Many serious collectors began their pack-rat ways with postage stamps, which are a cheap and easy way to start the collecting hobby. Stamps are always around and available; friends and family usually will be glad to save them for you. And until you get into more serious collecting, stamps are free on envelopes all around the house.

The Junior Philatelists (that’s stamp collectors) of America make it even easier to begin collecting with their free brochure “Getting Started in Stamp Collecting” and a small envelope of stamps that includes foreign stamps and some real oldies (who remembers when first-class postage was 3 cents?).

Send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to Junior Philatelists of America, P.O. Box 850, Boalsburg, PA 16827-0850.