Too good not to use

Cindy’s post in February ~ Too Good to Use ~ got me thinking about a few things in my house that are too good not to use. What is the difference you might ask between being too good to use and being too good not to use. I will explain that to you now.

There is nothing in my house that I consider too good to use. It isn’t that I don’t have some nice things I just tend to use nearly everything and the things less used aren’t that way because I think they are too good. This post does have me looking around to see if there is anything stashed away that could be utilised more often.

A couple of items do come to mind. There is a beautiful serving bowl that was a wedding gift from dear friends who have now passed away. It is a beautiful bowl but it never seems to be the right piece for the need at hand. So it is continuously passed over but too good not to use. Perhaps it is time to pass that piece on to someone who has a need for it.

The “good” dinner set is used when we have someone over for dinner but we really don’t do that very often. We tend to go out to dine with friends or have casual meal at home. Why don’t I just use it everyday you might ask. The truth is I am not that enamoured with it because it is somewhat cumbersome. Were I to make a choice between my everyday set and this one I would most likely keep the everyday set. I must admit I have considered more than once over the last two years whether I should declutter it. It is too good not to use, wasted languishing in a cupboard.

So what I am saying here if you have nice things use them but if you have nice things that aren’t being utilised for whatever reason maybe it is time to find new home with someone who will make the most of them. Good things are to good not to be used.

Today’s Mini Mission

Take a quick look in the living/lounge/family room and find something to declutter. It’s that simple. Don’t fuss don’t hesitate just find that one thing and get it our of there.

Today’s Declutter Item

This watch was given to me by my husband about 15 years ago. I used to use it before I carried a cell phone everywhere I went but now I just don’t. It is one of those things that are too good not to be used. So I have sold it on ebay. On only received $26 dollar for it but I was getting no value out of it in my jewellery box so I am fine with that. The dinner set and serving bowl I mentioned above will be declutter soon also.

I have no need for a watch

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

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


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About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. I have a few dresses that I bought for special occasions like weddings, etc. I probably won’t wear some of them again. Maybe it is time to find them a new home too, regardless of how much I paid for them!

  2. I used to “save” the good stuff, but now I make memories with them instead of protecting them from life’s potentially damaging experiences. Recently I let go of some really nice pottery serving items that just never got used because their size that was never quite right for whatever I was serving. They were too nice NOT to use as you say so off they went to be used by someone else.

    Formal clothes are something I have a new technique for. I buy them at the thrift store wear them for the occassion I bought them for and donate them right back after laundering them. Since I only get invited to the one staff formal dinner per year, and the food is always provided. For one night -for about $20 – I get a great big meal and get to look pretty too and then feel good about giving it back.

    • You and I have the same idea for formal clothes Creative Me. I have one little black dress and if that gets overused in company I will see what I can pick up cheap at the thrift store and send it back when I am done, just like you.

    • wow, I wish I could do it that way, too. Are there really so many thrift store where you live, stores where you get nice festive clothing that really fits you? Nothing like that here in the rural part of Germany where I live. There are stores with cheap used everyday clothing for people who have very little money, but one can buy there only when one brings an evidence that one really is poor. It even is hard to give used clothing to those stores, because they get so much.
      Maybe there are second hand stores with festive or formal clothing, but only in the big citys, not for me. And even there it is hard to get things that really fit me. Wonder how you do it???
      So, I still have to keep formal clothing, clothing I need once a year for special occasions or a funeral. Wish I could do it like you

  3. Oh how I agree with you!! What is wonderful is that my mother is begging to agree. We were talking the other day about finding time this week to go through the kitchen and declutter. I know one thing that will go if I have my way. We have a beautiful bowl type piece of crockery that is for holding a cheese ball or dip with a spreader with a matching handle. We haven’t used it more than 2-3 times. It’s too nice not to use but we never have people over any more for things like that. I’m going to put it in the yard sale.

    • Good for you Deb J. I work on the idea that anyone that I care to invite to my house won’t care how fancy my serving dishes are so I don’t need to keep special items to perform every little task just to “keep up appearances”. Tale me as I am or go find yourself some other shallow friend, is how I think about it.

      • Yes, that’s how I see it. My mother is soooo uptight about having people over. She thinks everyone is going to be looking for things to criticize. I told her that everyone is not like her. I also told her that our house looks cleaner and more organized than most people’s homes look like when they think they are clean. She still doesn’t GET it. There’s neat and clean and then there is OBSESSIVELY neat and clean like Mom. I go to someones house to see them and be with them not pick at how their house looks.

  4. I have wine glasses we have NEVER used. My husband told me to keep them years ago and I am wondering why. And I am wondering if he would notice if they were gone!

    My mom also gave him some Ansel Adams prints which he said he wanted for his office. It’s been almost a year and they are still being stored in the cabinet in the family room. Again, I wonder if he would even notice if they were missing, since he seems to have no intention of actually renovating his office.

    I think I’m going to casually move these things to the Goodwill pile downstairs and see what happens. That way, they’re still here, but I can get a feel for whether he would miss them if I got rid of them.

    • Why don’t you just ask him now about these items: “Do you still want them? You don’t use them, do you? So why do you want to keep them?” Probably he won’t give them away now, but if you bring them out in 6 months again and say “So why did you want to keep them again? We haven’t needed them for the last 6 months”, he might want to get rid of them himself. It’s what works with my boyfriend. I never declutter anything of his things without asking, but I do point them out sometimes and ask, if he still needs them. Many of those thing he has decluttered himself about one or two months after I asked – when they bothered him in some way and he thought they might go, because he hadn’t used them after all. It’s kind of the same strategy I use for myself: when you first ask the question “do we really need this?” the item kind of enters a new stage, it’s no longer a given inventory of the house, but it’s suddenly questionable. And if it doesn’t earn its place within the next few weeks or months, it’s eventually clear that it’s better if it goes.

      • Good advice Sanna. I would never declutter anything that wasn’t mine. There needs to be good communication when it comes to decluttering in a family situation. It should always be join decision to get rid of things jointly owned and it should be up to the owner with all other items. A little gentle persuasion never hurt anyone though.

  5. We have been wrestling with this dilemma recently. We agreed to get rid of the ‘nice’ clutter, mostly silver plate and fancy china but can’t find a method of disposal that is acceptable to the ‘Reluctant Declutterer’ (and it’s his stuff). The thrift store is out of the question. I had it destined for a friend’s church sale in the city but it was ‘too good’ for a garage sale. The one thing a Replacements dealer might purchase would bring in just about enough to pay for mailing it to them. ‘RD’ listed two items for sale on the internet and got no bites. So at this point the only ‘good’ item we’ve gotten rid of is the vase I accidentally broke. We’ll take the lot to an antique dealer in the city next time we go but I think he’s going to learn that even nice stuff can have little or no dollar value.
    Would any North American 356er like a pair of Royal Worcester egg coddlers???

    • I hope you have luck with the antique dealer Wendy because I wouldn’t want this experience to sour RD’s willingness to declutter.

      • Hi Colleen. Actually, I think that NOT having success at the antique dealer would be a good thing. It would bring home the lesson that the value of things changes over time. The simple fact is that folks don’t want the ornamental geegaws our parents’ generation valued. They may be antique, but they aren’t worth holding on to for a dollar value that does not exist anymore.
        In banner headline news though, RD just came in from the garage where he’s sorting out all his (and his late parents’) fishing gear, with the intent to sell some to a friend and put some in a garage sale. HE handed ME some stuff and said, “If you don’t want this, I’m throwing it out.” Now I KNOW the aliens have kidnapped Ian and left a doppelganger in his place!

    • Hello Wendy ! I had a pair of Royal Worcester egg coddlers here in Australia too – given as a wedding present in the Seventies and never used – funny though -my daughter has just (today) had her wisdom teeth out and I was thinking ” I wonder of she would like a coddled egg a little later ” – probably the ONLY time I have thought about coddled eggs! Even if I could use them today it simply wouldn’t have been worth keeping them to use on one occasion 35 years later ! What a coincidence – to be thinking about coddled eggs and then read your comment!

      • Two egg coddlers have been Express Posted to ‘Judith in Australia’. You won’t get them, but it’ll get them out of my hair!

  6. I too have an ‘RD’ who has no sense of ‘value’ – what I mean is, paid good money for it (or someone did) so come hell or high water we WILL get our money’s worth, either by keeping the Thing (usually In The Way!) or trying to sell on but only on his terms – and still hanging on to it because no one else puts the same monetary value on the Thing. At this stage I’m concentrating on my ‘Things’ hoping to set a subliminal example but why oh why is it easier to see what someone else should move on, rather than my own?!

    • Hi Kay, If you’ve been following this blog for a while you will know that I started out working at my own stuff, being quite open with what I was doing and it eventually had an effect on my spouse. Ian had a very hard time letting things go, partly because he was tied to that ‘value’ thing, but for a lot of other reasons as well. Now he’s getting on board. There’s no danger that he’ll ever be over-enthusiastic about it and throw away everything we own but he no longer has to hang onto everything. He is selling some of his things but I think he’s also deriving some pleasure from giving it away. He’s just come in from the garage where he is sorting out fishing gear and said, “Just found my camping stove. Maybe I should bite the bullet and give it away.” Quite a profound change in attitude. Good luck with your spouse.

  7. Kay, I have finally resolved this issue with my mother. If she gets into one of those moods about things we are getting rid of I just look it up on eBay. Oh does that help in most cases. She has an inflated idea of what things are worth too.

    • Thanks, Deb. I used that ploy immediately to help my spouse figure out if something was worth trying to sell or keep or garage sale or give away. Will have to remember this in future!

  8. There will never be a too-good-to-use anything in our house… We just lost EVERYTHING. After some serious persistent health issues we found out our apartment has a mold problem. And all our stuff is poisoned by the toxins. And no, you can’t wash/freeze/heat them out, some of the worst toxins are not even destroyed by burning (though most are.) We had to move out with nothing. Or actually we brought minimal clothing with us, but it made me vomit even after being washed in hot water and we had to remove those too from where we are staying.
    We have bought a few pieces of clothing each for now. We need to figure out where to live first, the stuff comes later. Some of it is irreplaceable of course. Some of it, like books, we won’t even want to replace.
    Anyway, you never know what will happen so saving things “for later” ro not using them because they are too good, just isn’t very smart. 😉 I know I am very happy about the fact that we are minimalists and don’t have a ton of stuff to clear out. At least I wasn’t saving a bunch of precious stuff because I didn’t want to ruin it, just to have it be ruined by mold toxins.

    • So sorry to hear about this Cat’sMeow. It’s horrible what mold can do. I’m praying you quickly find a new place to live that you like even better than your old place and that everything smooths out for you.

      • Oh yikes Cat’s Meow. The only good part of this, I guess, is that any health issues you’ve had should be abating. I am SO SORRY. This is not the way any of us wish to declutter.

    • That is just horrible for you, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to go through that, at least you have a good attitude about it and you’ll all be seeing an improvement health wise.

      I wish you and your loved ones a speedy bounce-back from all of this and that you find another ‘home’ quickly 🙂 🙂 🙂

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