Archive for July, 2009

China dishes

July 28, 2009


China Cups

China Cups

China, China Everywhere!
I often find that people have beautiful china collections that they rarely use.  If you have a set of China from a dear aunt or from your grandmother, use it!  Here are some ideas.

Keep one piece on display
It’s a shame to keep those beautiful colours and patterns stored in a drawer.  Select a safe place, like a mantle, and take daily pleasure in your heirloom.

Consider buying a bit of hardware to better support your dish.  A trip to the hardware store or a frame shop will leave you with endless options about how to best display your dish.

Sell at a consignment store.
If you don’t feel like you’ll ever use your china, why not sell it?  Use the money to buy a set of dishes that you normally couldn’t afford.  At least someone will take pleasure in your set, and you will create some ‘breathing space’ in your home.

Use it daily
Most people worry about breaking china so they don’t use their sets very often.  Although this may seem like a good idea in theory, it’s a bit crazy when you break it down.  Why do we own things that we rarely use?  Celebrate your china and get connected with the relatives that gave you the dishes by incorporating your heirlooms into your routine.  I’m sure your relatives will look on fondly from above perhaps wishing they had done the same.


Kitchen from the past

July 8, 2009


kitchen stove

kitchen stove


It’s rad to see appliances from the 50s that are still in great shape.  I had to take a photo of this oven to illustrate that craftsmanship and care make a difference.  I love the glass doors and the side-by-side ovens.  I bet this cost a pretty penny back in the day!

“Coffee” Before and After

July 8, 2009
Ahhhh….a great cup of coffee.  Lovely to look at and lovely to sip! Especially when my lovely husband prepares one for me.


Oh.  NO!  My elbow hit the cup and I almost ruined my laptop and Blackberry.  Great.  Looks like I’m going to have to create a bit more “breathing space” on my desk.  My current solution:  clear off any papers and put the cup as far away as possible from the laptop.



Collecting dolphin figurines

July 6, 2009

An Ex-Collector Comes Clean

I once loved collecting anything that had to do with dolphins. My house was full of figurines, posters, spoons, pens or T-shirts that were all adorned with dolphins. My friends and family always knew what to get me for my birthday, and my love for dolphins played out every time I reached for something to wear or glanced at my wall!

Hitting the Wall
But then a weird thing happened: I realized that my love for dolphins wasn’t tied to a bunch of stuff that I didn’t really use.  I’d graduated to a level where I could appreciate the little critters without accumulating clutter (I am a professional organizer, after all).

Dolphin Intervention
But while I was over my addiction to dolphins, my family and friends weren’t.  The dolphin gifts kept pouring in and my shelves kept filling up. I realized that I’d have to inform my loved ones that I’d ended my collection phase – and that I’d “left the pod” behind me.  The problem was that I felt bad telling my friends not to give me gifts.

Taking Charge of the Process
In the end I didn’t have to worry. I approached my family and friends and told them that I really wasn’t interested in collecting “themed” items anymore.  I informed them that I really just wanted to spend time with them, instead of receiving gifts.  The news went over well and now I have more quality time with the people that I love – and I have less clutter.  A win-win situation!

The Moral
It’s OK to stop collecting things even if your identity is wrapped up in your memorabilia.  Your family and friends aren’t going to think you’re a weirdo because you’ve outgrown a collection – they’ll probably like spending more time with you in lieu of gifts – or shopping for a different, unique gift for you.  Most of all, you’ll be thankful for more breathing space.