Collecting as a Hobby

collecting, books

I firmly believe in surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy. I read that big-hit decluttering and minimalising book from a year or two ago which said anything that didn’t give you joy you should throw out. I threw out the book.  I find collecting something, namely gathering items we have a deep appreciation for from a certain niche can be a fun hobby and add a layer of magic to your home.

Collecting as a Hobby

You may enjoy collecting beautiful antiques, or perhaps genuine artifacts from a prominent period of history. You may decide to follow one artist and collect many original printings of his or her artwork, or perhaps you just enjoy collecting trainers. Books are another fabulous thing to collect, especially if you are looking for a certain set, first editions etc.

A collection is often quite a fun thing to build because it helps you delve into the life of a true enthusiast, respecting and finding the total value of a certain industry or niche you care about deeply. It can connect you to other people who share your love, and serve as an important and passionate project. For example, I am looking to collect all 68 Chalet School books (a childhood favourite). Some are now very rare but there are still groups dedicated to the books and finding them.

Find Appropriate Transport

Transporting your items is essential when adding them to your collection, especially for items that are fragile or yield some historical value. You may decide to research the best furniture delivery companies to help you, and to build a connection with them, having them transport your most coveted acquired pieces. Transporting items with historical or personal value will always be the greatest threat to them outside of a home fire, and so ensuring you have this squared away could be considered the final priority to keep.
Imagine having finally tracked down a perfect piece of furniture for it to be damaged in transit, *shudder*.


Storaging your Collection

Just like adequate transport, we must consider the environment we hold our belongings in, even when stationary. Considering factors like temperature, ventilation access, light levels and many other small variables in a storage room could be very important when it comes to high-value historical items such as original paintings.

Learning the most appropriate storage requirements for your hobby may come as a somewhat intense requirement, but doing so could potentially help you preserve your most favored items. After all, items with historical value, properly preserved, may be a great investment for later on down the line. There are many reported cases of those in middle-age selling their premium comic book collections and toys for gargantuan amounts without them realizing, good fortune alone ensuring the items were held in good condition. I’m sure there are sci-fi toy and miniatures that Roy now wishes he’d kept in the box!

Presentation

A great and very fun habit of those who steward a collection is to present them in a personal space most pleasing and respectful to their existence. Let’s take the trainer example. Vintage sneakers may be preserved wrapped in dust-busting cloth and placed in a dark, cool place, but the habit of crafting special lit wall-mounts of compartments is likely a dream for anyone who cares about stylish kicks. You are allowed to have fun with your collection, you’re the one investing in it after all. I like to see things backlit for example. I can’t imagine spending time collecting something precious to me than locking it/them away for safe keeping. Where’s the fun in never seeing them?

If you think starting a home collection of any kind is for you and would be fun, make sure you consider storage, presentation and so on.

Due Diligence

I hate finances. I hate accounts, ledgers, spreadsheets and invoicing. I have an enormous respect for anyone in the accountancy business as I simply don’t have the mathematical flair which means that I can enjoy such tasks. When it comes to my to self assessment I have mine done in May each year, purely to get it out of the way! Needless to say, spending time on my business finances is time I would rather be doing something (anything) else.

That said, keeping on top of records, invoicing and payments is a necessary evil if I wish to be paid (and I do).  Unfortunately over the past few years I have spent far too much time chasing late or missing payments for work I’ve done. I have a fairly simple invoice system and all clients know what they need to pay me, and when. Sadly it doesn’t always run so smoothly.

In the past I have spent ridiculous amounts of time chasing payments. You get either complete silence (so frustrating!), excuses (I know business is tough for everyone however I need to feed my children and pay my bills too!) or my personal favourite, told off. Yes, I have been known to be told off by clients when I chase them money as if by asking for what is already very overdue I am committing some heinous crime. To be honest, it is all rather tiresome.

As a self employed / freelance writer I don’t have one boss who pays money into my account on the last day of the month therefore I rely on clients to pay as agreed to ensure that my cask flow keeps flowing. What is the answer? I have toyed with sending my six year old and two year old round to act as my “heavies”. After ten minutes of “Why? Why? Why? What’s that? Why?” I’m fairly sure most people would cough up quick to stop the torture.

There are ways and means of reducing the risk of non-payment or payment worries nowadays as there is a way in which you are able to look up business details of UK companies in advance. What this information contains are things like their information with Companies House, whether they have any CCJs etc against them and so on. There are times when I have wished that I had been able to know more about a prospective client before I agreed to work for them and while some of this information is a matter of public record, having the time to search it all out is an issue. Whilst a couple of red flags in the information doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular client is untrustworthy, far from it, it would enable myself and of course many other businesses to approach a working relationship better informed.

Duedil is the tool in question and while I haven’t used it properly myself, other than a quick tinker to find out more, I am able to see the merits of it! What is more, the service is free to use therefore is worth having a nosy at.

Working for yourself has many benefits and personally I can’t imagine myself ever working for someone else now. There are however downsides and chasing payments in the main one for me. My question for all of you good folks is, what do you do regarding overdue accounts? Do you send in a persistent toddler? Do you do some sort of due diligence in advance? I’m curious!

Don’t be fooled by their cuteness, these two would make excellent debt collectors!

Written in collaboration with the mentioned business yet true to my thoughts, feelings and experiences

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