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”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
ITEM 194 OF 365 LESS THINGS
More of my daughter’s childhood stuff she has decided she doesn’t need to keep