?

So how do you have collections throughout your home, but keep it feeling intentional and organized? Well, it’s all in how you display it. I know it can be tempting to scatter your collected things throughout your home, but trust me – grouping them all together in one display creates a bigger impact and makes it a true focal point of the room.

So to get your gears turning, here are a few examples of favorite collections inside my own home.

5 Cherished collections inside my own home


Tessie Fay's miniature collection

These are teeny tiny things I’ve collected over the years and are displayed in an old printer’s tray.

miniature collection with printers tray

To help it feel fresh and updated I spray-painted the printer’s tray white and added scrapbook paper to the back of each square.

Tessie fay and her collections of miniatures


Ruffle bowls are easy to find at antique stores all over the country. I like to line them up on my dining room table or display them together amongst books of a bookshelf.

Ruffle bowls collection
ruffle bowls collection


I love collecting all types of vintage glass. If you group similar colors of glass together, they make a huge impact. Or you can arrange them in rainbow order like I did here on the top of our piano.

Rainbow glass collections on top of piano
Tessie Fay rainbow glass collection


Still one of my most cherished collections since many of these teacups belonged to my Grandma Ethel who died before I was born.

teacup shelves for displaying collection

They are displayed inside my office and remind me of the legacy of great women that came before me.

Tessie Fay's teacup collections


You really can never have too many books in my humble opinion 🙂 I like to buy hardcover books, take off the book jackets and group them by color.

rainbow bookshelf

These books are on a bookshelf nook on our stairs and they make me smile each time I walk by.

rainbow books

In conclusion

So, whether you’re just starting your collection or have been collecting for years, know that it’s okay to have one! Don’t let the minimalist movement or the pressure to be organized make you feel guilty about your love for collecting. Embrace your unique style and let your personality shine through your home. Your collections are a source of joy and happiness, and that’s something to be proud of!

Want More tips on styling your collections?

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love my styling cheat sheets! Quick and easy reference sheets to help you style a bookshelf, mantle, nightstand, or hanging art. Click below to get yours today!

See you next week!

xo, Tessie

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I'm Tessie -Welcome home!

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