I have always been a regular collector of cards. I collected sets when I was a kid. I bought complete sets and an occasional single card or pack. Lately I buy random packs from Target or a box off ebay. My cards are stored in boxes, by set or by player name. Cards valued by Beckett at $5 or more are in top-loaders and those over $1 are in penny sleeves. Pre-Eighties $1 cards are in a binder.
Recently I decided to downsize my collection. I think I had every major set made from 1986 to 1990. I realized I didn't care about having most of the cards in these sets. I enjoyed the process of collecting them but didn't need to keep them just for the memories. Please don't shriek in horror or turn your nose up in disgust, I threw many of them away. I thought there was nobody who wanted them. I have since regretted my decision, but only because I now know that there are current collectors trying to complete those sets.
Truth be told, my collection is better now. I enjoy them more because I have more of them in places where I will actually look at them. And they take up less space. I have even decided to go back through my many now non-set cards from the 80's and 90's and downsize some more. Do I need 50 Roberto Alomar cards? Because my collection lacked any focus for so long, I have large amounts of "common cards" of everybody.
I used to only trade doubles. Now I am just beginning to realize that I can make my own collection better while helping other collectors improve theirs. I am not trading my 1990 Score black-and-white Bo Jackson card but I might have a few others that someone would really enjoy.My recent trades, for mostly Mets cards, have inspired me to have a current collecting focus. I don't want every Mets card ever produced, just one card of every player who has ever been a Met. I have been sorting my cards, pulling Mets players, and filling up binder pages. I prefer my Mets in Mets uniforms but I am not being that picky just yet. I need far too many of those pesky 1960's versions to worry about what uniform Dan Wheeler is sporting. This new focus has made pack ripping more of a thrill. I didn't pull an autographed refractor but I did get a Brian Bannister. The bonus: Mets uni, not Royals!!! I will post a list of Mets needs in the coming months. I will also try to share more about what my collection is like so that you might request certain items when deciding to send that Choo Coleman Met card that you think I would enjoy more than you. Happy Collecting!