The Year of Living Minimally – Week Twenty-five


Just a bowl and a spoon. My dear friend Lynne once said it would be enough. I tend to agree, at times. I have eight basic white dinner plates, eight white salad plates, eight seven white bowls, eight white mugs. We never use the mugs, because we have at least a dozen other mugs.

Plus, I have six cobalt-blue dessert plates, four dessert plates trimmed with strawberries, two shallow bowls, two not-so-shallow bowls, assorted small bowls, six glass footed dessert bowls, four ramekin bakers, two teapots, and another small baking dish with a cover. This is what’s in one double cupboard in my kitchen.

Then there’s the other cupboard with all the mugs. And the cupboards on the bottom with all the pots and pans and the wok and the skillet and the small food processor and the colander and the strainers…..

And the china cabinet, with the service for twelve, the ‘good china’ that had belonged to my husband’s mother, a woman I never knew. Plates and small plates and cups and saucers and a gravy boat and platters and more. The Wedgwood set that my mother had treasured. And above, on shelves, there are Sandwich glass candle holders and a teapot from England and and Austrian glassware and a plate from Japan…..

I’m exhausted just typing it all. And what do we use? A mug for coffee. A plate or bowl for breakfast. Another plate or bowl for dinner and glasses for water or wine. 90% of the items I wrote about above are not used. If I run the dishwasher, it’s once a week at best.

So, it’s my mission to donate as much of these things as I can. Someone must need dishes.

Note: I do understand that, for some of you, your family heirlooms will be passed down to your children (even if they don’t want them!!). Our situation is different, and I’m more than willing to let certain items go. My husband might need a bit more encouragement.


15 thoughts on “The Year of Living Minimally – Week Twenty-five

  1. Me too, Martha! I’ve started using my ‘good’ china and glasses for everyday. I use my Waterford for bathroom glasses. Why not? They bring me pleasure and at some point, they’ll end up in the hands of someone who probably won’t even know me.

    I like your new ‘minimalist’ blog, too.

  2. When we moved to our house in Coventry, I never unpacked my wedding ‘China’, and I sold my wedding sterling silver. Funny how stuff so important to have becomes such a pain in the neck. So I feel like I’ve done some minimalizing. Why can’t I do this with my grocery shelves?!!

  3. Thank God I only have two sets of “good china” to contend with. But I have to say I was so ‘blessed” to see your cupboard with your collection of mugs you use. I have a complex because everything is so mix and match in my cupboards. I’m always comparing them to my sister’s. Matching everything! Sometimes I think what a stress that must be…

  4. I am lucky that my Mother and Father “downsized” when they moved from a 10 room house to an apt. I got to pick what had meaning to me. I took nothing more than a few pieces. I do feel sorry for my sister’s children…..she took everything!!!

  5. I guess I think differently, I enjoy my items still. And my children just wants me to keep things for now. They have let me know who wants want when the time comes, and so many items will go down the family. Do you have and nieces or nephews who might want some family items. You are still young, maybe enjoy some of these a few more years. Have dinner a few times on your husbands mother dishes. This will bring out stories you just might not have heard yet. ❤️😉

  6. Oh Martha
    I love your collection of beautiful dishes. My weakness, love pretty dishes and silverware. I can’t pass up a china shop or antique shop without buying a different piece . I pity my sons they will have no choice either inheriting my collection

  7. I’ve given away a lot of stuff. There are some things, though, that carry so much sentimental value that I am loathed to send them to Savers (Something like the Wedgwood above, which your mother “treasured”). Happily, one son has recently married, as did a nephew, and my single niece/God-daughter, thankfully, is sentimental. Some of these treasures are finding new homes.

    At Christmas our son and daughter-in-law gave us a treasured gift, a triptych of photos, in the center of the baby, and on either side, Mom and Dad with baby in arms. To make room for it on our buffet, something had to go. I chose Lusterware, inexpensive glassware from the Depression, but passed on to us from and on display in our home for many years. Four cordial glasses with an iris motif (which happens to be my favorite flower) that belonged to my mother-in-law, and a matching candy dish was once in my husband’s aunt’s home. I offered them to the next generation, first come, first served. My niece, who loves antiques and values cherished items that belonged to people two generations, leapt at it. They are boxed and ready for her. Third generation. I love it.

    Similarly, I had a beloved cut glass berry bowl set that was a wedding gift to my maternal grand-parents: May 24, 1909. Salvation Army would not do. How could I just dump that? I passed it on to David and Rhiannon and It now resides proudly on my son and daughter-in-law’s hutch. Fourth generation.

    But, oh, my, there is still so much! No photos here, but my cupboards are full.
    Good luck.
    You can do it.

  8. You have hit the biggest area of my ‘stuff’ dilemma. I am thinking of an early spring garage sale, then I will try to sell some ‘stuff’ on the web. I have some nice Depression era glassware and may contact the local club. It just takes so much time.

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