The Great Declutter: My Kryptonite

With all the clothes tossing and paper shredding I was feeling pretty good. I have a lot of momentum for this life project right now and I have the ‘new eyes’ of a minimalist convert and hopeful. So it felt pretty bad to realize I have some things that I can’t emotionally part with right now.



Entertaining items are my kryptonite.

Yes, that is my thrice used china. And the wine glasses I only let certain friends use. And my cheese dome. I love cheese. I love having people over. I love those little pottery barn appetizer plates.

Maybe in a year I won’t love them. Maybe in a year I’ll be okay with using our standard side plates and the cheap Ikea wine glasses if friends come over for a bottle of wine and bruschetta. I’m open to the possibility.

For now they stay. Some of the crystal is family stuff and I need to check with siblings to see who wants it. Love that decanter but we just aren’t a Scotch drinking family. I did shed a bankers box worth of stuff including a few never used platters that didn’t fit in this cabinet. A half dozen vases and a serving/presentation tcotchke thing. If we don’t drink the Limoncello I packed back from Sorrento within the year I will be passing it on to a friend along with the other alcohol. We drink mostly wine, Chris has the occasional vodka cocktail (vodka kept in freezer) and for fun occasions we bust out a bottle of Baileys and espresso. The Sambuca and Alize are party cast-offs we should have given to someone else.

Anyone want the booze?

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  • I stopped with the “only certain people/only certain occasions” nonsense and got rid of the “lesser” stuff. I want everything I use every day to be fantastic. Less clutter AND my table is always fab.

    When we lived in Dallas, and close to my mom and sister, the three of us bought a few cases of *cheap* wine glasses and whoever was having a party would pull those out and use them instead of the nice/daily stuff. Way better than plastic.

  • Okay, I am now giving away the cheap wine glasses. You’re right, Emily, we deserve to use the good stuff. So do my friends. If we break them, we break them. It’s just stuff.
    Thanks =)

  • I am with you on the glassware- cheap glass wear is for the faint of heart! As to the whiskey decanter~ *hand raised* I would be happy to take it off your hands:)

  • When I saw your “before” photo, I was impressed with how organized it was and my only surprise was that it said “before” above the photo and not “after”… so definitely don’t feel bad for not getting rid of as much as you wanted! I’m with everyone above… keep the good stuff and stuff you love, purge the cheap stuff and live it up every day!

    I need to do this but am scared to start because of the mess that ensues during the process. When we last moved we gave away more than half of our stuff and still had more than we needed. That was two years ago, and again I feel like we are overflowing with stuff. How does it accumulate so quickly? Part of it, I think is living so close to the stores and needing an outing with the baby. I have a tendency to pick things up that were not on my list because they are a good price or whatever. My new thing is keeping the item with tags on it (and receipt) in the bag for a week. If I don’t “need” it during that time, then I return it and get my money back. This is starting to drive me a little nuts and be overly time consuming, so I am thinking that window shopping or not shopping at all (or sticking to my list) might be a lot more efficient.

    You have inspired me, I think next week I’ll endeavor to start the purge, and after that will work on my outings schedule of non-shopping activities to avoid accumulating more stuff.

    • Any chance you want to be the subject of a few posts here on my blog? I would be happy to come over a few afternoons and help you sort. I am finding it easiest to just do small bits at a time. Yes, it means more trips to the Salvation Army and lots of posts on Craigslist. But it seems more manageable.

  • I know I’m only just discovering your blog, but I wanted to tell you that ITA w/ Emily. Even if you don’t use the good stuff for EVERY meal, make certain meals always family meals (for us this is easy, as we are observant Jews, so each Sabbath every week we have meals together as a family and we use the good stuff). It will bring you pleasure and rid you of the guilt you feel for keeping it :)

  • I know people say “make everyday special and use the good stuff,” which sounds great, but my “good stuff” is not dishwasher safe, and that is not special. I have used my fine china ONCE and wish I had never put it on my registry, but now feels unappreciative to get rid of it. Besides, how do I get rid of it? Sending it, would be a packing nightmare, so I guess local on Craigslist? Don’t know what I’m afraid of, maybe one of my daughters marrying royalty and coming for dinner once a week?

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