Use the good stuff

Use the good stuff. Atop a gold leaf-patterned table runner sits a bowl of mandarins, a floral teapot and two floral teacups filled with brown tea

Do you use the good stuff? Or do you have things in your cupboard for special occasions?

Do you have:

  • Wedding gifts still in the box?
  • Candles that are too pretty to burn?
  • Nice pens you don’t want to waste?
  • Silk pyjamas that you save for hospital and holidays?
  • Expensive wine you can’t justify for a weeknight?
  • A nice foodie hamper from your old job six months ago?
  • Decadent skincare in fancy packaging?
  • Nice matching underwear you save for date night?
  • A Dry Clean Only cardigan with the tags still attached?
  • Pristine shoes to wear to functions only?
  • Gold-plated Champagne flutes that can’t go in the dishwasher?
  • A nostalgic vintage beach towel that has retro chic but it’s packed away somewhere?
  • Posh sugar bowls that you would never use?

It would be nice to use that fancy crockery set when I have a dinner party Saturday, but it is in a high cupboard packed in tissue paper. It is difficult to get at, and probably dusty, so maybe I’ll just get out the trusty Ikea kit as usual…

I have seen lovely dinnerware pass through generations without use. I have hoarded beautiful clothes only to outgrow the size or style. I have seen clients who have hundreds of beautiful soft T shirts and they still wear the nasty ones as pyjamas. Growing up we had the good room with nice furniture that we never sat on. (my cat did though, she gleefully sharpened her claws on the side of it) We also had soap in the shape of roses which sat in a bowl in mum’s ensuite.

Studies show that the longer we put off using something new that we love – deeming it too special – the less likely it is to ever be used. The phenomenon is called a ‘Specialness Spiral’.

We need to break the cycle. Use it or lose it. Preferably the former. Life is too short. 

Use the good stuff

If you have gorgeous kitchenware, dust it off and use it. Drinks taste nicer out of good glasses. You can save up your fancy vessels for guests but the queen of England ain’t coming to visit any time soon.  Chances are, you won’t entertain in a lavish way as often as you think you will. Even if you do, serving ware that is way out of reach is just another hurdle.

Burn that candle. I know it was a gift, and it looks nice, and you have a Zoom meeting in the study soon so can’t sit in the kitchen and constantly inhale it. But guess what – you will appreciate it more if it’s not a constant aroma. Just light it and enjoy it while you can. And when it is a stumpy mess expired of scent, pop it in the bin. I promise you won’t regret using it.

Recently I put good quality tea lights in my nan’s crystal brandy glasses. I don’t drink brandy anyway, and they looked amazing.

Wear the nice perfume. Even if you are in Zoom meetings. The perfume is for you, not for other people. They don’t care anyway. Use the good stuff.

If you have kitchenware that is fiddly to wash or store, rethink whether you really want it. Let’s face it, are you ever going to be at a stage in your life when you will want to painstakingly hand wash your glasses? It’s probably never going to be a priority. Give someone perusing eBay or Marketplace a chance to love them. If they were a gift and you feel guilty, buy yourself something nice with the proceeds like a decent keep cup you will use every day. Or a meal in an upmarket restaurant.

Once you have decluttered, your cupboard arrangement will be less perilous. It will warmly welcome your decadent things. They can bask in a clutter-free, organised space where they can be not only seen but used and enjoyed.

Change the hierarchy of your goods. Things you love should be most important, most accessible.

Don’t wait for the ideal moment – it’s now. Use the good stuff.

Decluttering is not just about throwing things away. It’s about prioritising. It’s about removing junk and keeping what you truly enjoy. 

So remove your chipped mugs and thick-rimmed glassware. Have takeaway pizza on the good china. Eat the fancy box of chocolates you got as a gift. Pull your good gear out of the tissue paper and live it up. 

Use the good stuff.

Full disclosure: I don’t have toddlers any more.

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