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What Makes Millennials Collect Things So Much

There are a lot of items people love to collect, from sneakers to baseball cards to comic books. Earlier this year, Morning Consult released a report indicating millennials love collecting physical objects and digital collectibles. The Gen X generation ranked second in terms of collecting things among respondents.

There have generations of hobbyists who collect coins, stamps, and books. Can collecting appeal especially to today’s young adults? A mental health expert breaks down some of the factors.

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There’s Nostalgia And A Connection To Childhood

Rachel Thomasian, a licensed therapist, said, “One of the reasons people collect is for the sake of nostalgia or connection with something meaningful to them. There can be a connection to items, whether art or dolls.”

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us took an interest in things we did as kids. In addition to video games and tie-dyeing, millennials like to do puzzles.

It Fosters Accomplishment And Power To Collect

Thomasian said, “For some, there is a thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes along with acquiring an entire collection.”

Additionally, she stressed the financial challenges millennials face with stagnant wages, rising debt, and rising housing and medical costs.

Building A Collection Gives You Hope

The act of collecting can help millennials find a way to reconnect with simpler and, in some ways, happier times from their youth. Despite this, it can also inspire hope and promise.

Jenny Maenpaa, a psychotherapist, said, “many millennials are feeling the effects of the second recession of their young working lives.” Many millennials entered the workforce during a shaky economy, so they may have experienced a similar situation during the pandemic but with more responsibilities.

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It Might Be An Investment In The Future

Kathryn Smerling, a psychotherapist, said, “collecting can be a great way to make and keep memories. However, people are also collecting to resell.”

Millennials are witnessing the rise in the value of childhood toys such as American Girl dolls and Beanie Babies. In this sense, collecting is an investment. Digital collections now include cryptocurrency and NFTs.