Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Worry Wednesday - Deconstructing Your Dinnerware

Simplicity is a proven clutter reducer.
By having basic everyday items your cabinets and closets will LOOK
organized even when they are not

De-Constructing Your Dinnerware

While we aren't going to tackle the kitchen all at once, we are going to start the process. Just like with the towels in the linen closet, which eventually leads to the sheets, etc, starting with your daily dinnerware will eventually lead to the other cabinets in your kitchen.

Today's Assignment is to focus on your dinnerware only.
 Is it mis-matched? Is it 5 of one pattern and 5 of another? Is it plastic mixed with stoneware? Your goal here is to, as before, get rid of every single piece that is chipped, cracked, dingy. If it leaves you with one plate and one matching cup - then at least you have a starting point. Make a note of what you need to replace on your notepad.(Walmart and Target have complete dinnerware sets for under $30.)

TIP: If you have all your grandma's china in the attic - use it -she did! If it's too delicate for daily use, at least try to display it or pass it on to another family member.

By having matching dishes, you are streamlining 1) your kitchen cabinets 2) your dining room table 3) the overall appearance - which makes the clutter disappear. I recommend the all white route, or solid colors because you can mix and match brands. Patterns take away from the "solid" clean look we are working towards. Solid white, black, solid red - just solid!

I KNOW you have at least 1 plastic cup from QT you love in your cabinet. Let's move that out too. Glassware is VERY inexpensive. Buy heavy glass - it will stand up longer. Same with silverware. Walmart sells a simple pattern for 5 forks for $1 - and they last (I use them in my catering.)

Whatever you chose, just streamline everything. No more mixing and matching. It won't take very long to go though your cabinet, pull the odd ones out and make a note of your pad of what to replace. Pack everything you pull out and add it to you pail of towels, books and CDs for donating!

EXTRA CREDIT: Do the same with your bake ware and cookware. You don't need 12 cookie sheets or 6 iron skillets.

MY STORY: In my kitchen, I have two sets of daily dinnerware. They are the same pattern only one set is plain white and one is has an added design (see below).

I keep the patterned set in my china cabinet and use as back up and for special occasions instead of my inherited china (which is irreplaceable, but it IS displayed for me to enjoy). By having the two sets coordinate, I can supplement them with each other. The set also is matches with my all-white baking dishes. Everything in my kitchen is either white or clear glass. It wasn't always this way and I have spent years weeding things out, but it's close to perfect now.

EXTRA POINTS - SOMETHING SIMPLE! Tired of "purging" yet? Here's a quick fix. Your kitchen counters should be clear of anything you don't use daily. The food processor, the can opener and the staples canisters should be hidden. Even if you have high-dollar fancy small appliances that all match, they still need to be hidden (all together, nice and neat of course.) Keeping the counter clear is a SHOW that you are "clutter-free" even if your cabinets are not! This goes double for the top of your fridge! Nothing should go up there.

My kitchen.... I leave out only the toaster and coffee maker, which we use every morning. Everything else goes out of sight! of clutter! Except for the homegrown tomatoes ready to made into salsa!

TIP: Pick one cabinet or pantry shelf for ALL your small appliances. Don't put them too high and put the ones you use the most in the front. If you need to, the linen closet may be your best bet.

Next Wednesday - MISSION 9 - Your Home Office


Wednesdays in the Simple Life Series are for YOUR CLUTTER (and yes, it multiplies in my home too). I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own home to clear out my clutter. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together.

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