Friday, October 19, 2012

Sets are Not Always the Best

Overflowing in Cups and Saucers

Another little big thing that I am changing is the mentality that I have to keep something just because it is part of a set.

I remember the first time I encountered the notion that sets are not always the best

This was many years ago, but it is still relevant. 

I ran into the mother of one of the French families living here and she was planning a summer party in their new home-away-from-home.  She was dismayed to find that in the U.S. dishes were only sold at sets. 

Today this is not true but it was back then.  Martine told me that in France we buy plates!  not sets!  What do you do with all of the extra cups and saucers you don't need? 

How smart, I thought!  Things don't have to match. The French buy only what they need and keep only what they use.   Yes, I would rather have 16 dinner plates than a 16 pc. set of dishes with cups and saucers I would never use.  (We are mug people.)

So, as I put our kitchen back together I am forcing myself to:

The Pot We Never Use

1) giveaway pieces from a set which I rarely, if ever, use.  In particular, pots and pans.  Do I really need to keep that extra saucepan which is the wrong size?  How many times have I used it in the last year(s)?

Grandma's Plates -- Just a few, then packing away the rest
2) pack away the dishes which I am still attached to, but keep a few out --- like soup bowls or salad plates --- to layer on top of my white plates.  This way I can use a few of my grandmother's dishes to feel connected to my past without them taking up all of my storage space. 

Shop for New, Worn Out Items
3) replace the really sad looking things, worn out from wear and tear.  So far, I have a new salad spinner and have replaced the rusty cheese grater.  Next, I am looking for a new hand blender.

As I put everything back I am creating a giveaway pile, then "living" with the feeling of an item being gone.  If I regret it, I go back and fetch it, but I have been fine with letting most of them go.

Lobster platter is moving to my sister-in-law's in New Hampshire where she serves lobster and collects Jan Pugh ceramics

In some cases, if I just take a photo of it.  I don't need to keep something I don't use just because a dear friend gave it to me.  A photo to remember it is enough to help me let go of it. 

Bye-bye cups and saucers.


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