Day 194 Revisited

I received a comment from Dizzy last week who is meticulously reading through my archives catching up on all that she has missed out on. She has only just discovered my blog recently and has already become very active in the comments. Thanks Dizzy for your enthusiasm, your shared wisdom and for suggesting I revisit this blog post.

Here is Dizzy’s comment

Hi Colleen, Day 194 Too Good To Use what a great blog topic, maybe you should revisit this point now and see how many of the commenters have actually came to grips with their good stuff. I personally love to use what I have and I have used everything I used to have. Sure they may get broken along the way but at least you will eventually leave this world having experienced the finer things in your life. As one beautiful thing fades into the background (as in crystal or china meeting a hard floor) then rejoice in the fact that you used it, it served it’s purpose and it has decided to move on. I use my long since departed Nanna’s cup & saucer everyday, as she did for about 25 years, I have had it for the past 19yrs, although it’s old it’s beautiful and if it gets broken then i’ll certainly hope it’s on it’s way back to my Nanna, I’m sure she’ll enjoy a good cuppa!
Enjoy the things you have, I believe the honour you show things is using them!
Dizzy raising my beautiful teacup to you all :) 

And here isDay 194 To good to use

I received an email from Cindy recently with a list of topics she thought would be good to address on my blog. The one I chose for today is an issue I am sure we have all come across during our decluttering efforts. This is one of those dilemma decluttering issues. Here is some examples Cindy had to share with us…

The trouble with owning something “too good to use”

  1. One on my friends started using her “good” dishes after hearing this story: A woman who had married a widower was using the good dishes of the previous, now deceased wife. She (the first wife) had never used the dishes, died without using them, as they were “too good.” The second wife decided she wasn’t going to let that happen to her.
  2. At our house, I have wine glasses that are too good to use. (All Gifts) I probably have 60 Waterford wine, champagne, water, sherry, even brandy crystal glasses. I HATE using them. They have to be hand washed and EVERY time we use them, one gets broken. At $75 each, I feel so angry at the person who broken them, which puts a damper on my party hosting. My solution? My Mom bought me a dozen plain, sturdy glasses from the restaurant supply store. The Waterford stays in the china cabinet where it looks pretty (I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing, and my husband is) and it’s behind glass doors, so it all stays clean. We look at the Waterford, and use the cheap glasses.
***************************
I have a couple of examples of this myself…
  1. When I was a little girl my godmother used to send me a china teacup and saucer for my birthday. I thought she meant for me to use them so I did. Years later she asked me about them and I told her they had all been broken over the years. She was very disappointed as she had expected me to save them for when I was married I suppose. I made no apologies I liked them, I used them and they met their demise having been used for what they were intended. If I still had them now I may be sentimentally tied to them causing a decluttering dilemma.
  2. Like Cindy I have a china cabinet cluttered with a selection of crystal glasses that very rarely get used. The wine glasses have been used over the years but the port glasses and decanter are just a waste of space really. We tend to use the less expensive glasses instead. Most of the crystal pieces were wedding presents but luckily not from anyone who would know if I got rid of them.

Unfortunately for Cindy not only does her second example fall into the “too good to be used” category but they were also a gift from someone who would notice if they suddenly were no longer in her possession.  If it were me I think I would enjoy using them for what they were intended and let fate do it’s own decluttering.

That being said I have decided to practice what I preach and put  all the cheaper glasses I have aside for my children for when they leave home and just use the good ones in future. Should they get broken then c’est la vie.

I received this comment from Calico Ginger this morning after she read this post and I thought it worth adding in case people don’t read the comments.

Well, I say use the “good” stuff for these reasons:
1. we all need as much beauty in our lives as possible
2. if you have kids, it teaches them to be careful – if you only use plastic/cheap stuff they never learn that
3. every breakage is an opportunity to a) make do with less or b) replace with something even more beautiful.

*********

An update on my too good to use items. I did get rid of the port decanter and packed up all the glasses I didn’t want and boxed them up in the garage for the kids. Whoever leaves first will get the stuff in the garage. I have not listed them in my declutter item of the day because they are still here. I look forward to the day that they are gone altogether. I have decluttered the china cabinet/hutch though back in May this year. What remains of my glasses fit easily into the empty spaces I had created in my kitchen.

The question now is ~ Have those of you who have read this post before got a handle on your too good to use items. I will especially be expecting to hear from Cindy on this subject.

 Today’s Declutter Item

I am pleased to have found a new home via eBay for these items because they would have been difficult to get rid of any other way. It was the second time I have listed them so I am especially pleased that they finally went.

iRobot Roomba Excessories

Something I Am Grateful For Today

We arrived home safe and sound for out weekend trip to melbourne. Aussie Casey Stoner won the Motorcycle GP race and is now World Champion. And I got to meet one of my long time faithful readers Loretta. I had a lovely time with my brother and sister-in-laws and their two sweet little children and they took my sightseeing. All in all a great weekend.

 

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Non-Emergency Supplies These two comments, from Sanna and Ideealistin, kicked of the responses to yesterdays Mini Mission post.  They make a great point about how we don't need to be cluttering up our homes with […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Perishables Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • Love it or heave it (Revisited) As you may have guessed, due to the lack of them, I struggle to come up with new posts these days, mostly because I declutter much less now, therefore the inspiration for posts isn't […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. I think it’s ironic that you’re revisiting this particular post. The only time I contacted you was in regard to this one…like Dizzy I had been making my way through your past posts. I’ve never had too sentimental an attachment to things, but I do a few. Mostly they are just things that are from a loved one and are something I display. I do have a nice set of china that was my grandma’s. I haven’t used them often, but I have a few times. Usually I was kind of worried the whole time they were out that they would get broken. Well…so what? That’s what replacements.com is for! I think maybe I’ll use them this Christmas. I do think I want to save them for special occasions. And I have the room…keeping things decluttered has never been too much of a problem for me. Besides, I’m not sure my grandma ever used those dishes. After 80+ years I think it’s time! 🙂

    • Hi Lisa S,
      thanks so much for dropping back in and leaving another comment, it is good to hear from you again. And good for you! I hope you do use your beautiful china at Christmas time. I does seem a shame for a company to go to all the trouble of making a beautiful yet functional object for it never to be use for the intended purpose. I wonder if that was ever their intention, I doubt it. Throw caution to the wind and use and enjoy it for what it is.

  2. When my father died in 1993 we had 3 sets of china (one set mine) and a set of beautiful stoneware (also mine). All had 12 place settings and the extra serving pieces. Over the next couple of years we sold them all. We seldom used them because we had a full set of glass dishes that could be used with any decorating scheme. Plus they could be put in the dishwasher and some of the other couldn’t. My china had literally been placed in those china storage bags with dividers and then in a box and hadn’t been out of the box for several years. We had been using the stoneware as our everyday dishes but they were so heavy and cumbersome. So we got rid of them all. Now we have a beautiful set of Corelle dishes and the glass set. We are thinking of getting rid of half of the Corelle set and all of the glass ones. We never use them.

    • Hi Deb J,
      it seemed you had the right idea here. Why have it hidden away where it is never even seen never mind used. What a waste. Good on you for passing your on to someone else. And if you have too much of what you do use why not reduce that as well.

      If it is a piece of art it should be displayed it if is also utilitarian it should be used at least often enough to justify its existence I think.

  3. Colleen,

    I wasn’t reading back when you did the original post. We have a set of china and silver that we got for our wedding that only get used twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    I also have collected those bone china teacups and set them out for people to see, but never use them. Instead I have my tea in ugly, clunky coffee mugs that we have acquired at various places over the years – usually through my husband’s work.

    I have thought about this issue on many occasions and wondered if we should be using the “good stuff” on a daily basis. It has to be hand washed, which would make it a pain for cleanup. The silver was a gift from my (now departed) grandmother and, although I am attached to it, if it wasn’t for my mother’s feelings, I probably wouldn’t be very sad to see the back of it.

    Why do we use the cheap stuff and not surround ourselves with the beauty of the “good stuff?” Do you think it’s because we don’t think we’re worth the good stuff?

    Chelle
    http://www.lifeonthedomesticfront.blogspot.com

    • Hi Chelle,
      I don’t think that we think we aren’t worth it I think it is just a habit handed down to us through the generations. Lash out and use the things I say, that is what they were meant for. Break with tradition.

  4. I have been lucky enough to inherit things from my grandmother. China, linens, silver utensils, etc because no one else wanted them. I started off just storing these items, and then decided that I would use them til they died. So now we eat off of vintage plates, use vintage embroidered dish towels and fancy tablecloths and napkins. I think it lends some well needed gentle touches to our otherwise hurried and ruffled lives. I love pulling out a tablecloth and setting the table with linen napkins and real silver ware! And when things become too worn or get broken I know that they have served their purpose well and I am happy that I had the chance to use items that I would otherwise never been able to have.

    • In December, we light a candle with every dinner, and it really lends a much more relaxed aura to the dinner table.

    • Wow Debbie, good for you. You have hit on an idea I hadn’t thought of. By using the “good” stuff it might just slow us down by being careful with it and therefore taking the time to appreciate not only it but the food on our plates and the sharing of out time together at the table. I like it!

  5. My situation hasn’t changed one bit. My Waterford glasses are still in my china cabinet, and we’re still using the more rough and tumble ones that my mother gave us. Dan indicated that he thinks we should use the Waterford, and that “it’s OK if it gets broken” but I dont’ believe him, based on how he STILL hasn’t forgiven his brother’s former girlfriend for breaking one, even though she’s been gone from our lives for more than a decade! They’re china cabinet decoration. That’s what they are.

    • Can’t you sell them?

    • Calico ginger :

      Use them Cindy, use them! Good porcelain and crystal are actually HARDER to break than cheap stuff – it’s a property of the materials I believe. Plus they are usually better designed, so that in the case of glasses, they sit balanced in the hand and on surfaces better (so if anyone out there thinks they are “too clumsy” to use the good stuff, try it and you may surprise yourself).

      Also, you would not believe how much Waterford etc ends up in op shops, as those display cabinets are cleared out after people die. I actually have two champagne flutes that retail about $70 each that were picked up for a dollar each. So they do get used eventually – by people like ME – and really, is that what whoever gave you the Waterford would have intended? I’m sure they would rather YOU be using it!

      • Cindy, I say DITTO to what CalicoGinger wrote, USE YOUR GOOD STUFF!!!

        ENJOY IT!!! 🙂 (the wine might even TASTE better!!!).

    • Hi Cindy,
      maybe Dan just didn’t like that girl so much and the broken glass just cemented the idea. Perhaps it wasn’t so much about the glass as it was about her. Accept his permission and let your hair down with those glasses on a regular basis. Take Debbie’s advice and perhaps it will make sharing a glass of wine together just that little bit more special.

  6. We also have a big set of Christmas dishes. They haven’t made it out of the cabinet at least the past 2 years, maybe longer. I’ve asked several times if we could get rid of them, but Dan hopes that we’ll use them again. At least I have storage room that does not create an inconvenience.

  7. We had six Franklin Mint Teddy Bear plates. The last couple of years we gave four of them away to a trading table at a women’s group to raise money for charity. Next year we will give away the last two…we also have a Royal Albert dinner set but I can’t see my Mum or me in the future ever getting rid of that. We both love it. We use it for special dinners or for entertaining. I don’t think we would use them every day as we are nervous washing them up. We got the Royal Albert at a bargain price….$300 for a 6 place set from a shop that was closing down. I saw it in a catalogue recently for $699 so that’s not too bad! So I guess if we ever broke anything, it wouldn’t be too much drama…

  8. The only thing I can think of is my Hermes scarf. Which I wore to a wedding. I just don’t want it to become so over seen that it’s not ‘wow’ when I wear it! But I do play to frame it when I move out so I can enjoy it daily (and then let it escape when I want to wear it!).

    All the posts make me mindful of getting married! Just kidding – mindful of gifts that aren’t suited. My parents just went to my cousins wedding – I hope the vase they bought her won’t be clutter to them!

  9. My first friend to get married had a registered China pattern… she asked her bridesmaids to go together on a teapot. But she warned us “I will be using it everyday because I don’t believe in ‘saving’ things for special occassions. I want everyday to be special because I am using this extra special teapot”. Her outlook stuck with me. I love the idea! Her grandmother was horrified that she was using the expensive stuff everyday, but she assured her Gran that she wanted cozy memories of actually using the item, not just something to dust. Needless to say, I think this is a VERY wise friend! And when it was time for me to get my own wedding china, I made sure it would get used too. And the antique pattern I enherited (that Granny never used) is used every single big dinner event and we have at least 7 per year. Sure it’s a pain hand washing it, but it has some very nice family memories attached to it now….

  10. What a great topic! I just became a reader here yesterday and so glad I found you. I’ve just very recently started my journey to minimalism. Dishes and crystal are going to be one of my big issues. While going through my mother’s belongings when she passed away I packed up over 10 sets of china, all full 12 piece place settings with the serving dishes. There were sets that had belonged to each of my grandmothers and sets my mother had collected over the years, quite a collection of Waterford Crystal too. It’s all beautiful but not really my style. When we entertain it’s usually casual BBQs around the pool or it’s a house full of teenagers. I honestly don’t know that I will want to keep any of it and certainly not all of it! Besides that, my “good” dishes are set I bought at Target that match my interior. They were inexpensive, look great in my china cabinet, and I have no fear of them getting broken. Any suggestions on where to even begin finding out value and/or where to sell these kinds of things?

    • Hi Martha (MM),
      I am answering comments backwards today so I sent you a welcome on your other comment. Since you are only new here you probably haven’t read any of the post about obligation clutter. You might want to start with those posts if you are trying to declutter items from relative that have now passed away. It is very easy to let sentiment coerce you into keeping things you don’t really want just because they once belonged to someone you loved. As for finding out the value of these types of things I really have no idea. I usually just check out what they are going for on ebay. I don’t have much in the way of things that I don’t know the value of and am glad of it because it is one of the problems I have no time for. It scare me to think that I will probably donate something of my mother-in-laws when she passes away only to find out later that it was some really valuable treasure she picked up for 50c at a garage sale. There is so much to go through that I think my sanity is worth more than whatever we stand to lose.

      • I agree that you could check on Ebay. If you live in the US the company Replacements.com buy china, as well. That would be the quickest way to get rid of it, although probably not as profitable as selling on Ebay.

  11. We have lots of pairs of engraved glasses, as my husband wins them at golf tournaments/days. I HATE the engraving (so tacky) but the glasses are often Waterford or plain, heavy, expensive glass, and I do use them. Yes, they get broken, but so what? Glass breaks!!

    I’ve never been a fan of plastic cups for kids, and my 2 have always used the same sorts of glasses (apart from the wine glasses!) as we have.

    I do have 9 vintage teacups, saucers and cake plates that I’ve collected over the years and we use them for family afternoon teas. Again, if they break, I don’t really mind (though I am the ONLY one allowed to use the beautiful, expensive Shelley set!)

    • Good on you Loretta, one of the things I remember most about my grandparent house was being treated as equals when it came to eating and that was a long time ago. So memories like that do last.

  12. My mother had a lovely dinner set (not terribly expensive) that I had given her. I think it got used twice. Now it has come to me and I like to use it on a regular basis, not every day but regularly enough (I have lots of dishes!). While hubs and I don’t always dine at the table, I do like to set it nicely when we do so I always use our nice things. I’m not a believer in saving things as they are too good to use, I like to use what I have regularly.

  13. I can’t think of a single thing in our house that is “too good to use”. We use everything. My husband has a set of nice crystal stemware, but we don’t drink, so I put pudding in them to be “fancy” sometimes. 😉

    While we’re on the topic of dishes, I have a suggestion for your readers. I ended up with a stack of plates that we don’t use, so I started bringing desserts to church potlucks on them. I call them “one way plates” because I don’t bother to take them home with me.

    It’s a very easy way to declutter extra plates, while making potlucks easier on your mind–you never have to worry about remembering to go collect your dishes after the meal, and whoever ends up taking any leftovers home doesn’t have to worry about returning the plate the next week either.

    • Love that idea – one way plates!

    • Hi Becky,
      I love the idea of the one way plates too.

    • Becky, “one-way-plates”, THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA!!! I LOVE IT!!! Hope you don’t mind if I ‘borrow’ your term? What a GRAND idea!!! So cute the term; so perfekt the concept! I’m always leaving (more like FORGETTING) plates/serving pieces at church events and POT lucks, only to retrieve them months later, if at all!!

      • I hate to be the nay-sayer here, but what about the person on the other end of the one-way plate? Now THEY have to do something with it.

        • Ouyaua!!! Gag-zooks. Good point…

          hum…

        • Hi Cindy,
          you said what I was thinking but the plates are mostly going to the church and they could probably do with free replenishments on a regular basis. I can just see other poor people with this odd plate that is cluttering up their cupboard waiting for the owner to claim it though.

  14. I am currently wearing a lovely gold watch that I bought myself if 1994 as a celebratory gift for leaving my husband. This spring I dug it out of my jewelry box where it has sat for SEVENTEEN YEARS. If I deserved it enough to buy it, I deserve to wear it. Every day. It’s the only nice piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned and I smile whenever I look at it.

    I solved the problem of unwanted crystal by leaving it behind with my ex-husband — even though it was all wedding presents from my side of the family!!

    We use my late mother-in-law’s good dishes when we have small dinner parties but Corelle for everyday and large groups. I’m still working up the nerve to sell all the silver. I spent my childhood cleaning my Mother’s and I won’t clean mine. A nice set of stainless flatwear suits me fine.

    My mother-in-law saved the good linen tablecloths in blue paper so they wouldn’t turn yellow. They didn’t — they turned blue. But they’re super for cleaning windows! If she weren’t already deceased she’s probably have a heart attack if she knew!

    • Hi Wendy B,
      you are too funny, using the good “blue” linens to clean the windows. I dare say your mother was just like you and would just laugh at the situation. Gotta love Corelle that is what I use too, they are near on indestructible except if you have a tiles floor like I do and then you can be amazed at how far it shatters to when it hits. Oh well the kids are slowly leaving home and I won’t need as many soon. I hope you wear that gold watch every day from now on.

    • Hi Wendy,
      OMG I laughed at this so hard I nearly had a heart attack, I love it, Linen turning blue, reminded me of my girlfriend who turned her wedding dress BLUE, she packed it in tissue as well and got such a shock!! I hate to admit it but I had suggested to her to get rid of it or do something with it cos it’ll just be clutter (certainly wasn’t a design that would last for her daughter that’s for sure!) Not gonna go there cos that can open another can of worms hahaha!! Suffice to say at least you found a good use for the linens and your windows allow you to look at the beauty outside!
      As for using beautiful things I am and have always have been one for doing it because:
      1. I know I can’t take it with me when I leave this world!
      2. Probably wouldn’t want to even if I could!
      3. Don’t like the thought of leaving heaps of stuff for my loved ones
      to deal with!
      4. I like knowing I’m using things for what they are intended for!

      Many thanks for the great laugh
      Dizzy:)

    • BLUE??? LOL!!!!!! Oh, give me a minute to recover!!! Wendy B, you are a great story teller!

  15. About the time I married, I had a conversation with my MIL and realised that she had some good dinnerware and glasses that she had been given when she married that she had never used. I encouraged her to get them out, otherwise what is the use of having them, and the next Christmas she used them, I’m not sure how often they get used now though.

    Recently my parents have started decluttering, in the aim to moving into a small house/unit. She mentioned that she had started using her good cutlery set as when she looked at it some of the pieces had spots on them from not being cleaned properly when used. This made me check out my good cutlery set that I used occasionaly and I found a few marks on some pieces too. So I have put the good set into circulation, It was quite an extensive set with serving spoons, dessert and cake forks as well as spades, (I had been thinking about buying some spades so this find was great). It is only a 6 piece setting whereas my other set is a 12, but they are great to use as they don’t have the sharp edges that some of the other pieces have so they have become my personal choice to use. The other set gets used a lot for cooking purposes now.

    • Hi Wendy,
      good move. I have never owned a “good” cutlery set but I am told by my tactile son that he is taking own everyday set when he leaves home because he likes the feel of it. The weight, size and shape are just right for him. I have to buy a new set then apparently. I am OK with that though.

      • Hey Colleen,
        Apart from the tactile side of things – Maybe your son is taking the cutlery because he DOESN”T want to have to go SHOPPING for a set! What a smart young man. You taught him well hahaha. I hope my son does the same hahaha!!
        Dizzy:)

  16. The Other Lynn :

    My grandmother passed on to me her mother’s set of china. She used it every time my family would come to visit, despite my mother’s fear that we kids would break them. She believed that the china was to be used, not simply displayed. I have that same attitude, although I will wait until my 2 and 5 year olds get a bit older!

    • Hi The Other Lynn,
      we had strong mugs at my grandmas until we were old enough to be careful and then we all graduation to a beautiful china cup and saucer. I don’t know how old that was be we sure must have started drinking tea at a young age if I don’t remember.

  17. When I moved into my own home 2+ yrs ago my new kitchen is 1/3 or less of the size of the old one so a lot of stuff just HAD to GO! With no where to store all those “too good to use” things some became every day things. Particularly a dinner setting friends gave me with multiple plate settings for having ALL my family over for occassions. We only ever used them once, for my parents 25th anniversary, because after that their were more family members than plates. So they moved to the every day cupboard and mismatched and broken everyday sets went out.
    They scream “1998” in pattern and design, which is another reason I won’t keep “good” china again as it can date very quickly and then just look wrong.

    • Hi Gail,
      that was a smart move. Out with the old and in with the old but at least matching. You are so right even crockery can become very outdated.

  18. Hi Readers,
    I just thought I would let you know that I have been away over the weekend and am trying to catch up with the comments I missed. It may take a while and in some cases I many never catch up but I shall work backwards and hope for the best. Meanwhile I also need to get Cindy’s post up and scheduled for tomorrow so please be patient with me.
    Thanks Colleen

  19. No expensive china or glasses here, but I do have some handkerchiefs that have delicate embroideries (my name, or my first name initial, a flower…) stitched by my great grand mother and my grand mother. I don’t remember having ever blown my nose in them – maybe when I was very young? They are 6 thousand miles away at my parents’ house and your post made me realize that next time I visit, I’ll bring them back home and try to find a use for them. It’s a shame not to use them.

    • Hi NatalieinCA,
      it seem we all have something that is too good to use. Yours is very small and doesn’t take up much space, whose ever house they are in.

    • I have some dainty handkerchiefs that I repurposed as small napkins for my daughter’s lunchsacks.

  20. Oops sorry Wendy B, I was laughing so much I missed the B, but Hi to Wendy also
    Dizzy:)

  21. So our everyday dishes are solid white WEDGEWOOD (R) china. No matter the occassion, the table (very minimal) always looks grand! It makes me very happy. I don’t have a ‘china cabinet’ (I’m too minimal), however, I LOVE looking inside at the pretties that friends have in their cabinets!!! 🙂 (must be related to my love of ‘WINDOW’ shopping…????)…

    • oops, I meant WEDGWOOD (R). Gotta check my own spelling!! 🙂

      Oh, and I need to add that once I’ve looked inside the glass cabinets at all the goodies, and inside the store windows at the gorgeous and colorful displays, I’m always glad to return to my own DECLUTTERED minimalist, simple home. 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle,
      I love all the pretties in the antique shops. I have lots of fun reminiscing when I go there and go home with nothing.

  22. Colleen, In response to your comment about being away I write you this; truth be told, I missed you! You amaze me, doing this blog DAILY and COMMENTING!!! Wow!! You also deserve some time away, too, so take it easy on yourself! We managed to keep each other entertained, so I think!!! (right everybody??). 🙂

    • Thanks Annabelle,
      I have felt somewhat overwhelmed today and then I felt better about leaving some things until tomorrow but now realise I missed Monday and tomorrow is thrift shop day. Oh well, what doesn’t get done doesn’t get done.

      • Yep yep to Annabelles comment and don’t stress on the catch up Colleen, maybe you can look at it as a little time of ‘de-cluttering time’ as in what got missed just stays missed! Glad you enjoyed your break. Big question – Did you come home empty handed & clutterfree? Hahaha!!
        Dizzy:)

        • Colleen, I’m thinking you should let the Simple Saturday posts speak for themselves. The reason you created Simple Saturday was to give yourself a break, and this weekend you were even out of town, so give yourself a break.

        • I think you are right, it is time to quit trying to play catch up.

          Gosh, I was just about to say that we came home clutterfree but then realised that would be a lie. My husband has lost about 15kg this year and his bike leathers really don’t fit properly any more so he bought some new gear. He has been looking for months but couldn’t find what he wanted. He was patient and bided his time to find exactly what he needed so he didn’t set himself up for settling for 2nd best and then being dissatisfied down the track and wanting different stuff. Well done I think.

          I came home with nothing except lots on great memories. So my Buy Nothing New Pledge is still in tact.

          • Aahhh! New bike leathers I remember them well, Good on hubs for waiting till he found the right ones, now you just gotta post a pic of that. Sorry I’d have to say that even if you had bought them for hubby I’d still consider your Pledge intact, you can’t put a price on safety & comfort and the smell of bike leathers woohoo!!
            Threw me back umpteen years that memory! hahaha
            Dizzy:)

    • Right Annabelle. What a nice bunch we all are 😉

  23. Ha. When I was married my wife insisted on having all these teacups and saucers that sat in a cabinet and…just sat there. I just never saw the point. So much stuff that just sits there unused. Thank goodness for my minimalist lifestyle.

    mark

    http://www.minimalistlifestyle.wordpress.com

    • Hi Mark,
      you x was not alone in this practice I assure you. I think it is a hand-me-down practice from days gone by when the good stuff actually did get used whenever more than just the immediate family was dining. Now we mostly just stick to the same old stuff we always use and the “good stuff” just sits there.

  24. Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit :

    I loved this post! As a knitter I have tons of hamdknit garments that after putting so much money and time into I don’t use because i don’t want to ‘ruin’ them or have them wear out – how foolish!!! This winter, I’m swaddling myself in woolens 🙂

  25. I used to consider the behaviour of not using something because it might suffer from the use saving. Today I consider it wasting!
    I am wasting the things (they might deteriorate, go out of fashion, lose their monetary value …), the space, the time (I still need to care for things, even If I don’t use them), the resources (somebody out there maybe is buying a new wintercoat while I have an unused one I might sell or give away). I am wasting thoughts on these things every time I revisit them.
    I am finding more and more that “saved” things bother me because of all this negative energy they seem to carry. They seem to whisper that I am not there yet, that my life needs to change before I can use the „too good things”.
    So two ways of dealing with them:
    – getting rid of them (yeah, some things really might be “too good” for me in the sense of delicate, difficult to care for etc. I would feel criticized by these objects all the time for not living up to their needs. Yes, I can feel criticized by inanimate objects. I sometimes am weird like that).
    – using them.
    The two steps sound easy but actually they are not … but I am getting better. I degraded an unworn blazer that’s been around for something like 10 years to an everyday jacket and was surprisingly cool when the lining tore a bit under the casual use (nobody sees that anyway). I am much too glad to finally get use out of the item to get worked up on a little wear and tear. And in case I ever should need a super formal outfit I can still go out and buy it, after all not buying a casual jacket but using what I had saved me some money now that I could use later 😉

    • This is a great post, Ideealistin.
      Love how you refigured what you called “saved” to now
      call it “wasted”, and why. And then, the “remedy” to
      deal with it.

  26. oh, this is so recognizable! I live in a small appartment with my boyfriend and we do not want to store duplicates in our space. But our family´s keep on trying to give us more stuff. Even though they always say we´ve allready got so much stuff. I´ve never understood the keep it for the good days rule and I regret not wearing some clothes that were good quality and which looked good on me more, especially as a kid/teenager.
    My family though owns many duplicate of almost any item you can imagine. My problem with that at the moment is that the appartment I live in is a fixer upper and my family´s and my boyfriends family´s house is like a free shop for wood, radiators, beams, pipe, electric cables and such. How can I refuse all that free material? But I still feel bad as it justifies the years and years of storing the stuff.

    • Hi Hunter xs,
      I understand where you are coming from here. It is a problem to utilise someone else’s clutter and they then justify having kept it. That does seem to just validate their choice to save the clutter in the first place. Perhaps that is a conversation you need to have with the owner as you do them the favour of removing it for them.

  27. Andrea Atkinson :

    Many years ago my husband learned how to crochet. One of the items he made was a waistcoat for Nana. It was nice and long to keep her back warm as she suffered in the winter. She wore it so much he knew she liked it so he bought some nicer yarn and made her a second one. After she died we found the second waistcoat still in the gift bag. She had kept it for best and never got to use it. There isn’t many “best” occasions when your in your nineties and in a home. Hubby was really upset that she hadn’t worn the better quality one because you don’t make clothes for any other reason than to wear. I learnt to always use things even if they feel like they are too good for everyday. People don’t usually give you things so that you can store them away somewhere.

    • Hi Andrea,
      welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for leaving a comment and sharing your experience with us. Bless your husbands heart learning to crochet and especially for making a waistcoat for his Nana. i hope he wasn’t too upset about the outcome I am sure that Nana had good intentions caused by old habits from her better days. Not only should we not save the best things only for good but we should also not invest too many emotions into gift giving. I see that a good lesson was learned from the situation so alls well that ends well.

  28. Hi Colleen,
    Andrea’s comment reminded me of an email I received once about a man describing all the beautiful things he had bought his wife and how she had always said to him that she’ll keep it for a special occasion. As it goes on you learn he is packing a suit case up with all the beautiful things she’ll now get to wear for her special occasion He was sending the case to the Funeral Home so she could be dressed for her viewing. Such a sad story but no doubt very true for many many people.
    Brings home the truth about things and the fact that they are meant to be used. Good on Andrea’s husband for being able to crochet. I had a fabulous jumper that was made by a male friend on a loom. Very talented and I wore the jumper till it got ratty! I think it eventually became a cozy bed liner for my sisters cat!
    Happies to all
    Dizzy 🙂