This is a closet in the house I lived in as an adolescent. The area to the right of the door goes back about 18 inches deep. When I lived there, it had shelves built into that area. My dad and stepmom still live there, and I took this pic when I was there a couple of months ago.
My stepmom opened the closet to show me all of the honey the "bee lady" had sent her. You can see it there in the gallon-size plastic zip-locs on the second utility shelf. That's a lot of honey, and the bee lady is very generous! But here's the thing that hit me:
I became afflicted with the Collecting Bug when I was about 11 years old. I had horded coloring books and plastic dinosaurs as a young child, but I did not become obsessed with collecting things "forever" until I discovered comics and comic books and graphics.
At one time, my entire collection fit in the space marked "about this big" under the lowest shelf. And I thought it was a huge collection! Certainly it was the finest collection I had ever seen. Nobody I knew had such a massive collection of comics and art. Pogo books, Creepy and Eerie magazines, Peanuts and B.C. paperbacks - I had it ALL, man, and I was preserving this important collection for the ages!
Now I have about a billion books, but I finally eased up on being so damn anal about them when I (finally!) realized it was more important to let my son dig through them than to be such a prick about taking care of them.
By the way - I did not arrange the cans that way just for this pic. My stepmom is intensely organized.