Absolutely. Feeling like you have to have all the parts of a collection can be a fast track to a cluttered house. Breaking up a set is a great way to keep only the things you love want and need.
Book of the month club was a genius marketing idea
The binding was always the same, so the books looked like they belonged to each other. A collection grew and grew and grew. Nowadays, the books keep their original covers but there’s still that logo at the top of each book to signal its place in your collection.
Maybe your parents were avid Book of the month club people and so now the tomes sit on your shelves too, or in boxes, waiting to be dealt with.
We assume we should keep a set together, so the ancient Encyclopedia takes up two shelves and the Harry Potter series are always lined up together in book order.
But the Harry Potter series got darker and scarier as the series went on, and once you’ve read them all, you might find that you reread the first three books but don’t want to revisit the later volumes. You still use the first three, but the rest have become clutter.
Or the first few books are boring but you’re drawn to the last four books.
Sending the ones you don’t read to the thrift store gives you some wiggle room on the shelves. And yes, your set will be incomplete and that’s okay.
A collection doesn’t have to be permanent.
You can donate incomplete collections
You have no moral obligation to provide a complete set of anything to the thrift store or anywhere else you donate.
It’s fine to donate a chair without the foot rest, and then to donate the foot rest without the chair when you uncover that months later.
Send them your set of three glasses, five spoons and six dinner plates. You’re not responsible for making sure things stay together.
What happens to your donations
When donations arrive at the thrift store, they’re put in categories. Your dinner plates rub shoulders with all the other dinner plates. People hunt around and choose what they want to buy. Even if you donate a full set of dishes, it’s entirely possible that someone will buy just one setting, or one fork and leave the rest.
And that’s okay. The things you’ve released to the world will find the homes they’re meant to be in now. You don’t have to shepherd them throughout the rest of their natural life.
Enjoy what you have while it’s useful to you and then let it be useful for someone else. If you have a set of twelve adorable penguin figurines, it’s more than okay to keep one or two as a reminder of how cute they are and then send the other 10 off to the thrift store.
Unless you enjoy dusting little china figurines. Or it adds to the pleasure for you to reread every series of books from soup to nuts. In which case, let the collections continue.
You’ll find something else that’s clutter.
Maybe for you, it’s keeping the sets and letting all the stray ones go. So you’ll hold onto that Harry Potter series but let the stand alone books find a new reader once you’re done.
As always, it’s what works for you and supports your ultimate goal: A clutter free, organized home where you can easily find the things you love, want and need.
READ MORE >>> How to declutter and organize
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