Day 94: The False Security of Categories

9,400 things gone, only 600 to go

I can see why I avoided the china question for so long. It’s easy not to question an item when fits a recognizable category.

You’ll remember early on in the project that I often struggled to recognize things in my own home. There were plastic bits, toy parts, pieces of string, broken chalk, silly putty, nuts and bolts, silly bands and odd-shaped batteries I’d never seen before. I found plastic pieces from the car, McDonald’s toys, bike tires, furniture parts, spiders and fries. Gross!

But when something fits a category like fine china, it pretty much sorts itself. Who cares if there are 80+ plates that I don’t use?

It’s all china and it belongs in the china cupboard, right?

Yikes! That’s the kind of thinking that got me into this mess in the first place. So with all your comments and suggestion I garnered the strength to set aside the 16 pieces I actually want and need.

I’ve listed the other 131 pieces for sale. Gulp! Thanks for holding my hand through this. I’m delighted to have these useful pieces in my rotation.

It’s easy to fall into the keep it because I already have a place for it trap.

It can happen to anyone, even Squirrel.

Ski Base Layers

Ski Socks

It looks like I’ll have my work cut out for me in tomorrow’s inventory. For those of you who are waiting for it, here’s the rest of my kitchen inventory.

kitchen inventory

Better get yourself a coffee.

What I tossed (listed for sale) today: 131 pieces of china

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22 thoughts on “Day 94: The False Security of Categories

  1. I really like the ones you saved. The pattern is very pretty. And with just a few pieces arranged like that, you can see the colors and shapes more easily. Compare the lower photo to the upper: it truly does look like the bottom dishes are cherished and the upper ones are just a giant tower of crockery.

  2. You know, I was thinking, why do we have fine china? Then it came to me…Back in the day (eons & eons ago), that was the norm. “We” broke out the china when company came…what? Aren’t we special enough? Aren’t we good enough or worthy enough or “FINE” enough to warrant the use of the fine china dishware. We should use the fine china. That’s what it is intended for. “We” or our perception of how things ought to be is messed up, don’t you think? Back in the day that is what the family had was 1 set of dishes…? We are worth it…we are good enough…Use what you have for the purpose it is intended for. You know, it doesn’t need to be the whole set b/c we OCD people know that would be a panic attack waiting to happen but maybe bring out the fancy crystal glasses. Show the boys how fun it is to make the glasses sing at different tones with differeing levels of water in the glasses (but they must be aware & be respect ful the ‘breaking point’). Next time bring out the fancy bowls for that wonderful homemade stew (like Grandma used to make). Have fun! Take some pics for your family dinner party! Let the boys don some of Dad’s ‘giveaway’ ties in whichever fashion style they chose & you in your ‘best’ have have yourselves a family dinner party as it should be. Why wait? Can hear the laughter already…:0)

  3. Nicely done!

    I totally agree with the comment about the second picture being much more appealing.

    Also, I realized that my mom has a couple of pieces in one of you patterns. And that’s not a “oh, my moooom likes that” comment, I think my mom has great taste.

    Outdoor wear is a tough one for me, I have a fair bit of it and am loathe to let go because it was expensive and will get worn eventually (I know, typical excuses). And when I winter camp, it all gets worn at the same time! That said, I don’t have that much (e.g. two long sleeved base layers), and I think I can still “release” some of what I have. And in the meantime, I’m going to stop being timid about wearing out my clothes.

    I just inventoried my closet and one of the biggest things that I learned is that I seem scared to wear out my clothes – fear of never replacing them? Since counting, I realize that I have plenty of clothes, need not fear my better items, and have since started dressing much more nicely!

    Hope you have a nice weekend!

    • I’m scared of wearing out my clothes too! It even takes me awhile to wear something I just bought. It has to be the right occasion! My Mom tells me I kept the tag on a slip when I was a little girl. I wouldn’t let her take it off because I wanted it to still be new. I’ve started wearing things out of the store to eliminate the “I can’t wear it because it’s new” anxiety. And I’ve greatly pared down my wardrobe to keep me from wearing the second and third line items. I’m a work in progress, I guess. Thanks for the inspiration.

      • I leave tags on too. Whenever I buy something and my husband is with me, he asks “are you going to wear it right now?” I thought he was nuts the first time he asked that, now I’m starting to come around (though I have yet to say “yes”).

        And oh yes, the second and third line items, that I wear first because I’m scared of my nice clothes. Weird how we do these things without thinking.

        Thank you for the inspiration too!

  4. When I read you’d put up for sale all the china you didn’t want I felt so relieved. I am so impressed you summoned up the courage to let go of your china. I won’t say disposed or tossed as that implies it was rubbish, which it wasn’t, you have simply let it go, which I think is much harder to do than simply sticking something in the charity bag.
    I hope you sell it for a good price and you can take some comfort from knowing someone else will enoy those pieces and you can enjoy the money you get from selling it. Win Win all round I say.
    Sometimes it’s really hard to let go of things we know deep down we don’t need or love but somehow we struggle to get rid of it, it feels like having an arm chopped off (which would make carrying all that china REALLY difficult!). I suppose it’s difficult to let go because we have to admit to ourselves that we made a mistake in buying it and keeping it and so it takes a lot of courage to face up to ourselves.
    Wow I feel emotionally drained just THINKING about this. Thank you, this is like therapy! You should charge by the hour!!
    Maybe now I can get rid of the melon baller I have never used but have a strange reluctance to get rid of – odd but true.
    p.s. I’ve discovered pack-a-rats secret cardboard box collection – in the garage. It’s mine for the taking ladies……………………………..
    p.p.s. WHY does squirrel have FIVE ski socks?

    • You know, I thought, I can’t let it go because it belongs together. I sent the list of “let-gos” to replacements.com and feel great about it. If they take it – someone who is looking for my patterns will be able to complete their set. I really wanted to cherish a few pieces – not dust a whole set.
      If you let your melon baller go – I’ll let go of my vegetable julienne tool. Just give me the word. : )
      Squirrel actually has 5 pairs of ski socks. I let at least 5 more go at the beginning of the project. I am going to use your sticky note trick with his socks and base layers. If he removes the sticky note and uses them this season, they’re keepers! If not, sorry snowy Squirrel, you just don’t need them…

  5. That’s terrific that you were able to go through and declutter your china. It definitely can be a huge task – particularly because of the feelings of sentiment and traditional obligation that has to be worked through first before decluttering them.

    It will certainly be worth all of your efforts when you see how nice your remaining, chosen china is displayed in your home. Great job. Looking forward to hearing about your future, decluttering successes.

    • Thanks Jennifer. I inherited both sets of china and part of the dilemma was feeling like I had to be the keeper of the china for the family. A quick e-mail settled that. I’m really excited to get updates from your blog. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of decluttering experience.

      • Thanks. Yes, I have done a lot of decluttering. What I can say, without hesitation, is that it was well worth all of the work and effort. The time investment in decluttering was really inconsequential in comparison to the benefits that we received from it. It really has improved our life tremendously.

        The decluttering that you are doing is terrific. It is definitely interesting to see your progress. I am particularly excited to hear your thoughts and reflections on your overall decluttering experience after your goal is completed as well. Anyway, keep on going….we’re all rooting for you!

  6. Woo Hoo on decluttering the china! I’ve never had china, so I’ve never been faced with that particular decluttering decision. I can see where it would be a challenge though.

    I had to chuckle about your “squirrel” and his collection.

    My husband is a “squirrel” too. Today he decluttered a car–a whole car–but he brought home two old bicycles and a glass pie plate. Don’t ask. šŸ˜‰

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