If you are in the U.S. and getting ready to hold Thanksgiving dinner or you’re planning to host any upcoming holiday dinners, at some point you may inventory the condition and number of serving bowls, plates, and utensils you have. Do you use all of them?
If you no longer host big dinners, do you need these types of serving items or do you know a friend or family member who could make better use of them?
If this task doesn’t apply to you – Look through your plates, cups, and mugs to see if you are holding onto extra pieces that you just won’t use.
Do you have a collection of mismatched paper plates and napkins from different parties? You may feel that you should hold onto them for the next birthday party or Christmas party, but, chances are that you’ll buy new partyware since you won’t have enough pieces. Someday, you think, you’ll have enough mismatched Halloween plates, cups, and napkins to accommodate your guests’ needs.
But, over time, the paper yellows and you’ll end up tossing the items.
So, have an eclectic party with the seven mismatched birthday party plates, the three Halloween plates, the four Christmas plates, and the generic red, blue, and yellow plates from different events. Bring out the random party napkins and cups.
When someone laughs about the Hanukkah design on the cup they are using at a summer cookout, talk about your efforts decluttering and encourage others to join you for A Year of Decluttering.
Did you borrow a book or a tool or a baking pan from a friend, coworker, or family member? Return the item to them with thanks. If they don’t expect it back, ask them if they’d like you to place it in your “to be donated” box.
If this doesn’t apply to you: Think twice about making a purchase that would bring a potentially unnecessary item into your home.
At one point did you notice that you were missing several forks, spoons, or knives, so you went out and purchased a new set or some replacement pieces? Maybe you still have the mismatched set from your first apartment.
Because these items are so useful, you may have never bothered to weed through your flatware. However, if the flatware organizer in your kitchen drawer is overflowing with forks after you empty the dishwasher, it may be time to pick out the excess.
Like with plates, consider how many people are in your home, how often you entertain, and how often you wash the dishes and flatware to figure out what you need to keep on hand.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.