Everything I know about state landmarks, I have learned from the back of a quarter. That’s because I collect the state coins with reckless abandon.
Once, during a trip to Las Vegas, back when slot machines delivered your winnings in quarters, I jumped up and down with winner’s delight while curious bystanders expecting a sizeable windfall instead found me gushing over a brand-new Connecticut quarter. (In my defense, it was very hard to find in California.) I also collect Titanic memorabilia which might explain my aversion to boat cruises.
Since January is National Hobby Month, it’s a great time to start the new year with a new hobby. Collecting turned out to be the perfect choice for me since it doesn’t necessarily take up a lot of space (depending on what you collect; and you can collect almost anything). If time is a factor, you might want to combine a new year’s resolution (get fit!) with a new hobby (hiking!). Some hobbies can even improve your resume or online professional profile by mirroring your character strengths. For instance, you’re a team player if you engage in team sports or volunteer work, and you’re good at written communication if you like to spend your free time reading and writing.
If you’re ready to try a new hobby but not quite sure where to begin, then consider this your starting-off point.
Try an Indoor Hobby …
Depending on where you live, an indoor hobby will give you an activity you can pursue year-round and at all hours of the day or night. Consider these room-specific interests:
- Cake Decorating
- Candle Making
- Canning Foods – including meats, fruits, vegetables, jams
- Lollipop Making
- Soap Making
- Flex Room/Loft
- Collecting (see its own category below)
- Jewelry Making
- Magic Tricks
- Model Building – including ships, cars, planes, rockets
- Musical Instruments
- Ping Pong
- Shortwave Radio
- Car Restoration
- Furniture Making and/or Restoration
- Handyman Projects
- Leather Crafting
Or Try an Outdoor Hobby.
This is a great choice if you want to get more exercise and fresh air. Bonus points if you live in a region with mild year-round temperatures. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Your Own Backyard
- Birdhouse/Treehouse Building
- Community Common Areas or Nearby Recreation Areas
- Bird watching
- Court Sports – including basketball, tennis, volleyball
- Volunteer Work – including park guide, museum docent
Make Room for Your Indoor Hobby.
The Flex Room Earns its Name.
- Once you’ve chosen your hobby, make sure your flex room has enough shelf space, enough elbow room at the work table, and enough lighting in general (especially if windows are limited).
- Keep in mind that some hobbies might require slight renovations to flooring. If you’re trying your hand (and feet) at yoga, you’ll want nice carpeting. If you’re following in Picasso’s footsteps, you’ll want easy-to-clean vinyl flooring.
When You Have Lofty Ambitions.
- If your home has a loft that’s used as an entertainment center, it’s also the perfect place to indulge in a crafting hobby. Knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint are all things that can be done while joining the family for Movie Night.
Collecting – In a Category All by Itself.
Collecting is a great hobby that covers a diverse range of interests, and requires virtually no prior experience or expertise. Your own imagination is the limit for this one! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Things to Collect
- Antiques – including furniture, toys, household items, cars
- Baseball Cards
- Birdbaths or Birdhouses
- Bottle Caps
- Bumper Stickers
- Comic Books
- Dolls and Figurines
- Dollhouses and Miniatures
- Guitar Picks
- Keys and Key Chains
- License Plates
- Playing Cards
- Salt and Pepper Shakers
- Seashells and Sea Glass
- Snow Globes
- Stuffed Animals
- Vintage Clothes and Jewelry
The Last Word – Let Someone Else Choose Your Hobby.
If you love a surprise, check out newhobbybox.com, a monthly subscription service that boxes up everything you’ll need to start a new hobby and delivers it to your doorstep each month. Subscription lengths vary, and past hobbies have included lock picking, bookbinding, and survival skills.
A.J. Bowker is a contributing writer to From House to Home. She has lived on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and is now settled in Southern California. One thing she has learned from living in various parts of the country: home is a state of mind.