When I was around 6 years old I had a collection of paper doilies. Why doilies? I have no idea — why does a six year old collect anything? Apparently the doilies called to me, and I couldn't stop picking them up at every restaurant. I even made the other members of my family give me theirs, too.
I was deeply attached to this extensive collection, which I carefully curated (no rips or spills allowed!) and stored in my closet.
One day, I came home from school to find that my mother, in a fit of spring cleaning, had thrown away my doilies. I was devastated! The loss of my beloved doilies was very traumatic and I haven't actively collected anything since.
As a result of this early trauma, I've never had to look critically at a collection and decide whether to keep it or toss it. I have no way of knowing if the doily collection would have followed me to college, but I'd like to think not. On the other hand, I have otherwise rational friends who still have trading cards and porcelain unicorns from childhood taking up valuable closet space, so who knows?
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye to your childhood treasures? When you leave home? Get married? Realize you're 35 and have 3 kids of your own?
What kinds of collections did you have as a kid and when did you realize it was time say goodbye?