Life has a habit of changing people in many ways. For the last couple of years, I have seen in many homes the accumulation of 80 years of hoarding stuff, and I have realised that Ken and I were going down the same track. I keep thinking, if I dropped dead next week, someone is going to have to go through all this shit I've hoarded, and dispose of it! So I am going to get rid of some of the shit myself. I started off last year with old files and letters - boxes and boxes of them. It felt sooooooo good to get rid of them in the paper recycle bin! Then I started on books. Now that is hard - VERY hard, as all my fellow booklovers will know! But again, I selected the books that I was no longer interested in - most of my Elvis books, quite a few cook books, and a few others.
Today I sold the majority of my stamp collection. I've been collecting stamps since I was ten years old, and I inherited my father's collection as well. I have never been interested in the monetary value of my stamps - I see them purely as interesting and educational. I have about 90% of all Aussie stamps ever issued (only missing many pre-1950 issues), but as impressive as that may sound, they are not particularly valuable, as most Australian stamps are still readily available from dealers and other collectors. But I have spent a lot of money over the years, buying every new issue as it came out, so I decided to keep those albums. I also kept my Australian Territories album for the same reason.
Since I was a teen, I have had penpals in many countries, most of whom collected stamps like me, so of course we kept each other well supplied with stamps from our respective countries. I created an album for each of those countries, so I had one for Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand, Canada, U.S.A., England, Belgium, the Phillipines, and Germany. Then I had another few albums for all the other countries from which I had accumulated a few stamps. All in all, I had stamps from hundreds of countries, many of which no longer exist, due to change of name and/or borders over the years.
A few years ago, I took my collection to a reputable stamp dealer for a valuation. After looking through it, he said it would be worth no more than about $80. At that stage, I wasn't thinking of getting rid of them, so I took them home again and put them back on the shelf to gather dust for a few more years. As I said above, I had been buying all the Aussie stamps, and the only time I looked at my albums was to put the new stamps in. I had several boxes of stamps from other countries still to be sorted and put in their respective albums as well. But in the last decade, I became interested in other hobbies and less in my stamps, so I stopped buying them, as it was costing quite a lot to keep up to date. I reluctantly decided to sell them, as like so much else around here, they were just taking up space and gathering dust.
Recently, I found a notice in our local paper, advertising a person who offered valuation and possible purchase of stamps and coin collections. I called him last week, and he arrived this afternoon to have a look at my stamps. He said much the same as the dealer all those years ago - a nice collection, but little commercial value. I had put aside my albums of Australian, Japanese, Chinese and Belgian stamps, as they were my favourites, and he agreed with me that they were worth keeping. He made me an offer of $75 for the rest, and I said I'd think about it. We talked for a while, then he said "Would you take $100?" and I thought why not? Gets them out of my hair, and I can use a spare $100 (eBay, here I come - LOL!)
So we agreed on that figure, and he went off a happy man, with a box of my stamp albums. I can't say I have any regrets; I put the others back on the shelf where they were, and I guess I'll have a look through them from time to time.