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49 Comments

  1. Love your orginazition tips, can you please tell me what is the looks to be acrylic sheet on top of your wire shelving a d where did you get it.
    Thank you so much . LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!
    Nanci

    1. Thank you so much, Nanci!! The shelves are like a plexiglass glass. Can’t remember exactly, but I just went to home depot and got the heavy plastic (or acrylic?) and had them cut to size.

  2. Linda C Johnston says:

    Regarding number 4. I would like to make a suggestion. I have a hard time parting with really sentimental things. I will give away something valuable if I am not using it, but just try to get something that was my Mom’s! Enter DIY. Take the odd saucers, etc. Gently smash them in a plastic bag. Use to make a ceramic serving tray. Unfinished trays available at craft stores if you can’t or don’t want to make your own. Maybe you have one on hand. Then use the five cups and saucers for serving a few friends or, better, use them yourself for that evening tea! Instructions on You Tube, Pinterest, etc. Hope this gives you an option.

      1. Lory I was also going to recommend that you keep 4 cups and saucers to use for a small gathering. Take a cup and saucer and glue together and make a candle in it for your bedroom or bath. The larger plates can be used under plants or hung on a wall.

  3. Michele M. says:

    OK. I have been buying and selling teacups and tea party accoutrements for over 20 years.

    About that set: keep 4 cups, 4 saucers and the two dessert plates. Donate the extras.

    Keep it to either have on hand for a few friends for an easy tea or coffee visit – the two dessert plates put doilies on and serve up tiny brownie bites, macarons, etc. Use napkins instead of using additional plates for said gathering.

    OR keep the perfect set of 4 and 2 dessert plates to sell off Craigslist or ebay.

    Great hints on organizing. What I need is to let go of my excess 5 bajillion tea cups, haha. : – )

    Happy New Year, happy organizing!!

    1. I love your suggestions! But I also love mixing single teacups, so I’d never get rid of those. Well, I’d only keep the ones I really love. 🙂

      1. Kathy Menold says:

        I have been doing the usual Jan cleaning and trying to eliminate items I may love but never use. I am a seasoned thrifter but need to realized just because something is a great find,it may not have the right place in my home and I need to leave it for someone else. The same with items I have but don’t use. Donate or give to friends or family who can use it.. My January mantra!!

        1. I may have to repeat that one myself! I’m really good at tossing what I don’t love… but what I love but don’t need… not so much… 🤦‍♀️

    2. I am completely with you when it comes to getting rid of things to which I have a sentimental attachment! My problem? I have a sentimental attachment to almost everything!! Lol! I may not remember what I had for breakfast, but I remember the exact circumstances around every item in my home….even the ones put away in the attic and the shed! It seems that as soon as I get rid of something, it isn’t long before I’m needing that very thing! You are so creative, I’m sure you can find a wonderful use for that precious dessert set of your mother’s. Also, you can look at Replacements’s.com to see if they have the extra pieces you need to complete the set. Those dishes are just too sweet not to keep!

      1. It’s so wonderful to have an emotional connection to everything in your home! That’s exactly as it should be, so you are very lucky… 🙂 That’s not a problem at all.

        I think it’s important to make a distinction between things you think you should have an attachment to and things you actually do feel something for. Not everything from my parents’ home fits into the latter category, while others I went crazy filling in the sets until they were complete and in tact. For the dessert set I wound up keeping a few of the teacups and the creamer. I preferred a smaller set than completing the full set, as I have no memory of my mother using it – not even once.

  4. Carol Wagner says:

    Keeping things with a sentimental value happens to the best of us. My older daughter is really good at getting rid of clutter so when we pared down my china hutch she had me keep only a tea cup and saucer for sets that I don’t use but came from my mother, grandmother and in-laws homes. I can look fondly at them as a remembrance of them.

  5. Have you thought of keeping two of each of the dessert set for when it is just you and a friend or you and your spouse?

    1. I actually haven’t made a decision at all about the set. My first inclination was to try to find fill in pieces on ebay. Ultimately, I have to decide if it in fact has enough sentimental value and if I love it enough. If so, then maybe your suggestion could work. We do have a bistro set for the back deck, so a set for two could work. Thanks!!

  6. Thank you for such wonderful tips. I am sure to use a few of these. There was one comment that rubbed me wrong. The land fill suggestion. PLEASE donate or give usable things away you do not want anymore – dont throw things away!!! Our poor mother Earth has way too much in land fills. Thanks for letting me sound off!

    1. Thanks for your input. It was really meant to be a manner of speech, not an actual suggestion, although I will say, there are many things that are impossible to get rid of. I just went through this when cleaning out my parents’ house and you would be quite surprised how difficult and expensive it is to get rid of things. (For instance, have you ever tried to get rid of a piano? You can donate it, but it will cost you a fortune to transport it.) That said, my point in writing the post was to suggest getting rid of things from your own house. I could do a whole other post about how to get rid of things, once I figure out how… 😉

  7. one of the best decluttering posts I’ve ever read.

  8. Great decluttering advice. I subscribe to pretty much all 5 of them. With regard to the dishware, I would keep 1 cup and saucer set and donate or sell the rest. Cup/saucer sets can always be mixed with other single sets and in fact are much more charming that way. Any sentimental value would be evoked by those 2 pieces just as it would by the entire stack of odd numbered dishware that provides little functionality.

    1. I agree with that and mixing and matching is something I do often. You might enjoy some of these tablescapes:
      https://designthusiasm.com/soft-vintage-thanksgiving-table/
      https://designthusiasm.com/set-beautiful-table-vintage-china/
      https://designthusiasm.com/winter-floral-for-afternoon-tea/
      https://designthusiasm.com/vintage-brunch/

      In this case, the cup and saucer are a bit larger than what I usually collect, so not sure how they’d look mixed in. I haven’t decided yet what to do with this set, but before I get rid of anything, my first course of qction is trying to find the fill in pieces on ebay… 🙂

      1. That’s what I did with my mother’s wedding dishes (1951). She had service for 6 on most of the pieces, but missing a couple of plates, so I managed to find them on eBay or Etsy (I can’t remember). So instead of having only service for 4 (with several extra pieces), I now have service for 6 on everything (with a couple extra pieces). I did run one of the extra saucers through the dishwasher to see how it managed (note on bottom says they are hand-painted)–I know I’m more likely to use them if I don’t have to hand wash them. I figured the painting would come off, but wanted to be sure. It came out perfectly, so now I feel comfortable using them more often.

        1. I feel the same!! I always put my china in the dishwasher! I suppose it may not last as long but at least we’ll enjoy it… 🙂

  9. These are good, practical tips! You could use your odd numbered dishes for…. taking pretty food blog pictures! : )

  10. Diane Smith says:

    For your dessert set: replacements.com
    I have filled in some pieces here & there, and they’re great to work with!

  11. Barbara C. says:

    Your decluttering and organization tips are the best!

  12. I’d like your opinion on this, if you don’t mind: I have a Cusinart food processor that I’ve had almost 40 years. It still works beautifully, but the bowl is cracked and leaks. They don’t make a replacement anymore and I can’t find one used.

    Do I pitch it or save it and put up with the leaks?

    1. Oooh, that depends on how much you rely on it. I would probably get a new one and see if you like it as much. It’s funny how we sometimes struggle with things that are broken. However, if you love it and think a new model would not work as well as the one you depend on, that’s a different story. Then I would probably struggle for as long as you can get away with it… 🙂

  13. The dessert set is very pretty and has sentimental value, but I know it bothers me not to have complete sets. I have completed sets through a website called replacements.com. Some of their items are pricey, but sometimes worth it. If they don’t have the items you are looking for they will search for you as well.

    1. Yes, I too have completed other sets, and I’ve found pieces of this one online (I did look), but I don’t really love it enough to buy the compete set. We’ll see… 😉

  14. I greatly appreciate the part of your article that talks about assessing items in an objective manner and not letting sentiment get the best of you. There are a lot of times I look at my kitchen and think about the random plates and cups that my aunts send me as gifts. I’ve never actually gotten to use them for any occasion or event, and they’re just taking up space there, so I’ll think of what to do with them while getting a decluttering service to help me with the rest of my belongings in my other rooms.

    1. I so understand what you mean! You can take photos of them to have a memory of what they gave you. Then donate to someone who would really appreciate them… 🙂

      1. I’m super curious about the dozen plastic pens in that cute marmalade jar. IMO it spoils the look of the tabletop decor and is contrary to the “keep realistic quantities” tip.

        1. I understand what you’re saying, but perhaps some context would help. The pens come in a box of 12, so it would be hard to have fewer. The image is of my desk, so a container of pens makes sense there. They are my favorite pens to write with so I prefer only those pens, as compared to the overstuffed pen holder my hubby has on his desk with every free pen from a bank he’s ever been to. It simply looks neater to have multiples of all the same item (within reason – not hundreds of plastic bags) than to have 30 different logo-emblazoned pens jammed into a pen holder.

  15. Janet Lampman says:

    Great post. Did not see a source for the clear box with circle insert that was in your photo. Can you provide where you purchased it? Thanks.

  16. Love your article. A few people have donated china to me to use in my business that they no longer use. I am so grateful for these acts of kindness from strangers.

  17. I use Replacements, LTD, to fill in missing dish/silverware pieces. They usually have whatever I’m looking for, and if not, they put you on a list to notify when one is available. Maybe recreate at least a four-place setting for a girls’ afternoon. I’ve even found replacement pieces in antique stores. Love your ideas. I save all your emails for future references.

    1. Yes, I love Replacements! Unfortunately they don’t work with the company I use to put products in a post, but I do buy from them myself… 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words!!

  18. I enjoyed your post. Now if I could only cut some of the cabinet storage shelves in half. Too deep and some are too tall.

    1. Ah, I hear you!! At 5’1″ tall, I am limited to storage that’s easy to reach… 😉 I do keep step stools in the rooms that I use often, like the kitchen and bedroom. Just one of those tiny stools that’s easily tucked into the pantry or linen closet and can be pulled out in a second.

  19. Someone would have to eventually pry that pink tea set from my cold dead hands!
    Keep. Forever.

    So lovely they make me swoon. <3

  20. Fabulous tips Lory! I always learn something new from you! 🙂 I’m so going to go put my poastic bags into a tissue box right now! Thanks for making your tips so beautiful too!

  21. I’m enthused about implementing your organization tips for the new year. Have you any ideas for a crafter (me) .
    What paper, project ideas and supplies to keep/toss? I make custom greeting cards and teach classes. My stash is overwhelming!
    Thank you. [email protected]

    1. So glad the post resonated with you! How fun that you are a crafter and there are wonderful organizers made specifically for crafters. Only you can decide what to keep and what to toss, but I would say be realistic about what you might use and how much of each thing you need to keep, toss anything you don’t love (for instance if you use fabric scraps, only keep patterns that speak to you) and then the rest is all about storage. Supplies can go in pull out bins, paper can go in standing dividers like one might use for platters or plates. Everything should be visible and easy to get to. Enjoy!!