Tom took the five boxes of cleared out items back down to the charity salesroom yesterday morning before he went to work so they are finally all gone. I resisted taking items out so everything went and I'm going to get a few more boxes from the loft this week and try and get some more ready for next week. Anything not useful enough to keep, good enough to take to the charity salesroom or to recycle into another use will be taken to the dump. I'm hoping to keep the latter items down to the minimum. There is another category that I think everyone probably has which is "Too good to use!" You see them everyhere at car boot sales, charity shops and even jumble sales (remember them! sigh) . Those perfect little boxed items or pretty things that have quite clearly never been used. Pastry forks in little presentation boxes, cutlery sets, best linen table cloths and napkins or even sets of soaps and bath salts. Put away too good to use and in the end given away when the person dies to another person who thinks "too good to use". We talk about saving the worlds resources if everyone used everything they had put away for best we could probably avoid manufacturing another item for a year!
I have so many of these items and as I get older I keep thinking what on earth am I doing keeping these? I may as well use them. I have a beautiful little art deco sandwich plate wrapped in bubble wrap in a cupboard. I had thought to put it on a wall but have never really found a place for it. I decided I may as well give it to the charity salesroom next time but it seems silly to give it away becuase it is so perfect I don't want to chip it. I'm going to get it out and use it everyday for my lunch. It is so pretty I'm sure it will make me smile and isn't that what life is all about? If it gets chipped or broken too bad, at least it was used not kept in a cupboard. Several years ago I bought this pack of soaps at a jumble sale for 10p. I have no ides why I bought them just to put them away. Much as I would love one I haven't got a guest room with a guest en suite to put them in, so they just sit in a drawer with the box getting more and more damaged, the same as they have been for probably fifty years. I doubt Tom and youngest son would be grateful if suddenly dainty little lavender soaps appeared in the bathroom so I may as well just hang on to them for now, at least they make my dressing table drawer smell nice. William Morris, the well known 19th century British arts and crafts designer, famously said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Well why shouldn't it be both. I'm going to try and think like this more and more!