The choices are endless. Some people collect salt and pepper shakers. Some people collect Coca-Cola memorabilia. Matchbooks are fun, as are collecting Santa Claus items. Collect cat or dog figurines, or pictures of chickens. Flea markets are a great source of low-cost items in the category you want to collect.
Possibilities are endless. Perhaps a trip thru a discount store can spark an interest in an inexpensive item that can be built upon. There are salt & pepper shakers, decorative bowls and all sorts of figurines with many themes. Boxes come in all sizes, material and cost and are practical.