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Bushels of Beanie Babies

Q. I admit it (but don't tell my husband). I bought into the whole Beanie Baby craze and have over 200 of the little stuffed bears. Obviously that is too many to display (isn't it?) and I always hoped that they would become a scarce collector's item and appreciate in value. I hate to keep them stored in boxes but don't have space to display. Help!

Reply: Organizationally speaking, there is no rule about the number of bears that should be displayed, so if showing off all 200 makes you happy, do it (of course then you'll have to tell your husband!).

However, you may be feeling guilty or ashamed of your behavior, so ask yourself why. Are you shopping to fill a void in your heart, satisfy an unmet need or fix something that can't really be fixed with more Beanie Babies?

Should you be spending money on other things, or saving it? Do you and your husband disagree on money management matters or use money to exert power over the other?

Communication and honesty will help you sort this out, and the sooner the better. Tricky as this can be, your time and effort will be well spent.

If none of these issues applies, there is no reason why you can not install additional shelves - home centers sell kits that make this very easy to do-or buy racking or fixturing to display your Beanie Babies.

If they are that important to you, they should come out of the box; something else of less importance can be put in storage (or donated to charity). If your collection is simply an investment with no emotional stake, assess the market and make your decision about keeping or selling.

If you want to hold onto them but not see them, storage boxes are the answer until you are ready to revisit.

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Jill Ellen Shankar
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