This post has it's genesis in a couple of posts on TMP "How to collect - in breadth, or in depth?" 20 May 2018 "Simplify, simplify; or, does the hobby end up owning you?" 1 Dec 2016 The former discusses whether one should collect one period but do it in depth getting all the Armies involved, civilians, buildings, livestock, purposed built terrain. or collect several different periods and even scales building a small force enough for a game at a small scale, minimum terrain and building and no extras. The latter post was a discussion of down sizing ones collection to a manageable number of periods whatever that may be. As we can see Frothers Did It And Ran Away is still dealing with this process but also that many have had or are having the same experience. My comments are below.
I think collecting in breadth is what will work for me. I like collecting and painting different periods. I try not to sell off painted stuff. There are a couple of periods that I want to have everything for it, buildings, figures, accessories. Other periods I'm happy with a core force and a few scenic items.
There's too many great miniatures and different rule systems to lock down on just one or two.
I'd say pick the one period to be you main focus and do in depth and then select several other periods to do but put a limit on how much you'll collect for those.
Loads of very good advice on strategies to keep/get the collection under control also great thoughts on how others approach the hobbies physical aspect.
A few years back I felt the same as you. I decided to sell off all unpainted miniatures,rules I didn't care for and research books that weren't part of the periods that were being kept. I gave away the bit's of wood, plastic and sundry stuff that had been saved for building terrain. It was a good move. There was more space and the thought of completing the projects that remained was not so over whelming.
That's not to say new projects haven't been started. Most are small and all have an endpoint.
Part of the hobby is collecting things even if they are never used to their fullest. So I would imagine that every so often things must be sold off to keep it in line. I've no regrets about what's been sold and none of those periods have been replaced.
While many offer ways to get it under control we often don't look at what the cause of it all is. So here's my theory. With a game like chess the number of playing pieces are set. Sixteen figures per side, thirty-two for the game. The Game can be played with the basics
or you can indulge in a more historical look.
certainly you can collect sets for different eras but even then it limited in scope and you know where the end is.
OK maybe even that can get a little out of hand but I'll ignore that.
What we experience as wargamers is the ever growing number of pieces to play the game or newer but similar games coming along. I was reading the A Wargaming Odyssey Blog the other day and this quote struck me
"To be honest I certainly like the look of the game and there are a few folks at the club that are into this which is useful. However, in my usual way I am looking beyond the obvious and so will be expanding the figure collection to eventually produce a couple of forces the new Osprey rule set Men of Bronze – which covers hoplite warfare with forces around 50 to 80 figures per side. Obviously DBA could feature as well as the Portable Wargame or even Command and Colours should the need arise. There are also plenty of Greek mythological figures around so Dragon Rampant or HoTTs may even feature."
This is the mentality that gets us in trouble. Here's a game which needs 32 figures to play but having played a game or two the author is already thinking about buying more figures going from 32 to 100-160 figures and starting a new game. How often do we do this? I wanted to play Spanish Civil War, bought some figures (bags of 20), found a scenario book or two and organized my forces according to one of the books. I got a few rule sets as well but settled on one that a friend was working on. Along comes Chain of Command with a fan based info for SCW, great, but they use a seven figure squad for the Legion and the rules I based my units on used five. I had sold off all my extra figures in a fit of madness. Sure I could play the game with what I had but how would that affect game balance?
here's a more recent discussion
And two even more recent posts.
This is a solid plan for keeping things under control. Maybe:-)
This has more to do with aging and what to do with the collection.