The cost of convenience

Can you name one item in your home that adds a very high monetary cost for convenience? I can, and am happy to share with you what that item is.


Or more to the point – the cartridges in it. And it is about to be decluttered. That’s not to say that we are going to manage without a printer at all, although I like the sound of that, but we are going to switch to a laser printer. Although the cartridges in a laser printer are much the same rip-off price, they at least don’t waste the majority of their cartridges contents on jet cleaning. Granted the new printer will only print in shades of grey and black but that is all we really need. Of late when we want anything colour printed we go to the local print shop because it is so much cheaper.

There was more to this post but technical difficulties caused it to wipe the second draft. Still swearing in my head about that right now. I will add the rest that I wanted to say tomorrow. After I rewrite it to the best of my memory. However thank you all for the spirited comments regardless of my publishing issues. Perhaps this minimalist version make the point except to say ~ Question every item in your homes, not just the obvious ones, because you just may not realise what is truly just clutter in disguise. 

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter or start a use it up challenge on gift wrapping items. Usually one needs to leave the home to acquire a gift so why not acquire a gift bag at the same time in future. There is really no need to keep a large assortment of these items in your home.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Beverage refrigerator! It’s so convenient to have a variety of cold choices & to not have them hogging space in the main refrigerator. However, it just stopped working & Dan doesn’t think he can fix it. To replace or not to replace…the cost of convenience. OTOH, when one of my double ovens decided to stop working, I did not replace it. Yes, in a sense I am storing a broken item, but it’s not worth the cost to me to either replace it nor to pull it out and put cabinet fronts in the hole.

    • You can use it as a cabinet anyway. 🙂

    • Hi Cindy, actually a beverage refrigerator was one of the things I was going to mention before I realised that this post had published without my realising it. My experience is that most beverage refrigerators are stocked with dietary choices that are not healthy ones and not only the fridge but the beverages probably ought to be decluttered.

  2. My laser printer has saved me a fortune! I got a duplex one, and by using the toner save mode I’ve gotten over 1,000 pages out of the starter cartridge already (and it’s still going). I’ve another cartridge waiting for when it runs out that cost about $30 and is supposed to last for 2,300 pages, but my starter cartridge was only supposed to last 500 pages so I’m sure it will last a bit longer than projected. It also saves a fortune in paper since I can now print on both sides of the page.

    One big thing I eliminated that had a high cost for convenience was my van. I live in town, so I can walk wherever I need to go. By eliminating it I saved a fortune in taxes, insurance and maintenance alone–not including what I paid to fuel the thing. Now I plan my shopping trips and pay a friend to take me or I schedule a trip on the local bus. I had owned a vehicle since I was 18 (I’ll be 45 this year), so it was rather frightening to think of eliminating it but it has been over a year now since I used it (I kept it for a few months jic I couldn’t handle living without but sold it this past spring) and to my surprise I really don’t miss it. My teenage daughter gripes a bit sometimes, but she’s a teen and they love having stuff to complain about!

    • Wow Annie that is good news about the your printer cartridge, I will check mine for a tone save mode option. Also, good on you for decluttering the van. My hubby and I also live in the middle of the city and don’t drive nearly as much as we used to. I would like to think that we could learn to manage without the car altogether one day but for now we will just use it as little as possible. And you are so right about teens, they are good at finding things to complain about. My daughter and her partner were just saying last weekend how they wish the public transport system was good enough here for them to use it rather than drive. They could own and maintain at least one less vehicle then.

  3. Hum. If Intuit would come up with a full Quicken app for my tablet I could get rid of my laptop, monitor and color printer. I would replace the printer with a small wireless black/gray only one. That would mean I could also get rid of this “desk” I’m using. I like the sound of that.

    • Deb J – its a game of dominoes isn’t it. Why don’t you go to Quicken’s website and send a question via their contact page and enquire if a tablet app is under development?

      I use xero for my personal finances and I love the daily bank feeds and the rules that can be set up for auto coding (you still have to ok these transactions). It is a basic, pared down version of their business programme, but it still has useful options such as budget. And yes you can use it from smartphone, tablet, laptop or pc.

      • I will have to look into Xero. Have not heard of it. I am looking into finding out about a Quicken app for my tablet. that would be wonderful. I still need a scanner but not for pictures. I need it for all of the insurance things I have to copy or that I scan in so I don’t have to keep the paper ones.

        • Deb J – is another one I hear great things about in the US. I have heard of a service in the US whereby you put your receipts in a pre-paid envelope, drop it in the post and they scan them to your login account. I read about it on as the writer downsized to live in their RV, I imagine there is a fee but it would be very convenient for someone living in a space restricted situation.

          I scan all our receipts except supermarket. My friend looked horrified when I told her that, she has a ringbinder and a plastic container – and ok, simple is often the easiest. But I hate bits of paper and as we digitally file our receipts and creditors invoices at work, so its no drama to do ours as well.
          I have observed that the USA personal tax is more complicated than ours.

          • I don’t think I would like sending my receipts in like that. It would take too long in my mind. I will have to look into too. Tbanks for telling me about both of them.

        • Just a suggestion. I use the camera on my tablet and take a photo of any paperwork which then automatically backs up to dropbox.

    • That does sound good Deb.

  4. My daughters would love me to replace our printer/scanner/copier with something wireless so they can print directly from iPad or laptop or smartphone from anywhere in the house. But I will be tackling photos this year (or rather re-tackling photos) and I’ll need the scanner.

    The two friends I am helping with their decluttering want to tackle their photos too, so I’ve suggested we form some sort of ‘photo club’ to work thru them together.

    • Moni, what about a wireless printer/scanner/copier? When my regular printer conked out and I had to replace it anyway (I use it a lot), I went wireless and thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but it does. I love it! It’s nice for everyone in the house to be able to use it from wherever they happen to be sitting and need it.

      • Donna B – can it scan ‘wireless’ too?

        • Moni, if I’m understanding your question correctly, I can scan something and the printer panel asks me where I want to save the scan, so I save everything to my laptop, wherever it happens to be. I really love it. My mother-in-law had a wireless printer before I did and told me how great it was, but I thought, “It’s just a printer. It’s no big deal to hook up the laptop to it.” After I got one, I knew what she meant! Now with the iPads and the ability to print wirelessly, it’s even better.

      • Donna B – a friend of a friend has her wireless printer sitting on a shelf in her hall cupboard as everyone in the house has iPads or laptops. I think she had to put a power point into the cupboard but there was one on the outside walls so it wasn’t a big drama, but it meant she didn’t have to have a computer desk.

        • I have a rolltop desk, so the printer sits there. My husband often works from home, and I do contract work, so the desk isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I never sit at it, but my husband sometimes does, so it serves its purpose.

    • We will be losing out scanner when we send this printer on its way but we will deal with that issue if ever one arrises. There are ways around that as well. In fact we got all the negative scanning done by an outside source because such places have way better scanners than the average home printer.

  5. I went laser over a decade ago and have never looked back. I have had to support waaaay too many inkjets at work to deal with one at home! Few changes in IT have made me so happy as the decline of inkjets in the workplace.

    A year or so ago we bought a wireless color/duplex/printer/scanner/copier. That let me get rid of the scanner and the personnel copier (which I bought used for nearly nothing, and worked about that well but helped me enough as a TA I put up with it), and save money by auto-duplexing. Even if I don’t use it a huge amount, it’s been so worth it to cram everything into one machine that is (slightly) smaller than our old non-duplexing laser, and that we can set just about anywhere in the house.

    I just wish it printed photos better. That’s one thing lasers aren’t as good at. We just suck it up and pay for photo printing as little as we do it.

    • Hi Kayote, it seems like you are pretty attached to owning some sort of multi function printer scanner device even though, as you say, you “…don’t use it a huge amount”. I am curious, have you even wondered is it something you could live without. Don’t feel I’m being judgemental here it is just what this post is all about. There are so many things we have in our homes these days that are simply convenience items that I am now questioning my attachment to.

      • It’s a valid question, and we did consider it (briefly), when our last one needed new cartridges & was coming due on fuser replacement.

        Since I have to scan pretty much every health-related receipt to file for reimbursement under my current health insurance, and I often pick up old catalogs that I want to digitally preserve (which is a “as a I have time, a little at a time” project), a scanner was needed in the house. While that could sit in the closet, that was a major pain to actually use. So the paper built up and we risked not getting reimbursed due to timing or losing the receipts.

        We also realized while we don’t print large amounts or many copies, we do print regularly. One or two pages here one or two pages there. That type of printing doesn’t outsource well, and comes at a huge time cost to do so, especially as there isn’t such a shop near us. We also realized we usually were printing something for immediate (or the next day) use, and rarely knew much in advance we were going to need it.

        We probably overbought and got a higher end one than we really needed. (Which is more what I meant). We opted for a small business grade one. It gave us all the features we wanted, and some bells and whistles that are just really nice. In terms of size, it’s not much different than lower end all-in-ones, so no extra space cost. It was worth it!

        Now, because we don’t print a large amount, we only have ONE printer nowadays (we used to have two or three, along with the copier and scanner). So one of us has to walk through the house to get to the printer. That’s all right. But not having one in the house all would be more pain than benefit.

  6. Wow, Colleen, something to think about. We have two printers. We got our Epson printer in 2009 and I loved it and it took forever to use up it’s cartridges. One night in the fall of 2013 my husband took the boys to the office supply up the street and intended to by new cartridges as they had finally run out. He is not an impulse shopper at all but decided it was cheaper to just buy a new printer that came with “free” cartridges. It is a different brand from a company that makes cameras. And I hate it! The cartridges run out so quickly, they are dry as I type this! Finally we will be buying new cartridges for the old one and rehoming this one. I honestly never considered the difference between inkjet and laser printing. I know as far as printing and scanning my old one is top of the line. This newer one gives me streaking photo prints and the scans are lesser quality.

    • Jean – I have noticed it is getting harder and harder to find the print cartridges for our printer. I used to be able to find them in any stationery store or electrical appliance store. Now I can only find them in one independently owned store, so I guess they’re slowly being phased out or the stores need to use shelf space for cartridges of more up to date printers.

      • Thanks, Moni, good to know. I am not a completely clueless person, but some things just do not occur to me. My husband is usually on top of the details, but since he doesn’t use this printer, out of sight out of mind. Makes me feel a bit sad but better to know sooner than later.

        • Jean – we had a panic situation where my daughter’s assignment was due the next morning and the black cartridge had run out, my husband and I went to store after store after store trying to find one. Eventually the last store, and ironically the store just two minutes from home we found one. We were wondering if we were going to have to buy a new printer.

    • Hi Jean, the last printer I ever liked was an Epson and every one since has been a lemon as far as I am concerned. Your husband might be interested to know that the cartridges in a new printer may look the same but are of a smaller capacity so in actual fact you are better off buying the new cartridges than a new printer.

  7. I miss hearing from Dizzy and Ideealistin… I hope they are okay… I used to always chuckle at their posts! I was going to ask about Cindy as well, but since she commented above… 🙂

    This post makes some good points, especially since my husband wants to get a printer (although I am less inclined because our daughter, who lives at home, has one). But I can ask him to at least get a laser one. And make it wireless 🙂

    My laptop has been acting up so we are thinking about “twin” laptops when it dies… and trying to consider what types of things we need them to do. My husband likes music and movies. I like Excel and Access database. Not sure what is the best way to go. I like a pretty good sized screen with a keyboard, too, so am not thinking iPad or Tablet. Any suggestions?

    I read somewhere about a Roku player which is a “streaming device” that can be hooked up to a TV… Does anyone have feedback on the Roku?

    • Hi Peggy, I was wondering where they were recently as well. I have been reading on here long enough that I have come to “know” everyone. We decided not to purchase the Roku because we would then morph into TV zombies. My younger brother and his family have one and love it. My boys playmate’s mother loves hers. That’s hearsay of course.

      • Hi Jean,

        Thanks so much for your feedback! I will let my husband know about the Roku – he is the TV zombie LOL 🙂

    • Hi Peggy and Jean, people come and go as they feel the need. Ideealistin became a mom for the first time so I expect is a very busy lady these days. Dizzy sure was a character but was busy building a moving into a new home if I remember correctly. There are many others who were around for a long time and then dropped way and some of those leave a comment every now and again when they feel the urge. It is always lovely to hear for all my readers past and present.

      Peggy, it is good to see you are putting in lots of thought before racing our and making purchases. Take absolutely everything into consideration including how much you really need things before making the final decision.

      • Hi Colleen,

        If it was up to me, there would be no printer (unless my daughter moved out) and no TV (and no Roku player either)… But I am glad to have my husband and he likes TV for his alone time… I have accepted this but I laugh because our first argument as husband and wife 33 years ago was whether to purchase a TV for our small apartment (he was adamant that we have one, I was against)… he got his way of course… he also wants Sirius radio for his car but that would be another monthly bill, so for now he has purchased a set of music CDs of the era he enjoys. I “have to have” my laptop for my alone time LOL

        On an unrelated note, I was happy to have a use for those annoying fake credit cards that come daily in the mail… I was using Goo Gone to get rug latex off the bathroom floor today… it was being stubborn… so the “credit card” helped me scrape everything off… finally a use!

        • Hi Peggy, isn’t it interesting that you have never changed your mind about the need for a TV. I do agree however that if your husband enjoys it then no harm having one. I don’t know that I would care if ours wasn’t here but I think my husband would miss it. Although he may give it a trial period before deciding on whether to replace it. Even he thinks it is a waste of time I think. We only watch free to air TV and have an Apple TV device which hubby uses to watch video blogs. Like you I wouldn’t want to be without my laptop though.
          And well done finding a use for those credit cards.

          Yesterday I had a need for some paper towel but there was none to be found. I wonder how long I have been out of it and if I care to replace it.

    • We have had a Roku player for about 5 years now and love it. No problems and can watch a ton of movies if we wish. I wish I had the courage to cancel my satellite and just have internet with the Roku.

    • Hi Peggy!

      Let me start off by saying I’m 25 and live with my boyfriend.
      We have a Roku and it is an amazing device for watching movies and TV shows. It has many ‘Apps’ that you can get for it (It looks like an iPhone screen once you get apps) and one of the apps lets you send movies and TV shows from your computer to TV/Roku. All you need is a specific program on your computer to download the movies and TV shows. I personally whould just like to get rid of my TV but my boyfriend says otherwise so maybe it will jut move into his man cave. I can just watch everything on my phone but if we
      have kids one day, I don’t want them asking to always borrow my phone to watch programs lol.

  8. So many times, we either purchase something or are given something where the maintenance or cost of operating said item is astronomical. Case in point: I was recently gifted a K-cup Keurig coffee machine. My Cuisinart coffee maker served me well for many years and was ready to take its journey into appliance heaven. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the k-cup coffees, teas, ciders and chocolates that were included in the gift, but I knew there was no way on God’s green earth, I would pay what those k-cups cost per serving. Since I am the only coffee drinker in our home, I use it to run hot water through and went back to drinking the coffee I grew up on, instant.

    • Hi Kimberley,

      There are lots of refillable “k-cup” options out there. You can buy a reusable k-cup and put your own coffee or tea in, then use it with your Keurig machine. I agree that I wouldn’t want to buy the k-cup disposables… too expensive and wasteful!

    • Hi Kimberly, I can so relate to this post. I have seen machines like this come and go from many a home. Luckily I gained the experience of trying them out in the process. I have a habit of doing the math on the cost of running such things and can easily talk myself out of buying them. That being said, a year ago my mother bought me a coffee pod machine which is so easy to use, makes a decent cup of coffee and is saving me money by not going so often to the local cafes. However I do get the guilts about all the plastic from those little pods going in the bin. I am so careful about avoiding plastics generally but this is my one guilty exception. It least that does help limit me to two a day though which is a good thing. Nevetheless…

    • A Keurig was left in my office, partially broken. My students had a grand time figuring out how to fix it (it looks a little battered at this point, as it really is resistent to being opened up, but a drill got in, and electrical tape covered the hole).

      I absolutely can’t stand the little pods from so many standpoints, but I discovered it makes just about the perfect temperature water for my tea. So I and my tea ball use it a lot. (I think at this point the entire office is using it to make tea because none of us are willing to buy the k-cups, though probably for a variety of reasons).

  9. I like what you wrote about questioning every item in our homes, for clutter in disguise, Colleen. I’ve read about people who do not have a sofa, or coffee table, TV, end tables, dining table and chairs, nightstands, etc. Has anyone ever lived without (or still do without) such typical furniture and “must-haves”?

    • Hi Nicole V
      We don’t have bedside tables in our bedroom or a coffee table in the middle of the lounge room either. Only one dining table and chairs . The less furniture the better.

      • Hi, Wendy F. I’m with you about “The less furniture, the better.” I don’t buy the “You MUST have this or your home simply isn’t a home” advertising hoopla.

        After posting my question, I realized that I didn’t mention some of the things we don’t have. We don’t have end tables, a coffee table or a sofa.

        • I have to admit I had to google night stand …..
          we could let the sofa/lounge go, but I think the dogs might complain. 😉 it is really a useless item in our home. A couple of comfortable tub chairs would be fine and they would be easier to move than the lounge….
          I always baulked at the price of bedside tables / drawers. Nothing beats a built in robe as far as neatness and storage.
          I’m currently re housing items off the book case, just as soon as I dust them 🙁

          • Wendyf – as all our clothes fit into the walk in wardrobe, we had the opportunity to sell our dressing table, drawers and scotch dresser but our headboard and bedside drawers had to be included as they matched. We thought we’d find a new headboard and bedside drawers quickly and easily, but alas I’ve become a fussy shopper I couldn’t find what I wanted. Ten months went by and i hated not having bedside drawers! Eventually I found what I wanted and I’m very happy, I’ll happily go without some furniture items but not bedside drawers.

          • Yup, tub chairs allow for greater flexibility and there’s more than one way to provide seating in the living room.

    • We also do not have end tables or coffee tables framing our sofa in our “great room”. We use two bamboo stools as our nightstands in our bedroom. They are the perfect height, see through as opposed to solid, and go with our homes tropical décor. None of our bedrooms have a chest of drawers or dressers either. Each bedroom has a walk in closet which accommodates everything so there was no need.

      • Hi, Kimberley. The bamboo stools sound light and nice. I generally like “visually light” pieces of furniture, as I feel that they help to open up a space. Having only the furniture that we need, regardless of what anyone says (yes, home furnishing companies, I’m referring to you!) is the way to go, for us.

    • I Nicole, I haven’t gone that minimalist yet. I don’t have a coffee table anymore but I have side tables next to the sofa. We found we were only using the coffee table to put our feet on so we sold it and starting using a smallish ottoman we already had. That sure freed up some space in the living room.

      • Hi, Colleen. We got rid of our coffee table after a while as it just wasn’t earning its keep. It was given to us by an in-law and was useful in the beginning, although I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the design. I’m still not sure whether it was my husband or I who was more relieved the day it left. As for the space that it opened up, well, you gotta love that!

    • Hi Nicole!

      We live without a Western style bed – we switched to Japanese futons a year back. They can be rolled and put in a corner or a closet during daytime. Thus, we also don’t have a need for bedside tables. There’s a low empty shelf at hand where I can put my alarm clock. We also don’t own a TV, we do have a rather biggish computer screen though. Nowadays, computer screens and TVs seem to become one and the same thing anyway, I saw some really cool things when I last was at an electronics store.
      As for “formal” furniture like dining room tables etc. – we live in a rather small flat so we don’t own everything but only what we use and need. We do have two tables (one in the kitchen and one in the living/dining room), because we like having guests over and actually prefer sitting at a real table even when it’s just the two of us – as opposed to a couch and couch table, which we don’t own except for a tiny love seat.

      • Hi, Sanna! When we were looking to buy a new bed, we had already decided on and selected a futon. As we were making our way through the store to pay for it, I happened to spot a really lovely bed, on sale for a great price. My first thought was: “That surely HAS to be a typo”, followed by “Even if it’s not, all the pieces must have been snapped up by now”. Well, there was no typo, and we bought the last piece. Luckily, my husband and I are usually on the same page when it comes to furniture.

        I see so many cool things in electronics stores, too. I like drooling over them, touching them and figuring out how they work … then I walk away. My husband never worries when I go into one, as he knows my MO.

        I can so relate to preferring to sit at a dining table as well. That was why we got rid of our sofa ages ago. It was from the same in-law mentioned above and – wait for it – I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the design. It was a hulking lump that took up too much space as well.

        It sure sounds like you have done a great job in making the flat a home. I feel that organizing small spaces is an art form and that it is possible to pack a lot of cosy living and personal style into a small space.

        Sorry that this has turned out to be such a long post.

    • We don’t have a sofa, coffee table, bedside tables, and I don’t have a dresser in my bedroom. Instead of a sofa we will some day buy two upholstered chairs so that we can move them around to fit the occasion. Mom has a glider rocker and I have a recliner. We have a small round dining table. We keep the furniture to a minimum because it makes the rooms feel lighter.

    • I forgot to mention we don’t ahve a tv or any kind of music setup. For music I use my laptop.

      • Hi, Deb J. I hear you about the minimum furniture for a lighter room. The things you own seem to have a small footprint. Did it take you a long time to arrive at where you are now? I also agree about moving chairs around to suit the occasion. Do you find that people are so conditioned to having a sofa that they ask you what happened to yours?

        • I have had people have both the reaction of not noticing we have no sofa to others asking where it went. It would have never happened if this couple hadn’t had their house and everything in it burn down. The was a call from our church for any furniture, dishes, etc. be donated. We gave them our sofa. What is funny is that I had been suggesting we get rid of it and get the chairs instead. Mom was very against it. Now she thinks it is a wonderful idea because having the sofa gone changes things so much.

          • How sad for the couple and how generous of you, Deb J. One small victory at a time for your mother … Yay!

  10. I love the convenience of the dishwasher and using dishwasher tablets instead of loose powder and rinse aid. The joy of finishing a meal and popping all the plates inside my dishwasher , leaving the kitchen neat and tidy is worth every dollar. The design of the dishwasher also makes it able to wash all sorts of items without to much drama.

    • Hi Wendy, yes there a other things I’d give up before the dishwasher too even though it is a convenience item. The television would probably be high on that list. I have given up so many other items from the kitchen that I don’t mind the room the dishwasher takes up.

  11. You make me envious with that dishwasher talk!
    By the way, my boyfriend recently dropped a couple of plates and what can I say – I haven’t been sad about it. There are still enough.
    We had a little laundry desaster a few weeks back: pink stains all over a load of whites (underwear, towels, t-shirts). I tried my best to get them out, to no avail! So I decided to dye. It was good fun and I also dyed all my a-little-worn-looking towels, too. They look like new now! It was a great thing for my environmental conscience to “save” those clothes and towels and to have “new” brightly coloured fun things (even matching!) is feeling great! 😉

  12. I do admit that I ooohhhh and ahhhh over a beautifully staged and arranged room, but as I have training in the art nor the inclination to manage accessories and bits and pieces. Plus my husband, kids and the cats would maintain the look. So, in our main lounge there is a 3 seater and a 2 seater couch, a coffee table, a basket which holds fluffy blankets for cold winter nights, we have the flat screen which sits on the entertainment centre.

    In the other lounge (a little one off the kitchen) there is a two seater couch and a flat screen sitting on a entertainment centre. Its actually a bit austere at the moment to be honest but it used to have the following in it: two seater couch, drafting board, bookcase, tv on entertainment centre, filing cabinet and office desk.

  13. Hi, Moni. Wow, the ‘after’ version of your second lounge sounds like it could be a serious contender for a room version of “The Biggest Loser”. Heck, it might even be a shoo-in for the title! That must have taken a huge amount of hard work, not to mention time.

    • Nicole V – yup it did but I’m very happy with the result. I wish I’d weighed everything as I decluttered it would be really cool to know how many tonnes we’ve lost.

  14. Way to go, Moni. Now please excuse me while I go pick up my jaw off the floor 🙂

  15. Can I ask you all a question? How many vases do own? I have been asked this recently by two different people ie what is a reasonable number of vases. I used to have quite a collection but have whittled it down but I think I probably do with less. So I’m interested to know what other people have.

    • I own 15! 😀
      This is definitely more than I need – but I had at least twice or three times as much to begin with. I love them and they are always on decorative display grouped together on a shelf – or in use. I use about 5-10 of them regularly, but there are also two that are an awkward size and actually completely unfit to display flowers in. I still like them as pieces of art though. Most of these vases are handmade ceramic ones, one is a handmade murano glass vase. The few plain ones (I still like them, but they’re not that special) are the ones of the most often needed sizes.

      I think it depends greatly on how often you do display flowers or twigs around the house and what kind of flowers… Like, my granny used to collect little bunches of violets or daisies from her garden in spring, so she actually always used an itty bitty tiny vase – I hardly have a use for that small a size. Personally I like to get a little bunch of flowers and split them, so I display a few in every room. I do own many narrow vases though that are fit for single flowers or small bunches of a few flowers. Of all my vases only 2 are actually big enough to hold a bouquet – one is taller and one is for bouquets with short stems. I do use pitchers, flower pots, mason jars or other items from the kitchen if I get an even bigger bouquet or several (like on birthdays) – that doesn’t happen all that often anyway.

      • Sanna – re: displaying twigs – thank you for the memory, I used to do that once upon a time but then we got two kittens and it was more temptation that a kitty could bear. For some reason twigs were viewed as pouncing, climbing and chewing opportunities.

      • Sanna, you make me feel like I am missing out on something by not having fresh flowers around the house more often. Fortunately with a glass wall of windows and doors in my living area I can look out onto the plants on my balcony anytime and enjoy their living beauty. I think I will settle for that.

    • Moni – We have five that I can think of without going around to count. But only one of them is functional for actually putting water and flowers in. The other four are just colorful or pretty.
      I have given away sooo many vases over the past few years though. I used to decorate with them a lot. But I found that when moving they take up so much space. They need to be bubble wrapped or they will break and they each took up half a box. After we moved I decluttered a bunch more. I am fairly happy with the ones I have left but I think I could probably get rid of one more…..
      I also have decorative glass/crystal bowls. That’s another story!

  16. I have one, Moni. I used to have three but got rid of two of them. All were gifts.

  17. Hi Moni, that is a good question, to which I had to climb up into the furtherest reached of my highest kitchen cupboard to find the answer to. And the answer is two. Can’t say they have seen the light of day for a long time though. So I suppose one would have to question why I don’t declutter at least one of them. Or perhaps I should take a walk up to the flower seller every thursday and buy a punch of flowers to petty up my home.
    I guess the answer you are looking for is how many should you bother keeping. My answer to that would be enough to display the largest quantity and variety of flowers you have in your home at any given time. I decluttered the small vases because there is always a glass jar hanging around that would suffice to put a small bunch of flowers in.

    • Colleen – I always have good intentions of having fresh flowers in the house but they can be rather pricey and so it turns into an occasional thing. I think the thing about vases is that they come in so many shapes and sizes, I just don’t know what is the right one. Never mind. I have an event on the calendar for May and after that I think I can safely cull it back to one. Worst case scenario, many florists have hire vases available and I can always borrow some.

      • On the strength of this comment stream I went out yesterday to the flower seller in the mall and bought myself a bunch of roses. They look lovely on my dining table. I even googled what concoction I needed to keep the fresh longer which was ~ 3 table spoons of sugar and 2 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 litre of warm water. I made up half that mix which was plenty.