Simple Saturday ~ Why save the good things for someday

The video below may only be an advert for tea but it makes a good point. Why not use those special things you are storing away for good everyday instead of someday. If you are going to have a casual glass of wine before dinner why not use the Waterford crystal. Why not use the best china when it is just you and your partner sitting down to dinner. Wear your best dress any day of the week for no particular reason than to enjoy it and feel good. Who needs a formal lounge room that only gets used when guests come, turn it into a games room for everyday. Use that special fountain pen you bought to sign  the marriage register to write your daily to do list. You get the idea, make everyday a special day.

Weekend Mini Missions

Saturday – How about decluttering an existing bad habit like eating too much sugary food. Get the last of it out of there (preferably not by eating it) so that you can start a fresh without the temptation.

Sunday – Do you have a habit of not putting things away after you use them. This can lead to a mess or an inability to find the things when you need them. Work on changing that bad habit into a good one. It might be putting your car keys on a hook whenever you walk in the door so you know where they are the next time you are rushing out the doore. Or perhaps putting your cell phone in a certain pocket in you handbag when you are out so when it rings you can find it before the call cuts out.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. This is a great reminder. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Absolutely! Love it. W

  3. Excellent reminder. Enjoy every day!

  4. Wholeheartedly agree! I’ve started doing this since it occurred to me I could be run over by a bus tomorrow and all those lovely things I was “saving for best” would never have been used!

    • Hi Justine and welcome to 365 Less Things. I love your attitude, that bus could be just around the corner so best to treat yourself well and live everyday like it is your last wherever possible.

  5. absolutely true! 12 years ago when I moved into my own house (full off dept and with no cash) I used motley dishes, given to me by parents, friends, neighbours… It took me more than 2 years to recognize that I could use the inherited dishes from my grandma stored in the cellar… White Porcelaine with golden “frames” (oldschool german style). Thought to keep it for special occasion (which one????), was afraid to put into dishwascher (it survives for 10 years now…). Enjoy your good stuff! I have in use (and in dishwasher) crystal champaign cups and silverware (becomes brilliant when you put into hot water with salt and aluminium foil).

    • Hi Chrissie,
      I love how “desperation” to get away from the ugly stuff encouraged you to start using the good stuff. Life just has a way of weaving its own magic sometimes. Good for you.

      I had heard the tip of using baking soda, aluminium foil and hot water, but not salt. I might try that on my jewellery since I don’t have any silverware left to try it on.

      • Hi Colleen, of course it works for jewels as well.
        Recently I cleaned some decluttered silver rings to prepare them for sale 😉

  6. Lovely! My declutter yesterday was wine glasses. I kept only one set of pretty crystal and let all the rest, mismatched and cheap, go. Last night my glass of wine tasted so decadent!
    Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • I Deb Legg and welcome to 365 less things. I have some wine glasses to declutter as well. I have been trying to decide which ones will stay and which ones will go. Actually I am not in love with any of them and have had my eye out at the thrift store for some that I like better. I am itching to get rid of a few though. I am glad you have decided to keep the best and get rid of the rest. A little decadence never hurt anyone. 😉

  7. I have a nice set of china and crystal goblets that I use on holidays and whatever day I consider special. Could have hot dogs and beans on them for a kid’s birthday. Anyway, I used to serve my kids milk or water in the crystal and my Mother-in-law would always ask why I would give the kids an expensive glass. My reply was that if they didn’t practice using the good stuff at home, when would they learn to use it somewhere else. And the best thing of all, they felt special and nothing ever got broken, except when my husband tried to wash one and dropped it in a porcelain sink. Here we are thirty-nine years of marriage later and still only one broken.
    Just a little aside, I entered a Twinnings contest and won a wooden box of tea, just like the box in this commercial. I love it. Velvet inside and a wonderful shiny wood finish. Lovely.

    • Hi Maggie,
      I like that you let the kids use the good stuff. I used to give my kids sparkling apple cider in our crystal on occasions when the adults were having champagne. This was still only on special occasions like birthdays, Christmas etc. It is funny that your husband was the only one to brake a glass.

      A friend gave me a wooden tea box for my last birthday. She knows me well and insisted I return it if I had no use for it which I did. I exchanged it for some very nice tea.

  8. I think this is the reason why I love to have my tea out of a china mug, it make me feel as though I am doing something nice for myself.

    • Hi Wendy, I sometimes wonder if I should accept one of the beautiful china tea cup sets my mother offered me the last time I visited just so I could use it everyday just because it feels good.

      • If you feel you could declutter some other china if you take them, I’d say: go for it ! If not maybe just borrow one or two pieces from it enjoy it and give it back when someone wants the whole set?

        • Hi Ideealistin,
          there are several individual sets of teacup, saucer and butter plate so taking a set wouldn’t break up a bigger group. The question is do I want to add a ring-in into my neatly ordered crockery cupboard.

          • Colleen,
            as you MUST have some empty cupboards by now after all your china and kitchen decluttering, I’d say: Give it a chance. If it doesn’t feel right you can still give it back to your mother. I’m sure, knowing you, she won’t be sad should you give it back but will appreciate that you have tried. Nothing to lose in my book …

          • I back Ideealistin on this one. make it easy and just get one cup then. place it where you can see it, so it can function as decoration as well) and use it every morning for your tea. that way you dont even use up space 😉

  9. Great commercial. I agree with it too. Why have something stored away and never use it except on “special” occasions? Get it out and use it. It may be gone tomorrow.

  10. I don’t think I have anything ‘special’ – I’m starting to think if it’s not being used, or displayed, then I DON’T love it – great motivator to ‘dude get it on already’ (this is a reference to the other blog I read daily:

  11. Bravo, Colleen! You are preaching to the choir. My Aunt and I call it the “good stuff syndrome”. My mother saved the best of everything from towels to dishes for “guests”, while her family needed to use two bath towels to dry off because they were so thread bare. She is 83 years old and is still saving the “good stuff”. For what?, I don’t know. Once I had my own home, my philosophy was to use the “good stuff”. I have never had special this and special that for guest use only. I remember when I was about 13 years old, my Aunt drying dishes with thread bare dish towels only to find out that my Mom had a stack of brand new ones. She looked at my Mom and said, “Who are you saving those for, Pete’s (my Dad) next wife”? It was so profound a statement that I remember it to this day.

    • Wow Kimberley that is incredible. I bet you treated yourself to some nice things when you left home. Too bad your aunts comment didn’t seep though and have your mum change her ways. Did she learn this behaviour from her mum?

      • I am not sure where it came from, Colleen. I do know that my Mom was born in 1929 during the Great Depression here in the States, and it hit my Grandparent’s rather hard. I don’t ever remember my Grandparent’s having any “good stuff”. Their drinking glasses were old jelly jars that were repurposed. Perhaps my Mom just never grew up with any “good stuff”, so she didn’t know how to react. My Dad provided an extremely comfortable lifestyle and she is living a very comfortable retirement since my Dad passed away 20 years ago. For some strange reason, she lives like it is still the “Great Depression”.

    • Kimberley, if love your term good stuff syndrome. Much of that going on with one of my grandmothers, too. Especially concerning towels and linens. When we helped to declutter the house so she could move to an apartment a whole cabinet of towels surfaced, many of them unused. I took some (actually more than my basic needs but they are of excellent quality so I’ll give me some time to find out how many I really need and want before I maybe let some more go) but I also denied a lot and really wondered whom she was saving all this for. It was sad to see that this whole incident even caused sour feelings within the family as my mum thought her mother should not have hoarded the stuff but given it away to her children over 30 years ago when they were about to have their own life, places and families or at least offer it to her grandchildren when they moved out. Though I don’t think one should be cross with an 80+ year old woman who’s been through a war and and other difficult to digest things I am at a loss understanding her attachment and “hoarding” as well.
      I think it was a very valuable real life lesson for me.

      • I am sure the times of war, depression and shortage are always influencing people more or less. I have an aunt who grew up in west-berlin, where it was normal to hoard food. not only as private people, but also the state itself, while on the same time it was required to live frugal. After the Berlin Airlift, it was required to have a certain amount of stuff stocked up, so that in case “they closed”, people could survive for a certain period of time. My aunt hasnt been living in West-Berlin for more than 20 years now, but she is still stocking up more than necessary. She says, that she is aware that the times are over, but for her it is an essential basic need, she cant just switch off. (she said she also gave up on learning the cardinal directions, because all around her was always east ;-))
        I guess that the way you have been growing up determines how you handle life when you are old. And therefore I am convinced that you can “identify” generations the way they feel towards stuff…

        • I fully agree Lina, my mother in law was born and raised here in Australia and was a little girl during the great depression. but it left a indelable mark on her and all her life she had a cupboard well stocked with unperasibles like flour, sugar, toothpaste, soap etc.
          She even had this effect on my husband as it took years for him to understand that we did’nt need to or could afford to replace each used item with two more.
          My sister in law and I used to joke that if there was a depression or such we could both go shopping in mum’s cupboard.

      • Very curious Ideealistin. One never knows what goes on inside other peoples minds and we all have our idiosyncrasies so no one should judge another. I am sure your grandma had her reasons. Fear of the future being one of them after the ordeals she had been through in her life.

      • For the children or grandchildren of those that won’t use their “good stuff”, the takeaway is a valuable lesson for their future generations.
        Each one of my Mom’s children live in different states with me being the farthest living in Hawaii. The majority of my time when I visit her is strictly doing “Cinderella” type duties for her. My last visit, I tackled her makeup, toiletrie items and as my daughter and I call them, lotions and potions. You would not believe the amount of items that were brand new that were never opened. Most had “turned” or were way past their expiration date. 20 year old lipstick, anyone? I took her to the department store and personally bought her new “everything” in a quantity that she would use. To this day, she is still telling everyone how I threw all of her stuff out. During a visit a couple of years ago, I tackled her spice drawer. She seldom cooks. She had spices that dated back to my teen years…four decades ago. Paprika is supposed to be a chile red color, not brown, haha! Once again, I personally bought her fresh new spices and condiments, but only the ones that she would use. I just returned from a short holiday celebrating my nieces graduation, and she brought up how I threw out her spices again. It is sad but humorous at the same time. My sister and I just keep trying to do our best even with all of the road blocks.

  12. Wow, I love this! Getting on that bus/train in her pretty dress!!!! YES!!! Great and simple reminder and I adore the comments (as always).

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (a ‘fiver-smiley’, hee hee hee)

  13. I’ve installed a little “for free”-box on the street yesterday. Haven’t done this before, but I think, this will turn into one of my favorite decluttering strategies. You wouldn’t believe, how quick this box empties. I re-filled it twice yesterday, mainly stuff that I wouldn’t have been able to sell or donate – e.g. good literature in a “beach read” – condition etc.
    I hope people who have a use for them took them and not those who only clutter up their own place with bargains.

    • Sanna – I used this method with burned CDs at least 4 times. I had a huge collection of around 200 CDs from every branch of music style you could imagine, and you know, it is quality music, and I want someone else to have it, but I do not ask money for those.
      The last time I put the box on the pillar, I went 3 meters and turned around, when I saw a woman looking through the CDs, and then taking the whole box with her. that wasnt even 10 seconds and it was gone. best decluttering method ever.

      If they dont use the “freebies” at the corner, and turn my clutter into their clutter, well. yeah. sad. but its their life and their house and their clutter, and people can collect worse things than music…

      • Good for you Sanna, this is a method I have been using ever since we moved into this house five years ago. Our townhouse complex is on a reasonably busy road so I just put the stuff out on the street with a free sign on it. I only wish I could see the street from the house so I don’t have to walk up the driveway to satisfy my curiosity as to wether the stuff is gone yet.

        • I can’t see the street from the window as well, so I checked on each way from and back to the house. I still have some unnecessary file binders, which I think, I’ll declutter the same way.

      • Hi Lena,
        took me a while (and I am still struggling with it sometimes) but I agree with „its their life and their house and their clutter“. At least there is a chance that someone uses the stuff I gave away for free which is still more than trashing it right away of having it linger in the basement/attic or otherwise stored away. My only concern is that things I put out might get taken and tossed around the corner or get destroyed for fun just because they were free. But as I have not seen this happen with the stuff I put in a “free” box in my neighbourhood I’ll continue to do so and just hope that a reasonable percentage of it will get used instead of only stored somewhere else.

        • The things I put out are actually in a very good condition, you can see that someone (me) spent time, labelling, sorting and caring for those CDs. so I dont think anyone would consider that trash. Its like the open book case in the next shopping street. Its been working great, there are always people taking and giving things, and I have never seens books flying around. that only happens with furniture that doesnt get picked up by the bulk trash.

  14. When I got married I said no crystal, no china, no silverware. I knew I wouldn’t use them and I knew I didn’t want to maintain them. I knew I’d rather pick my own ‘feature’ items if I changed my mind later. Which I didn’t.

    So I still have no crystal, no china and no silverware and I don’t really mind as I’m quite happy with having only one 10 setting dinnerset (which I can buy replacement pieces for from THW), have glass wineglasses (who cares if it gets broken and they can go thru the dishewasher) and stainless steel serving ware (I hate cleaning silver). I know that might sound boring to some but I’m happy that way and its very low maintenance for me.

    • It doesn’t sound boring to me Moni it just makes a whole lot of sense. My silver tea set was one of the first things I decluttered (sorry Mum) simply because after twenty years I didn’t want to have to polish it again. And I wish I had told people not to give crystal for my wedding as I got a beautiful set for my 21st and then got three more sets of wine glasses for my wedding. I regifted one and two others have been donated to the thrift shop in recent years. Some towels and sheets would have been more useful.

  15. Yes, absolutely agree. As a kid, mother always ended up tossing out some of my Easter and Halloween candy because I’d saved it so long it was too gross to eat. Clearly it’s against my natural tendency, but I’ve been slowly weeding out the not-good stuff from my house (Really, if you’ve got “the good stuff” what are you saying about the rest of your stuff? Not-good? bad? Either way, I don’t really want to be stuck living with the not-good stuff) and using the good-stuff. So I’m eating my cheerios with a silver spoon and using the pretty-smelling soaps in my morning shower.

  16. Finally finished finals for the year! We have to clean our rental out, top to bottom (except one closet), so I’ve been “cluttering” the closet up and “decluttering” the rest of the house. The closet is going to be full from top to bottom with 3 people’s stuff, but the rest of the house looks amazing. There’s been some minor “real” decluttering along the way of garbage and recycling, but donation stuff just has to wait. When we start pulling things back out though, everything will need a place, or it will be GONE. This should be good.

    • That sounds like a smart system Amanda. And good for you doing such a good job or organising and cleaning. I am sure the decluttering will start soon enough.

    • This sounds great to me!

      My apartment seems to go through phases of extreme untidyness on my way of improving it. At the moment, it feels extremely cluttered – due to me painting furniture. As you have to wait for the paint to dry, this is a task which isn’t completed so quickly, so I kind of feel at the moment as if my apartment never looked worse – on the other hand I can only find few pieces to declutter. I’m already looking forward to cleaning and sorting everything thoroughly after it’s over – maybe I’ll realize then that it isn’t that bad after all. I do own considerably less than a month ago, so it should be fine, although it’s hard to tell at the moment.

      • yeah, Sanna, you really got a lot of stuff out, didnt you? I know the feeling, when you are on a project that requires rearrangement or a temporary mess…. but its great that you can look forward to the soon to come cleaning process. you will see, everything will be just perfect.

        Congrats on the finals, Amanda! I am in the last two weeks of my final thesis, and I am going crazy here. I havent cleaned the place in weeks and decluttering is happening once in a while, if the right set of mini missions is coming along 😉 I found out, that another girl is writing a PhD on the same subject than me. maybe she can use some of my material. I cant wait to get that huge amount of Paper out of here…

        • Hi Lena
          I’m dying to know, what is your thesis on?

          • the planning process of a new quarter in my city… I study urban sociology.

          • Hi Lena – urban sociology sounds very interesting. Do you have a career path in mind to use it?

          • right now I would love to JUST finish university. I hope to find a job after that in this field (municipalities, planning/process management, or even research), so I can earn some money in order to pay off my student loan and travel the world for some time… I am not really a career person, but more the “lets see what happens” kind of girl. if something more interesting comes along, I will so change my plans…

      • Hi Sanna – I have gone thru stages when I have felt the same (although no furniture painting) where I have made a big mess in pursuit of minimal living. 🙂 Hang in there, your furniture will be put back into position soon and you can put everything back and it will look great. Maybe schedule yourself some extra time and have another cull as you put things back, so it looks even better than before.

  17. I just found out from this commercial that I have been pronouncing the tea name incorrectly all my life!!! I thought it was twin-ing (like 2 kids) not twine – ing. !! I sometimes wonder what else I am mispronouncing as I read alot and many of the words have just been read and never said aloud by “regular’ people. I did learn that the people in my circle at home all said chaise lounge incorrectly when I heard it pronounced differently on a Book on Tape. After I researched it, we WERE wrong.Interesting

    • “albeit” was a word that I never heard before but read for years. I was never really sure about the meaning, because I never looked it up. and then one day, a friend of mine read an article out loud and said this word, while I glimpsed at the text. and the meaning became suddenly crystal clear. huge moment. 😉

      The family I lived with in Scotland is still calling their oven “oh-ven”, because of my (german) pronunciation of this word, back in the days.

      • Jessiejack and Lena, we all have a story or two about words we thought were pronounced one way and then found out how wrong we were. Better that we weren’t using it in company when the discovery came.

        Jessiejack my belief the chaise Lounge is pronounced Shayze please correct me if I am wrong.

        • its not the first part that is usually wrong, its the second. its actually called chaise LONGUE. not lounge. so you would actually say chaise “long” instead of “lounch” 😉 but I heard that lounge is acceptable in english speaking countries too.

  18. I am really enjoying this add at the moment. It gives me a good feeling because when I moved into my first own home (with mortgage), I decided to make the “good” stuff everyday stuff.

    One thing I did notice is that gifts I had been given for “good stuff” was no longer in fashion e.g. dinner settings and so although expensive it would be too outdated to put in front of special guests on special occasions… 8-S

    • And yet there are people out there Gail who would think that outdated stuff was fabulous especially if it is retro. i think sometimes it is safer to still with the classics that stand the test of time but perhaps that is a little boring.

  19. My husband’s mother was a hair dresser and got gifts from her clients. Scarves, lotions, jewelry, etc which she put in a drawer in her dresser and “saved for a special occassion. She died last July and still had lots of the “special” things in the drawer. Kept saying she was going to give them to my daughter but never took the time to do it.
    We had to dispose of most of her furniture after her death and she had two “crunchy” chairs. That’s what the kids called them because her upstairs neighbor had their bathtub overflow and the water came through the ceiling to my mother-in-law’s house and ruined the chairs. She lived with these chairs for approximately 10 years and never had them repaired. GoodWill would not take them so we put them on the curb by our house and they weren’t there 10 minutes when a man in a truck came by, asked it he could have them and off they went. My husband couldn’t believe they went so fast. But, they were excellent quality and all they needed were new cushions. I did not want them but was glad to see someone did. They were nice chairs originally even though not my style.

    • Your mother’s is a familiar story Maggie although I think the newer generations won’t be inclined to act this way. They tend to like the good stuff and don’t mind using it.
      Here’s hoping the man who took the “crunchy” chairs will return them to their former glory.

  20. Inspired to round up odds & ends of plastic & glass drinking glasses for thrift store. We rarely use the plastic ones, and grandchildren of an age (youngest now 8) I respect them and give them “breakable” glasses. (One of our daughters called toy dishes “breakable” or plastic–yes, the “breakable” ones were much more valuable in her mind.) Been enjoying “good” teddy bear throw (on arthritic knees) since giving son’s friend throw like one she had as child. Think that is last “good” thing I had been saving.