a curated life: balanced collecting

i'm so excited to finally be back to blogging! between my road trip to Wyoming and then getting slammed with a migraine for the past three days, the blog has taken a backseat, but hopefully things will get back on track now!

some landscapes from my roadtrip (clockwise from top left: near Laramie, WY; Columbia River Gorge, WA; near Riverton, WY; Pilot and Index peaks, MT).

while i was in Wyoming i got into an interesting conversation with some friends about collecting. for those of you who have collections (vintage or otherwise), you may have encountered people who don't get collecting. folks who see collections as 'junk' or think that collecting is equal to hoarding. now i certainly don't suscribe to these ideas, but i have been thinking a lot lately about balance in collecting-aka how much is too much? 

{three photos above via Science Hax}

now when i look at collections like the images above, i feel slightly claustrophobic, but for the collectors themselves, i'm sure these collections are a source of pride and provide symbolic markers of time. i wouldn't be surprised if the gentleman with the key chain collection remembers where and when he found each of those key chains.  

my personal collecting style is definitely more minimalistic- i generally stop once something fills the shelf i've arranged them on. i also have very few collections that i've had my whole life- often opting to sell an entire collection in order to make room for something new. i find this gives me a sense of balance (and keeps my super minimalistic husband from growing concerned at the amount of 'stuff' in our home). for me, balance is key to most everything and my balance is best maintained with a one in, one out philosophy. for others, balance may be found in different ways, or maybe isn't important at all. 

what about you? do your collections lean more to the minimal side or are you hoping to have an entire room full? how do you find balance in curating your life?